I’ve been lying to myself.
I thought I knew myself pretty well, but turns out, I don’t. What happens when we buy the lies we’ve been telling ourselves for years? We get confused. We get a little blurry-eyed; instead of black and white, our lives become a shady grey.
We look really good from a distance, but take a closer look and our hearts may be a little dingy. In fact, our hearts may actually be a mess, scarred and bruised beyond recognition.
However, our outer appearance never fools God. He’s never confused by what we look like on the outside.
What to do when you are a little confused
A bowl full of marbled, spotted, colorful Easter eggs with hints of sapphire, lilac, and a mossy green reminded me of how God looks at our hearts.
He sees each one perfectly. While we might get confused or misled, He doesn’t. He knows exactly what’s inside. As we strive to look like everyone else, we may become unrecognizable to ourselves. But, like those eggs, we’re all unique. Only the Lord knows! He searches the heart. He knows us more intimately than we know ourselves.
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. And, I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10 (MSG)
All Week Long
All week long, the Lord’s been whispering to my heart, saying, “It’s all about the inside; it‘s a matter of the heart.” It’s a little scary to think of what He might find there. It gets a little confusing, when I think my polished outsides will somehow make up for what’s lurking on the inside. The shady greys of compromise begin to blur my vision. God’s Word cures my confusion, making it quite clear my heart’s a complete mess. Fortunately, God’s in the business of redeeming our past and renewing our hearts for His glory.
Burning up the weapons once used against us, He ignites a fiery passion in our hearts. It’s a wondrous thing He does, bringing beauty from the ashes. He creates something beautiful in our hearts as He weaves our past into the colorful tapestry of our completed story, our future selves, our whole selves. He takes our broken, dying hearts and brings them back to life with the victorious love of Christ. Our hearts entwined with His, that’s the Resurrection Life.
Remembering what Christ accomplished on Calvary’s Cross always nudges me to take a careful look at the condition of my heart. As I’ve heard His whispers of truth this week, I’ve done just that. I’ve taken a closer look while preparing to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
Knowing we’ll take communion this weekend creates a desire to come clean before the Lord. It’s not that I have anything unusual or big to confess; I don’t…or do I? Is my heart pretending like those in Jeremiah seventeen?
My eyes have been pried wide open as I’ve peeled back the layers of my heart. Frankly, I’m been a little astonished at what’s dwelling there. I don’t want to be a pretender. I want to be wholeheartedly His, holding nothing back, and giving myself completely to Him, every dream, every whim, every piece of my heart. My prayer…
Create a new, clean heart within me. Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires ready to please You…Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough You bring to me. Hold me close to You with a willing spirit that obeys whatever You say…Lord God, unlock my heart…
Psalm 51:12-15 (TPT)
Our hearts matter to God.
Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.
Proverbs 4:23 (VOICE)
“Be careful that you never allow your hearts to grow cold.”
Luke 21:34 (TPT)
At Passover, Jesus and His disciples gather for the Last Supper, only they don’t know it’s the last. Only, Jesus does. As He sits down to break the bread for this special feast, He reveals the longings of His heart.
Jesus in the Upper Room
When Jesus arrived at the upper room, he took his place at the table along with all the apostles. Then he told them, “I have longed with passion and desire to eat this Passover lamb with you before I endure my sufferings. I promise you that the next time we eat this, we will be together in the banquet of God’s kingdom realm.”
Luke 22:14-16 (TPT)
With all His heart, Jesus tells them He’s been passionately waiting for this moment. He knows the next time they eat the Passover meal they “will be together in the banquet of the kingdom realm of God.”
Perhaps the disciples are too caught up in the celebration to realize the depth of the moment. Or, perhaps they’re blown away by the realization that one of them will betray their fearless leader. They seem a little confused by the chaos. But, maybe not, their egos are on pretty high alert, bickering over who will be the greatest in this new kingdom. All they’ve heard is Kingdom. Jesus interrupts their argument by telling them a secret about the hierarchy of Kingdom hearts.
The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant’s heart.
Luke 22:26 (TPT)
Amongst all this commotion, there is one who sits at the table, sharing in the bread and the wine, yet knowing in his heart of hearts, he is the betrayer. The deal is done. And, with a kiss, he will seal his fate for a small fortune he’ll never spend.
Isn’t it interesting that Judas took communion with Jesus and the other disciples?
It was just a ritual; it had absolutely no meaning. He was up-close and personal with Christ, but his heart was far away. His heart was hardened so much so that when the truth was revealed, Judas was only sorry he’d been caught. He was remorseful, but not repentant. It was a matter of the heart.
Additionally, there’s another at the table who deems himself completely devoted to the Lord. He wouldn’t dare deny Him. Yet, Jesus knows this man’s heart better than he knows his own. He calls Peter out on it. Peter declares it will never happen. Sadly, it does, regrettably, three times.
“I don’t know the man!” At that very moment, the sound of a crowing rooster pierced the night. Then Peter remembered the prophecy of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows you will have denied me three times.” With a shattered heart, Peter the Rock went out of the courtyard, sobbing with bitter tears.
Matthew 26:74-75 (TPT)
Peter’s Heart Breaks
Although he was so sure of himself, something went wrong. With one crow, Peter’s heart breaks at his denial. Two men: the betrayer, bold and brazen; the denier, horrified and heartbroken. I know these men felt some confusion about the audacity of their actions. Both had a heart condition, but only one receives the healing his heart so desperately needed. Only Jesus puts can end to our confusion. He is the ultimate solution to the confusion that plagues our hearts and minds.
What’s the condition of your heart today? Is there anything hiding there? Anything that needs to be revealed? When we’re feeling a little confused, we can head to the table and sit with Jesus for a while. Truth is, we don’t have to be perfect to come to the table; we’ve already been invited. Who can sit at the Lord’s table? Those with clean hands and a pure heart.
Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal?
Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces?
Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure…
Psalm 24:3-5 (VOICE)
With all His heart He longs to share this meal with you…to break the bread and drink the wine and help you remember the Cross. God longs to be in right relationship with us. He died that we might live. The Cross is our invitation to sit at the table.
But if we freely admit our sins when His light uncovers them He will be faithful to forgive us every time.
1 John 1:9 (TPT)
The Greatest Commandment
Then, Jesus answered him, “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.”
Matthew 22:37 (TPT)
PRAYER: Search me, know me, reveal my hidden ways. I want to be wholeheartedly yours, God. I want to break the bread and drink the wine. Lord, create in me a clean heart devoted to you. Thank you for the Cross.
© Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.