My Heart — Your Dwelling Place (a Repost)

A Repost of mine from March 19, 2017.  These words of a year and a quarter ago feel like I wrote them today:

David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.  1 Chronicles 15:1

אֹהֶל

‘ohel

a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):—covering, (dwelling) (place), home, tabernacle, tent

I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar.   Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve Me as priests Exodus 29:44

As the Israelites sojourned from place to place, they would pitch their tents where God called them to do so, and folded the tents when God called them to move on.

And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.  Exodus 25:8

While the Israelites were traveling, God had, as His dwelling place, a tabernacle in a physical tent that could be picked up and moved with the Children of God.  We, too, live in spiritual tents as we journey in this place.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.   2 Corinthians 5:1

heart blog

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.   Deuteronomy 30:6

As I travel the highway of holiness, growing closer to God, I know that my days are numbered.  I know not how many, yet I know that one day I shall be with my Maker.  I see many signs of aging such as my gray and white hair, walking more slowly and limping at times.  I have limitations now that I did not have when I was 20, 30, even 40.  For the time remaining in my life, I walk with my LORD, staking my tent where He says, packing it up as He directs, to carry along as I go.  I am a stranger on this earth, a sojourner here until God’s time for me comes.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.  1 Chronicles 29:15

lord I am coming

My heart is a tabernacle for the LORD.  My life is His.  I live for Him as He lives in me.

Father God, You call me to You as we walk this way together.  I pray that I am most willing to follow You, taking up my cross daily, picking up and stretching out this tent each day.  May my heart truly be the tabernacle of Your Spirit, physically as well as spiritually, Father.  The precious thought that Your Spirit lives right in my heart delivers such love and joy to me!  No matter what the circumstances of my life look like from moment to moment of each day, I know that I am Yours and that I am not a stranger to You.  I have been known by You since before I was born, since before this earth came into existence.  Oh, that You created me and have made me Yours.  How joyous I feel all over!  The order of my days is in Your hands.  I pray that I am obedient to You.  You called me to be a citizen in Heaven with You.  So, as I walk the remainder of my days on this earth, I have Your Kingdom to look forward to, my Sweet LORD.  I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Amen and Amen. 

 

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Bleeding Heart Photo (graphics by me): https://pixabay.com/en/bleeding-hearts-flowers-cluster-red-55120/

Painted Heart (graphics by me): by Michal Boubin @ http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/1-painted-heart–symbol-of-love-michal-boubin.jpg

Psalm 27:8 photo: by Lana G @  https://verseography.com/2011/08/25/psalm-278-come-and-talk-with-me/

My Heart — Your Dwelling Place

bleeding heart blog

David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it.  1 Chronicles 15:1

אֹהֶל

‘ohel

a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):—covering, (dwelling) (place), home, tabernacle, tent

I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar.   Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve Me as priests.  Exodus 29:44

As the Israelites sojourned from place to place, they would pitch their tents where God called them to do so, and folded the tents when God called them to move on.

And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.  Exodus 25:8

While the Israelites were traveling, God had, as His dwelling place, a tabernacle in a physical tent that could be picked up and moved with the Children of God.  We, too, live in spiritual tents as we journey in this place.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.   2 Corinthians 5:1

heart blog

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:6

As I travel the highway of holiness, growing closer to God, I know that my days are numbered.  I know not how many, yet I know that one day I shall be with my Maker.  I see many signs of aging such as my gray and white hair, walking more slowly and limping at times.  I have limitations now that I did not have when I was 20, 30, even 40.  For the time remaining in my life, I walk with my LORD, staking my tent where He says, packing it up as He directs, to carry along as I go.  I am a stranger on this earth, a sojourner here until God’s time for me comes.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace..  1 Chronicles 29:15

lord I am coming

My heart is a tabernacle for the LORD.  My life is His.  I live for Him as He lives in me.

Father God, You call me to You as we walk this way together.  I pray that I am most willing to follow You, taking up my cross daily, picking up and stretching out this tent each day.  May my heart truly be the tabernacle of Your Spirit, physically as well as spiritually, Father.  The precious thought that Your Spirit lives right in my heart delivers such love and joy to me!  No matter what the circumstances of my life look like from moment to moment of each day, I know that I am Yours and that I am not a stranger to You.  I have been known by You since before I was born, since before this earth came into existence.  Oh, that You created me and have made me Yours.  How joyous I feel all over!  The order of my days is in Your hands.  I pray that I am obedient to You.  You called me to be a citizen in Heaven with You.  So, as I walk the remainder of my days on this earth, I have Your Kingdom to look forward to, my Sweet LORD.  I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Amen and Amen. 

befuschiasig

Bleeding Heart Photo (graphics by me): https://pixabay.com/en/bleeding-hearts-flowers-cluster-red-55120/

Painted Heart (graphics by me): by Michal Boubin @ http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/1-painted-heart–symbol-of-love-michal-boubin.jpg

Psalm 27:8 photo: by Lana G @  https://verseography.com/2011/08/25/psalm-278-come-and-talk-with-me/

Constancy of God

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 And He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

Jesus has called us to love…love God with our all…love all with our all.

Yet, we doubt and hem-and-haw in thinking we are just unable to do these.  Yes, we are unable, in our own strength.  We love God when we feel like it, when we think we are able, or when all is going well.  We love our neighbors when we like them, when they are good to us, or when we feel like it.

Yet, these are two  commandments that we have been given.  How can we love unconditionally?  How can we wholly love God and our neighbors?

In this season of Thanksgiving, I, as well as other bloggers, are sharing about gratitude, being thankful for family and friends, gifts and love.  We may list the beauty we see, words we hear, or smiles that rain joy upon us.  We seek to recognize these gifts in our own strength so much of the time: Let’s see…what am I grateful for right today?  What did I see that I am thankful for?

Is giving thanks something done alone through my efforts?  Can I be thankful without condition?  Do I expect something in return for my gratitude?

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

As children of the Father, we are being given gifts of His choosing.  He wants us to have His pleasures so that we will take them to another, whether by service, by inspiration, by love.  He is not telling us to go out and give on some conditional basis of our choosing, but, with His gifts, go to those to whom He chooses to gift with that which we have been given.  This giving is unconditionally loving.

Dependence upon the One Who is Love, obedience to the One Who calls us to love Him and others…this is how we are able to love unconditionally.  I am only the variable in the equation.  God is the constant.  Love is the constant.

God x God(x) = Love

constant x constant(variable/me) = constant

We love because He first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God Whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.  1 John 4:19-21

Loving God unconditionally is showing gratitude.  Loving our neighbors unconditionally is showing gratitude.

These past many, many months have been extremely difficult months to bear.  We are the children of the Father of lights.  Let us now turn on our lights, gifts from our Father, and shine in this world so filled with hatred and darkness.  Let us take the lights and shine them into our neighbors’ lives and be thankful.  In being a light, I am honoring my Father.  I am so grateful to Him.  He created me, making me a light in this world.

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.”  Luke 11:33

Let us give and serve and be thankful.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:8-11

Let us be not afraid to step into the world.  God is with us always.

love-god-and-people

Father God, Your love glows inside of me.  I want it to glow outside of me and rid these corners where I walk of darkness.  Strengthen me physically and spiritually so that I may do that which You have called me.  Guide me in the way that I should go.  May I remain faithful and grateful to You.  My desire is to be pleasing unto You.  May my mind know Your Truth.  May my body find peace in You.  May my heart always seek Your face.  And may my strength be built upon Yours.  May I know the constancy of You, Father, for You are my Constant.  I pray in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.

BW sig dark blue

Top Photo used with permission from:  http://www.gloriadei-sd.org/

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Listen – #FMF

Five Minute Friday @ Kate Motaung’s

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Word to write on for five minutes is listen.

GO ::

I listen with both ears most of the time.  I listen with both ears and my heart most of the time.  I listen with only one ear attuned to the speaker some of the time while the other ear is shut off or tuned into a distraction.  And then there are times when I have no ears on, no heart open, and I hear zero.

I am one of those people who needs direct contact and/or no distractions in order to hear what is being said.  I want to listen and hear it all.  I want to be able to grasp the whole thing, gaining understanding, even wisdom.  I cannot have other people talking at the same time or I lose it all.  I need quiet.  I need only one person speaking at a time.

God has asked me to listen and obey.  I want God to speak to me when He calls for He is telling me something I need to know from Him.  He may be speaking to me when I have asked for direction.  The world around me must be quiet.  More importantly, I must be still on the inside.

:: STOP

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Heart Reflection

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As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
Proverbs 27:19 ESV

Have you looked down into still water only to see yourself looking back?  A physical appearance is what we see.  Water or a mirror show us at least a vague mirror image of the one doing the looking.

As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.  NLT

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.  NIV

As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man NKJV

Who can see a reflection of the heart?  The heart is inside and does not reflect anything outward.  The heart does plenty on the inside like beating regularly, keeping the blood flowing through our bodies, carrying nutrients hither and yon, keeping us alive.  When a doctor runs an ECG (EKG) on one’s heart, a graph of it beating can be seen with the eye.  When the doctor places a stethoscope on the heart area, he/she can hear the beat.

Illustration of heart with heartbeat, electrocardiogram,

Unless a cardiologist or other doctor is listening to or opening up the chest cavity to care for an actual physical heart problem, I tend to feel that my heart and I are on our own most of the time.  I may reflect a piece of my heart by telling someone I love them.  I also may share what “is on my heart” with another.

These ways are not the only ways my heart is reflected.  Words and actions can reveal what my true heart nature is like.  I may try to conceal, rather than reveal, this heart nature, my true nature.  But God can see my heart for He knows me well.  He created me, knowing my nature.  He knows the thoughts in my mind and the nature of my heart.  I cannot hide from God.  No matter what travels in and through my heart, and should I try to conceal such from showing up in my expressions, in words from my mouth, or in my actions, they are still inside my heart.  God tests my heart to grow me, to move me in and through these hidden, torturous plagues of the heart.

O LORD of hosts, Who tests the righteous,
Who sees the heart and the mind,
let me see Your vengeance upon them,
for to You have I committed my cause.
Jeremiah 20:12

…but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God Who tests our hearts.  1 Thessalonians 2:4

What ensnares me from having my heart be in that very place that I want it to be so I can stand so close to my God?  Do I hold envy there? or fears? or anger? or jealousy? or what?  What keeps my heart from reflecting the heart that God made?

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  James 1:23-24

I want nothing to block my heart, nothing to be hidden there.  I do not want any one to stumble because of me.  Yet, perfect I am not, except in Christ…some day in Eternity.  I desire God’s tests so that I will be more and more able to reflect the image of Christ Jesus from the inside-out and the outside-in.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:18

Father, You know my heart.  I so desire to reflect Jesus in all I am and all I do for I am Your daughter.  Forgive me when I try to conceal things that I know are not of You.  Guide me so that there is less and less of those things hidden in my heart.  I want my focus to be on You, LORD, and not on me.  May my heart reflect the love and beauty that is You.  Walk near to me as I walk near to You, O LORD.  Mold my heart and make me more and more into Your perfect vessel.  I am Yours and will do all that You ask and require of me, LORD.  Thank You for hearing my prayer tonight.  With adoration, thanksgiving, and praise, I pray in the Name of Jesus.  I love You, Father.  Amen. 

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Photo credits:

Woman at water:   Fenanov via Foter.com / CC BY

Heartbeat:  http://www.mannaplus.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Heart-beat1.jpg

Hot Air Balloon Heart: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/fc/9b/d6/fc9bd6772ba3e1646c638a94a88bdfe4.jpg

Threshing Floor

 

Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.
Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.

גֹּרֶן

goren

from an unused root meaning to smooth; a threshing-floor (as made even); by analogy, any open area:—a barn-, corn-, threshing- floor, a threshing-, void- place before the gates of a city

Freshly harvested grain was thrown into a large pile in the very center of the floor.  It was then hand raked onto the area of the floor where the oxen would walk around and around, breaking the husks away from the actual grain. This area was called the threshing floor.  It was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks, the tares (weeds, false grain) from the wheat.  Afterwards, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air (winnowing) so that the wind would blow the unwanted chaff away, leaving the kernels.

The threshing floors were also important places and were often used as landmarks.  Men and royalty often sat in the gates of a city, often on or near a threshing floor.

And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.  1 King 22:10

The words, threshing floor, is one word in the King James version of the Bible.  In looking up the Hebrew, we find the same word, goren, is for both threshing and for floor.  Thus, translating the Hebrew into English gives us threshingfloor as one word.  Other versions of the Bible separate the two words but translate them individually from the one word, goren.

Joseph, with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers, halted for seven days at the threshing floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob.

When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.  Genesis 50:10

Travelers might welcome a threshing floor to stop for the night as the hard, level spot would be preferable to surrounding stony fields for tents.

David bought a threshing floor to build an altar to the LORD.

1 Then satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. … 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. …  18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite.  …  20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat.  He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price.  I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. … 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.   1 Chronicles 21:1, 7, 18, 20, 24-26, 28

Have we felt that something is worth more to us when it is bought and paid for by our earnings?  Do we take things for granted when they are given to us for nothing?  Is more value placed upon that which we buy, whether by money, labor, or things traded?

This same piece of property was to be where God’s Temple was to be built by Solomon.

1 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” …  7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars.  You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood before Me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies.  For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name.  He shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’  11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as He has spoken concerning you.   1 Chronicles 22:1, 7-11

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  2 Chronicles 3:1

Mount Moriah is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac, to God.

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

Threshing floors were places of judgment:

Rejoice not, O Israel!  Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.  You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors.  Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them.  Hosea 9:1-2

But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand His plan,
    that He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor Micah 4:12

Threshing floors were places of blessings as well.  Sheave offerings were laid there to the Lord.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.  Joel 2:24-26

Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.  But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”  And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”  Ruth 3:3-5  So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel!  Ruth 4:13-14

 

Jesus bought me by His blood.  I am forgiven and paid for by the High Priest with His life.  I am to be winnowed, ridding me of the chaff.


His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
Matthew 3:12

Have I felt that something is worth more to me when it is bought and paid for by the sacrifice of my LORD?  Is more value placed upon that which has been purchased for me by the sacrifices of Jesus?  Is the gift of forgiveness of the debt I cannot pay and for which I owe such that I am so humbled?

 

LORD Jesus, I thank You for the love You have for me, for redeeming me.  You have blessed me beyond anything I could imagine.  I know that a day will come for my judgment.  I also know of Your forgiveness of this child.  I want to continue to be winnowed for I desire to become more pure for You with each day.  I want the chaff to be blown away, then burned.  I want only the kernels to be left so that I may make You a loaf of bread.  I know You are the Bread of Life, yet I want to give You this gift from my heart.  How can I really thank You, Jesus?  You have done so very much for me.  I am humbled with gratitude.  Thresh me on Your threshing floor, my LORD.  Separate the weeds and husk from the very grain of me.  Winnow me to purity, to wholeness, LORD, for I want to be wholly Yours.  In Your beautiful Name, I pray.  Amen.   

 

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My Spirit Faints Within Me

Fainting

The word “faint(s)” in Psalm 142 and 143 seemed unusual as I read these Psalms.  We read 142 one evening and then 143 the next and there that word was again.  So I decided to look it up and see where God would lead me.

When my spirit faints within me,
You know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.  Psalm 142:4

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.  NIV

When I am afraid,
    you, Lord, know the way out.
In the path where I walk,
    a trap is hidden for me.   NCV

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.  NASB

Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled Psalm 143:3

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is desolate within me.  NASB

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.  NKJV

So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.  NIV

My spirit is weak within me; my heart is overcome with dismay.  HCSB

עָטַף

`ataph

(aw-taf’)

a primitive root; to shroud, i.e. clothe (whether transitive or reflexive); hence (from the idea of darkness) to languish:—cover (over), fail, faint, feebler, weak, hide self, be overwhelmed, swoon

David reminds me that I may become overwhelmed with fears, with darkness, with frustration, with a variety of emotions, with the things that are happening all around us…in our country and world.  A mind can become oppressed from the inside, while outward troubles can bring on these fears as well.   Matthew Henry states in his Commentary, “It is sometimes the lot of the best men to have their spirits for a time almost overwhelmed and their hearts desolate, and doubtless it is their infirmity.  David was not only a great saint, but a great soldier, and yet even he was sometimes ready to faint in a day of adversity.” *

I have not literally fainted to the ground, but the fears and emotions have overtaken me over and over during my life.  It is just human for most of us, I believe.  Yet, David reminds me that, although, the likes of Saul, Absalom, armies of many sorts may be holding us captive, reaching out to God is the answer.  God listens.  He hears our prayers.  God knows where we are…physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  He watches our backs.

Jonah calls out to God ~

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to You,
into Your holy temple.  Jonah 2:7

Jonah knew that God was with him.  He desired to be close to his LORD.

David also knew just Who to call upon and Who would hear him.  These men praise God for His faithfulness and His protection.  I can sense the love of God through their words too.  I know God is near.  I know He is with me.  I know these truths.  Teach me more, my Father. 

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;

from the end of the earth I call to You
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,

for You have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me dwell in Your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!  Selah  Psalm 61:1-4

Father God, You are my Refuge, my Shelter when I become afraid of the future, of growing older, serious family illnesses, the violence in our country and in our world.  Father, my heart feels weak and weary sometimes.  You know how things affect me.  Yet, there is only one answer to any darkness of heart or mind…You are that Answer.  I call upon Your Name and You hear me, my Father.  You treat me with love and care.  You nestle me near to Your breast and I know comfort.  I know love.  I know gentleness.  I know You…more and more with each day.  Oh, how grateful I am, my Father.  Thank You for teaching me the Truth in Your Word.  Thank You for healing my faint and stumbling heart.  I want to walk in Your ways and only those.  I fail and yet You forgive this child.  I desire to walk uprightly.  Guide me, LORD.  I love You so.  How can I love You more yet I do with the passing of each day.  I pray in the Truth of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

Illustration of heart with heartbeat, electrocardiogram. Vector illustration

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* from “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 143”

A Whole Heart

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With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:10-11

לֵב

leb

inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding:

inner part, midst:

midst (of things)

heart (of man)

soul, heart (of man)

mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory

inclination, resolution, determination (of will)

conscience

heart (of moral character)

as seat of appetites

as seat of emotions and passions

as seat of courage

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Our heart is a place where we can be filled to the brim with things of God or things of this world.  We have choices to make.  Our heart can be wholly set apart to God and for Him.  Or it can be wholly or even partially set upon the things that lead us away from God, lead us astray.

God calls us to Him.  He wants us near to His heart.  He loves us so and draws us to Him.  He has given us many promises which are truly ours through obedience to Him.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.  Ezekiel 36:26-27

The meaning of the word heart that is in Psalm 119:10 (the Hebrew לֵב  {leb} ) occurs 591 times in 546 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the NASB.  Throughout these many verses, heart can be interpreted to mean one of the many definitions listed above.  Yet, they each and all lead to the same place: our steadfast relationship with God, our Maker.

Dependent upon what that relationship with God is at any given moment, we stand with Him or against Him.  He wants us with Him always, but we are sinful and can reject Him.

See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.  For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him Who warns from heaven.  Hebrews 12:25

In our darkness, we can easily walk away from the One Who made us for Himself.  We take that which He gives to us and then pretend we never knew Him.  He is the One Who knit us in our mother’s womb and saw us before the world even existed.  Yet we can be stubborn and stiff-necked, thinking that we know what is best for us.

It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full,
they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
therefore they forgot Me.  Hosea 13:5-6

I know I have walked away and thought I could control my own life and would control it.  I thought I had the ability to be in charge.  I wandered in the desert without enough water.  I left peace and found agitation.  I shooed comfort away only to know fear.  I could not find shelter because I wanted to pitch my own tent, yet had nothing from which to make it.

My God will reject them
because they have not listened to Him;
they shall be wanderers among the nations.  Hosea 9:17

But, one day, I looked to the heavens and saw the Hand of God reaching to me.  I knew He had never left me nor did He forsake me even though I was one miserable person.

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:17:20

God blesses me so.  I want to praise Him with my whole heart.  I come wholly to Him.  I know I am not able to be whole for Him at every moment, yet I desire to be.  My heart and soul and mind and body are His, wholly His.  When a part fails God, I seek His forgiveness and His comforting arms.  I praise You, Father. 

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!  Zephaniah 3:14

My Abba Father, thank You for loving me unconditionally.  I do not deserve it, but I desire You more than anyone or anything.  I am hungry and thirsty and tired and needy.  You have fed me with the Bread of Life, given me Living Water, rested me on Your bosom, sheltered me under Your wing, provided all that I need.  You are gracious to me, Father.  I am so grateful.  LORD, I offer my whole self and pray that I stay on Your straight path.  I want to be wholly Yours with my whole heart.  May this be so.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

 befuschiasig

 

Photo of Fuchsias:  http://flowerinfo.org/fuchsia-plants

Unite My Heart, O LORD

undivided-heart

 Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name. 
Psalm 86:11

יָחַד

yachad

to be (or become) one:—join, unite

Reading this Psalm recently, the first word of the last line really touched me…UNITE…Unite my heart.  This phrase is about singleness of heart, a one-track heart, an undivided heart…focused upon God, and God Alone.

Is that possible?

Undivided

David called upon God to unite his heart.  He asked God to do this for Him so that he would, could fear His Name.  He asked God for this unity of heart so he could revere the One Who called him to be king.  He asked God to close any gaps that his heart may have had so he would stand in awe of the God Who called David a man after His heart.

“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” Acts 13:22 (ref.: 1 Samuel 13:14)

God created this heart of mine so that I would, could love Him, honor Him, adore Him, and praise Him.  I am to be focused upon Him with this oneness of heart.  Yet I have this broken, divided heart because I live in this fallen world.  I don’t mean for it to be this way.  I try to focus on God and God Alone.  Yet, my heart can lose sight and track of Him because I am looking everywhere but to Him for peace, love, gentleness, joy, and so much more.  Oh, that I would turn from my own ways and look only to Him, always.

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.  Psalm 86:12

Oh, what I am able to do when my heart is united, when it is one whole instead of two or many pieces.  I will praise Him.  I will love Him.  I will glorify my God with all of my heart.  He wants all of me so that He can use all of me in this world.  Oh, how this world needs Him!  Oh, my!  How it needs God!

wp62f3655f_05_06

Father God, I pray that You will unite my heart into one whole piece wholly desirous of You.  I wish to focus upon only You.  When I am at this place,  LORD, I can see only You and, then, through Your love, your heart, I can see so much more clearly.  Your clarity becomes mine in those precious moments.  I can love this world in which You have placed me with an undivided heart.  Oh, my LORD, unite my heart to be undivided and willingly, lovingly directed to You.  May this be so in the Name of Jesus.  I pray, O LORD.  I pray.  Amen. 

beblacksig

Graphic #1:  http://chuckbalsamo.com/2011/01/an-undivided-heart/

Graphic #2: http://ncccnj.com/pages/category/podcasts/messages/amy-minnich

Graphic #3: http://www.make-my-christian-life-work.com/