A Vision For Cultivating Your Heart
Last week, besides the aforementioned “Photoshop” incident, was a hard week. Several things were weighing pretty heavy on my heart. I spent a lot of time sitting before the Lord trying to figure out what was next for me, my wife, and the little spiritual family that He’s forming here in
Cedar Rapids. During that time, I was simultaneously asking the Lord for a vision for the house church and for the next steps personally I would take in my ministry. But as I sat there before the Lord and asked Him these questions, I heard Him whisper back a question in the way only the Lord can. His question to me was kind and tender, but indicting in every way: “Do you have a vision for cultivating your heart?”
Now everyone knows that when God asks a question, it’s not because He doesn’t know the answer. The reality was, in the mix of launching a house church and trying to faithfully serve the Lord, I was neglecting the garden of my heart that the Lord has called me to tend to. It’s easy to do. Our world is one in a quest for results with no regard for the virtues or vices that originate from the heart. But what matters most to men means little to God and what matters most to God means very little to men. This is the secret that Samuel learned in choosing a second king for Israel, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘ God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Here’s why this is all so important. The power of desire is so incredibly powerful in motivating us as human beings. The reality of human existence is we get what we want. Sometimes we get things that we don’t think we want, but our actions suggest otherwise. If you want ministry, you will get ministry. If you want fame, you will get fame. If you want money, your desire for it will either consciously or unconsciously drive you to get money. The most powerful desires, however, are the ones we put into words for ourselves and then strive toward. When these desires become articulated as goals, there is very little that stops man from getting those things they want, whether they are noble goals or not.
I even want to narrow the quest a little bit. It’s good to have a vision to gain humility or become a servant-hearted individual. We need vision for these things and I want to encourage you to develop a vision to gain these and more virtues. But in the same way we should have a vision for our marriage to a spouse, we need a vision for communion between us and the Lord. What do we want out of this relationship? How can we bridge the gap? What does this look like? David knew the power of this reality. We all know David loved the Lord, but He had a vision for His relationship with the Lord: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple,” (Psalm 27:4). Paul shared the same vision but articulated it a different way in Philippians 3:8-10.
So this brings us to the question. Do you have a vision for where our hearts will be with the Lord a year for now? How about five years from now? I don’t want to live my life constantly trying to fulfill a vision for ministry and outreach while ignoring the most important vision: God radically changing my heart and creating real communion between myself and Him. Jesus looks at Martha and tells her she is distracted by many things. But Mary (Oh,He loved Mary!) she chose the best part, and it would never be taken from her. Her vision for communion with God motivated her to put away the lesser desires and choose the highest one.
So do you have a vision for your communion with God? If you do, help the rest of us out. Post a couple of the points of it in the comment section. I’m going to develop mine and post a few of the points later this week.