Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Heart Transplanted

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Prov. 4:23)

Scientist have discovered that our memories can actually be stored in our heart. You can talk to one who has had a heart transplant and they will testify. When they are given a new heart they will actually find themselves living out of a new sense of likes and dislikes. Their life long paradigms are forever changed. One such story was about a 47 year old man receiving a heart from a 17 year old black boy. Following his surgery he suddenly picked up an intense fondness for classical music. The boy whose heart had been donated was killed in a drive-by shooting, still clutching his violin case in his hands.

Of course, this truth is no surprise to our Creator. In Proverbs He urges us to guard our hearts, for it is the wellspring of our lives. The original Hebrew word for "wellspring" can be translated as "boundaries".  Above all priorities, the Lord tells us to guard our hearts, for it will set the boundaries of our life.

Boundaries are like fences. With them we decide what we will allow in and what we will keep out.

Do you remember the first time you felt your heart breaking? When tears flowed and they burned the cheeks with their sting. We were too young to understand what it meant to guard our hearts. But, we weren't too young to decide not to let it happen to us again. They say most of our life paradigms are created before we have our fifth birthday. By age five most of our fence post have already been set and sky high barbed-wire has been set into place.

Sometimes we never make it outside of those small defined boundaries. Sometimes we never allow anything or anyone from the outside to ever make it in to us on the inside.

So much of my defeat as a believer has been due to my fences. I have shut out the impossible to be possible. I come to the promises of God and realize that I want with everything in me to receive them for myself. But even when I believe with my spirit...the fences of my heart keep them from my reach.

Since as early as I can remember, I have always wrestled for value. Not for others, but my own. It has always been easiest to believe others are more important than myself.  I have read the Word. I have memorized the Word. I have also known that my deeply entrenched heart beliefs are in opposition to the very Word in which I treasure.

I began to cry out to the Lord. Repeatedly I asked Him, "how do I change my heart to believe what my spirit knows?" I could never have expected the journey we would take! It wasn't within my paradigm. It was nowhere to be found within my fence-line.

He would not command us to love Him with all of our "heart, soul, mind and strength" if it were not possible . When Jesus walked the earth the first words of His ministry began with "repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand."  If it is at hand...that means it is within reach. This means the power, the truth and the resources of the Kingdom are within reach...but we will have to reach...reach beyond some of the fence post we have erected...beyond what heart boundaries we have been dealt.

He is expanding my fence-lines.  Memories trapped deeply in my heart are being replaced with His. The terrain of my life is simply changing before my eyes. It is becoming more and more like heaven everyday. There is a melody that plays, always quiet, always is like a "coming home" where I am forever compelled and drawn to follow. If you quieten your too will hear it's melody. Above all else...follow it...and you too, will find wide open spaces with skies filled with blue. You will find Kingdom resources just within reach! But, you will have to reach!

You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. (Ps. 38:1)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Fragrance of Desire

Love of lilacs, beautiful, delight, flowers, fragrant, green, lilacs, nature, purple

The words slipped off his tongue and went straight to the heart. My heart. Words like I had never full of grace and mercy they took my breath away. I always sat closer to him than most. Up front and center I seek bread. How many hours had I heard how hard grace was? How many times had I interpreted His words to mean I needed to work harder? But today was different. It was as if the portal of heaven had opened and a piece of peace had floated down deep in my heart when the pastor said "if you have been wrestling with a certain sin and fail to always win...He knows your heart. He does not judge your failure. He sees the desire of your heart to overcome."

Doesn't just hearing those words bring an invitation of warmth and peace to your soul? Weary with wrestling. Hopeless for hope. Lacking...needy. The truth is I would normally squirm with the idea of Him looking into my heart to make a judgement. It smells putrid at times with it's missed intentions and failed attempts to conquer that which seems to conquer me. It's dark in there. It's left wanting.

But, if we're talking about it's desire...that's another story. That's when the music takes a turn towards the light and we could dance our way into glory. It's a spring day and the world is flooded with roses, peonies and daffodils. Desire is is holy.

But as usual, words full of grace always seem "too easy...too good to be true". I think it's because we find ourselves buried under the old testament instead of adorned with the beauty of the new. At first glance grace seems light, but with deeper examination one sees it is much more costly than law. He makes it clear in the gospels that He is now concerned with the intentions of our heart.  In the old, a man was guilty of murder only if his victim fell to his death. In the new, he is guilty of murder if he has anger towards him in his heart.

So why would it surprise me to find that He would look to the intentions of my heart when He looks at the dragon I am trying to slay? Why is it so much easier to imagine that He would judge us more harshly for our lack of overcoming, than to judge us generously for our desire to want to overcome? Without grace we live upside down. We forget that He overcame for us. The desire that pulsates from our heart to "get it right-for righteous sake" is from Him, and to Him it becomes a sweet, sweet fragrance. I hear the birds singing and the breeze dancing all the way to glory! He alone satisfies the desires of my heart!