This is Meredith coming to you live for your fifth installment of the Healthy Voice Lenten Devotional Series. Today I'm going to be talking to you about "Come Clean with God in your Heart."
A few months back, I was watching Parenthood on Netflix. (I have this thing with music. If I'm watching a show and I hear a song in the background, I grab my phone and #Shazam it.) Anyway, I hear this lyric, "Come Clean when the lines get blurry." And again, "Come clean when the lines get blurry." I thought, wow - that's powerful. I knew I'd use it for a message somewhere and this one seems to be it.
I thought since we're about a week or two out of Palm Sunday and Easter, it would be a good time to talk about our hearts.
When I looked up the phrase "Come Clean" online it says "to be completely honest, nothing hidden" or "to tell the truth about something you want to hide." As I dig a little deeper I find what the Bible teaches us about being "pure in heart."
Matthew 5:8 says, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God."
Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me."
On the journey of growing more deeply in my relationship with God, I have found a huge difference in the way the world teaches us about our heart and what God actually wants for our hearts. The world teaches us to follow our hearts because if we follow our hearts then we'll be happy. But guess what God wants. He wants us to protect our hearts. He says in Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." And listen to The Message version of it:
"Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right or left; leave evil in the dust."
In that version we can really see what's in our hearts. Our human hearts are flawed. Our mind, will and emotions are beautiful things that are part of us. We're made to think, act and feel. But we're also given free will, and we can take all those things to an extreme! We can let our thoughts our emotions and our desires run wild without ever realizing that our hearts aren't what is to be followed, but a God who knows our heart.
We need to accept that our hearts need a regular searching and attitude adjustment. There's a lyric to a song that goes, "Search my heart, and search my soul. There's nothing else that I want more." It's by Hillsong United. It's a reference to Psalm 139:23, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts."
In that verse, I believe he wants us to open our hearts to His grace so he can lovingly purify them and bring us closer to Him.
There is another verse about our hearts that I want to mention that we've been discussing at my church for the last few weeks. It's from Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." We've been discussing it as it relates to money, which has been great. But it's also revealing to me other ways my heart isn't quite pure. My intentions are pure, yes. But my heart? Has got some issues. The beautiful thing is that I've got a God who loves no matter what my heart is going through.
The even better thing? Is that he is there as I look at it. He is there as I "come clean" about the issues that are holding my heart. He is there as I walk through becoming "pure in heart."
Just so you know if you are curious, I'll reveal more of those in my blog on Monday as they are still in process. But I can tell you they reveal a mix of powerful and painful things about my heart in the way I react to and judge others. I can say that only because God's got my back. I don't have to judge myself or fear. I can take an honest look and come clean about those so God can give me the strength to change my attitude and heart.
Here's the deal though, the only way I get to that place is that I have to be willing to look at what's not pure in my heart. I have to be wiling to let God search it and wait for him to work. Then I've got to step up and be willing to look at what he reveals to me.
So, here's my challenge for you this week. I know this is heavy, tough stuff. But if you want to go deeper with God, you've got to dig deep in your heart.
Ask him to create in you a pure heart. But go deeper. Ask him to search your heart and reveal to you the ways your heart is blocked. Maybe it's something you've been thinking or feeling or wanting. I don't know. It's something only he can reveal to you. Whatever it is, I know he'll be there to carry you through it so you can release it and get closer to Him. Remember he wants to make you "pure in heart" so you can SEE him.
And finally here is the the article I mentioned, "Don't Follow Your Heart,"by John Bloom from the Desiring God website.