With an Undivided Heart

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20

What does it mean to have an undivided heart, especially in the fast paced demanding world that we find ourselves in? To live for God’s purposes and will, in His time and not our own? For we are so accustomed to being self-sufficient and multitasking to achieve all that is on our plates that the idea of an undivided heart might seem inconceivable. Yet, in truth, our search for happiness can only be complete when we desire what God desires for us.

This takes surrender-total surrender of outcome and intention allowing God to direct our steps and move our heart for His purpose.  And as we do not live in a bubble, our new heart and spirit effect not just our own lives, but for all we encounter. If God is to be our God and we to be truly his people then there cannot be any less. Therefore, happiness and perfection isn’t self-achievable. Rather, we are only perfected through our complete surrender.

What could I let go of today to receive what he has in store for me today? Control, frustration, imperfections, busyness? In Luke (1:26-38) Mary, after initially pondering the angel’s words,  gave her complete and full yes to God’s will for her life. She did not know what or how the events to come would unfold, but she trusted that God knew better than she did. Being open to receiving, and then allowing that love to root and grow in our lives we too can follow Mary’s example of trust, Or we can, as we so often do,  give a partial yes and in turn receive only part or even none of God’s gifts for our lives.

Pray:

Lord, you have called me here to your side to walk with you, to be still with you. You speak to me not to comprehend your love and mystery with my intellect, but to listen with the ears of my heart. Like a child to open myself fully to all of your gifts-created and un-created. To set aside my tendencies to solve or work through the challenges before me. Instead, to come before you with a childlike trust that you will work all things for good. I understand that while you have given me abilities in administration and planning, that you are asking me to set these aside today and simply rest in you. To be present with you-to be attentive to your voice and to value each unhurried moment found in this time of solitude and silence.

Peace,

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Inch by Inch

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Jos. 1:9

In praying the stations of the cross, nestled under the oak and pine, my eyes spied him. His tiny frame stretching almost impossibly to reach the next ledge. Then, instantly curling back into itself as if to gain momentum, it took its next step. There was nothing between but air, and each time it was a gigantic move for one so small. In awe of this tiny creature’s endeavors, I recalled a morning spent with my oldest after a late summer’s rain.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him. Psalm 37:23

“Where did he come from..where is his family?”, my son, then 5, had asked. And where is he going? Wherever that is it will probably take him awhile”, he added. And there we sat watching the miraculous gains and effort expended in mere seconds. Never knowing if the inchworm was indeed trying to get back to where he had been or to somewhere new.

Now, years later, it occurs to me that this is much like our spiritual journeys- a series of falls and growth with the opportunity for new beginnings. While we may never get back to where we were, for God’s plan may challenge us to move forward along a different course. Inwardly, we curl back inside seeking the comfort of God within to gain the strength for the path ahead. Stretching us too, in ways that we could never imagine to reach for the Christ beyond ourselves.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John:14

In Him and in those he places along the way, we find the support and respite we need. Until that is, it is time once again to stretch, move and grow. Yet, after we find that place of comfort many of us are reluctant to leave. We may refuse to take that leap or bend to the extraordinary surprises that God has in store. Much like the inchworm, however, we were never meant to stay in one place, and lest we forget God promises direction, protection, and all the tools needed for the journey.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Reflect:

Where in my life Lord am I being stubborn or immovable?

Pray:

Lord help me to see you and your will for me each day. Help me to let go of the known to accept your purpose for my life even though it’s unknown.

Peace,

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