Matters of the Heart

Several churches have become motivational powerhouses, however, they’re missing the mark on the message of Salvation.  The church, the body of Christ, has become a form of entertainment. Reality TV shows, superstar singing, shouting, dancing, and dramatic prophesying have all been incorporated into worship which makes it hard to tell what is real from what is not real.

Some people are attending church every Sunday but their hearts are not being truly transformed. Others are calling themselves Christians without having Godly character, a Godly lifestyle, or a personal relationship with Jesus.

Being a Christian today is like wearing a “title” on your chest like Superman or like wearing a badge or bumper sticker that shouts, “I’m a Christian!” But, what does that mean if you’re sleeping with your best friend’s husband, using the church to network for business or chasing women in the church?

The world on the outside looking in is even more confused because they have don’t have an understanding of the spiritual world much more how to discern the Spirit of God.

They’re looking at the church to be an example of what it means to be a Christian. Often times, no one can tell the difference because believers are conforming to the secular world at rapid speed.

Some preachers are preaching hate instead of love. Others are confirming same-sex marriage. Others are passive with heterosexual partners living together. The statistics in the divorce rates within the church is outrageous. There is just so much confusion about what religion, faith, and spirituality really mean.

The reverence for God is quickly diminishing. Morals and values are in the toilet. However, there is a remnant of believers that are thirsty for righteousness and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we are not to live like the world lives, but we are to set the example and live clean and sanctified lives.

The only way to do this is to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can change some things in our lives and make better choices and decisions but to be truly transformed, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit.

No one will ever be perfect, including me, but that’s why Jesus died for our sins. When we repent, we are acknowledging and declaring our weaknesses and faults and wrongdoings to the Lord. We do not have to have to carry guilt, shame, or condemnation in our hearts, but we are releasing everything attached to sin to God. He carries our burdens, troubles, and worries.

Even though we release all our problems to the Lord, it doesn’t mean it magically gets easier. Actually not to sugar coat anything, all hell breaks loose in our lives. You will still have to walk through tests, trials, and uncomfortable situations. However, the Lord will reveal his love, mercy, grace, power, healing, and faithfulness.

When we acknowledge Christ as our Lord and Savior. We confess and understand that Christ died for our sins and that Christ is the Son of God which was created in the image of man.

We ask the Lord to come into our hearts and transform us. It’s much more than just mouth service. You must have a deep yearning, desire, and surrender to God to change your heart. That’s where the transformation takes place – in the heart.

Your heart is where your desire and passion reside. “Out of the heart, the abundance speaks.” Luke 6:45 The core of a man is his heart. Sometimes decisions are made from the heart. The heart carries emotions and feelings. However, the mind is equally powerful and can override the heart. The mind carries logic, memory, intelligence, and consciousness.

If your heart is clean, you will have a desire to please God. It all stems from the issues of the heart. However, the mind is not an island. It also needs to be transformed. Our mind controls our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior.

When we align our thoughts with God’s thoughts, all doubt, fear, discouragement, and negative thinking has to go! The Lord will give us the ability to discern situations and people, guard our minds, provide focus and clarity, and help us make wise decisions. We will also have a teachable spirit.

When we surrender our thoughts to the Lord, He gives us the authority to overcome attacks from the enemy in our minds that plagues us with worldly concerns. We know the difference between right and wrong and have accountability for our actions while maintaining grace under pressure.

We are not to judge others at all, but we are to live by God’s laws.

There are many questions to ponder on in your spiritual journey.  Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Have you backslidden? Do you have integrity? Do you forgive others without holding grudges? Do you gossip? Do you complain? Have you changed your language to represent the love of Christ? Are you jealous? Are you kind to others?

It’s time to step up and lead by example. Walk like Jesus. Even if you stumble or fall, He will catch you and will not let you go. Take the first step. It’s not an easy walk, but He promises it will be worth it.

John 8:24King James Version (KJV)

24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Romans 3:23King James Version (KJV)

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Hebrews 11:6King James Version (KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 15:10King James Version (KJV)

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

1 Corinthians 13:1King James Version (KJV)

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Three Beneficial Things to Do When Facing Difficult Times

girl praying

1.    Elevate Your Thoughts

God wants us to align our thinking with His thoughts. The natural mind does not understand spiritual things. It is a constant battle to think on a higher plane because our world is so negative and evil. It’s so much easier to think negatively which immediately drains our energy. That’s why we should always be aware of our thoughts, actions, and environments.

words of anger

As soon as our thoughts begin to focus on fear, disbelief, doubt, or any other toxic emotion, we need to consciously change our thought patterns. It is very challenging to switch your thoughts when so many problems are staring you in the face. The advantage is knowing the Gospel and being able to draw from God’s promises and meditate on His word which is life and substance to your soul. Once we elevate our minds, we raise our energy level and begin to feel much better. It is a spiritual war that manifests in a physical realm. Often times, we use physical components to fight our spiritual or mental battles such as sleeping pills, medication, drugs, alcohol, or sex. We may even contemplate suicide as a means of escape.

2.    Take Care of Your Body

black girl jogging

We must take care of our bodies including eating healthier and exercising daily. Many people overlook the importance of a well-balanced diet.  However, diet plays a vital role in how we deal with stress and challenges in our lives. When we eat healthily, we have a clear mind. Our bodies are able to fight off disease and illness and even stress better. You can also take vitamins to supplement your diet such as B- complex vitamins which alleviate stress.  It’s best to consult your doctor for specific vitamin supplements based on your physical needs.

Another important factor is to get enough rest. When all else fails, go to sleep! Just make sure you have a balance. When we sleep, our stress levels go down. We are able to fight off illness, deal with problems, and make better decisions. We are less irritable and able to manage frustrations with ease. We are also able to control our emotions and we are much more productive in our daily lives.

“He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10–11

Unfortunately, Satan understands our weaknesses and attacks us when we are most vulnerable which often means we are lacking rest. When we are tired or weary, it disrupts our peace of mind. When we have inner peace, we are able to interact with others much better as well as have the ability for the Lord to direct us in our daily decisions. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” I Corth 4:33

girl laying down

God is actively at work at all times even while we are resting. The Lord never slumbers. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved. He that keeps thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121

3.    Seek Solitude in Prayer, Worship and Reading the Bible

glasses on book

Most of all, this is the most obvious but required. We should have a set schedule to spend time with God. We should continue to seek  God in prayer. We must not give up hope.    We should pray without ceasing knowing that God will answer our prayers in perfect timing.

We must also continue to worship Him regardless of our situation.  It’s in the hardest struggles that our praise is strengthened. No matter what the situation looks like we must continue to be faithful in worship. There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for.

We should read the Bible on a regular schedule to keep our spirits strong and to encourage ourselves daily. Faith is by hearing and hearing is by the Word of God. We should surround ourselves with a body of believers who will encourage and support us. This will raise our spirits, as well as our thoughts and actions.

When we take care of our mind, body, and soul, it strengthens our spiritual well-being to hear from God. By developing and building trust in Him, it draws us closer to Him. When we begin to see how He delivers us out of our situations and circumstances, our trust and faith will be strengthened to overcome any obstacle that we face.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5