Recently doors seem to be opening left and right for me to share my story, and ultimately God's story, before crowds of young people. These doors have been cracked opened for years, but in this season I am seeing them swing open. In the midst of an overly full schedule and a season of life where I face a cross roads, I have to choose to seize the moment & walk through these opened doors, or be so consumed with busyness that I let them swing shut.
Shift your hearts focus to Him.
it's not the actual act of reading the bible that strengthens you,
it's the intentional shift of your focus and heart to Jesus.
"You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." John 5:39-40.
Taking the time to get in the word, read your devotion and journal are AWESOME tools we have to shift our hearts focus from the world to Jesus and absolutely necessary for spiritual growth, but we can have that intimacy with Jesus wherever we are. It takes a true, genuine shift of heart. Speak quietly in your heart, "Jesus I love you, I recieve the peace that you give, thank you that you are with me"
"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27
Rejoice in your heart as He pours out His peace over you.
Shift your hearts focus to Him.
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his outward appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7
Jesus really does look at the heart. He doesn't look at the little Jesus-bows 🎀 we place on top of our self-glorifying pursuits -- our Instagram selfies with a bible verse, our hours spent trying to make our lives appear perfect and exciting, while our hearts are focused on receiving the stamp of approval from everyone but our King...this search for approval from the world begins when we start building up our own little "kingdoms" .. These little kingdoms can even appear godly..covered in scripture; they can even be a ministry or some really good deeds -- we can sure feel good about ourselves when we're receiving heaps of encouragements and pats-on-the-back from people, but it's all in vein because the Lord peers straight into the depths of our hearts.. He knows every impure motive and is not impressed by our hundreds of Instagram likes or mounds of approvals we've received from man.. I guess what I am try to say is, His ways are higher than our ways. He tells us to fix our eyes on things UNSEEN because that's what He fixes His eyes on. We can strive and labor our whole lives building up a successful ministry..our own little kingdoms, but have it be fully self-glorifying; we could never receive one treasure in heaven, if we indeed we make it there. The Pharisees were the big-shots with the massive "Jesus-bows" all over their lives -- standing out in public squares shouting their prayers to be seen as religious & godly .. They were blasting their instagrams full of scriptures, yet their hearts were far from the Lord.. Are you guys with me?
* "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs--beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity." Matthew 23:27
* You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, "these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
I am writing this because I am convicted by this myself! I've spent countless days striving and seeking the approval of everyone but the Lord and tonight I sat down in His presence after a long, busy day filled with distractions and realized I did it again! Everything I poured my heart into today was contributing to the building of my own little kingdom, instead of seeking first HIS Kingdom! It's a trap we can fall into any moment..we must be intentional about checking the motives of our hearts in each decision we make. We gotta live dat Matthew 6:33 life fo real 🙌🏼
There is such radical freedom and joy when our hearts are right with God...when the motives driving our lives truly are seeking to glorify him, even if & ESPECIALLY WHEN we aren't seen or noticed for it.
* But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
He really does see the deepest motives of our hearts & when our affections are set solely on Him...when we are truly seeking to advance His great Kingdom (not our own little, quickly perishing kingdom) we are flooded with this inexpressible peace and joy. I find that my most anxious moments are because of the impure motives of my heart. So, friends! My encouragement to you & especially myself, it to be intentional about setting out affections on Jesus with the purest motives. He is not impressed by our outward appears, but in shifting our hearts focus to Him, we have the opportunity to move the heart of God .. 💛