I’m tired. I’ve been sick this past week. Not enough to knock me out, but just enough to sap all my energy. Do you notice that when you are out of energy that you just don’t seem to care as much? It seems I have had a much easier time letting things go this week simply because I don’t have the energy to worry about it. Honestly, I’ve been more relaxed. I don’t know if you find this to be true or not. It comes back to perspective, doesn’t it? My life seems to be continually circling back around to that word: perspective.
Check out the definition for a second:
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
I really think I am going to put that word in large letters on my bedroom wall. If I could just go through everyday choosing the “particular attitude” that God wants me to choose, it seems like so many things that I worry about would not be nearly as important.
What is happening to my heart when I worry? Does it begin to choke on the rising levels of anxiety? When I let all my needless worries go, can it breathe again? My heart is a vital part of the equation that needs to be well-tended and conditioned; ready for anything. Do I give it the attention that it needs? Do I treat my heart like it is more important than what people see? I’m afraid the honest answer is no.
It seems easier to take a few minutes to fix up the outside than to commit to doing the work that it takes to surrender the inside.
1 Sam 16:7 says: “…For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
What does God see when He looks at my heart? Does he smile and say, “Well done.” Or does His smile fade, knowing that He needs to discipline areas that are being neglected? I believe He might see something that looks a little like this:
There is love, but there is also selfishness.
There is compassion, but there is also impatience.
There is occasional peace, but it continually gets drowned out by anxiety.
There is humility, but the battle with pride is real.
There is a desire for order, but it is easily derailed by procrastination.
There is a willingness to surrender, but a drive to control.
There is a creative soul, but it is inhibited by fear.
…there is imperfection and weakness, but God.
But God. If I just take anything that follows “but” and surrender it to God, He IS BIG ENOUGH. He covers it all. He takes the dark, ugly parts of our heart and makes them clean. As long as we are on this earth, there will be a constant battle in our hearts. But the good news is we don’t have to fight it! We are on God’s team.
I learned this a little while back and it is a subtle difference but don’t miss the powerful truth:
God is not on our side. We are on His.
I learned this while studying Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst, and it has changed my perspective ever since. God doesn’t move. He isn’t up there choosing sides. We need to ABIDE in Him. We need to choose His side, give Him our battles and let Him do the fighting. I explained this to my kids when I first learned it. They had to understand that every time they made a choice to disobey that they were choosing the wrong team. Now when I see them making wrong choices or going in a direction that is going to get them into trouble, all I have to say is, “Go Team!” and they immediately understand what I am referring to and they (for the most part) quickly get back on the right team.
What does God see when He looks at your heart?
Who is fighting your battles?
Whose team are you on?
Let these questions settle on your heart like seeds in soil, and let God be the one who tends the growth.