There’s so many answers offered when you ask the question why not?
For someone who is an over thinker (like I am) the endless solutions create anxiety self doubt and criticism in my mind. I’m not enough is a normal voice that sounds off. Believing I must do more or lose more then the desires of my heart will come. But what happens when you’ve done all you can do and there’s no hint of the desire fulfilled?
What happens when you’ve served and sacrificed yet things end?
What happens when you’ve given God your all, stayed faithful and instead of gaining relationships you lose them?
What usually happens for me is criticism. I begin to analyze and dissect the motives of my heart until there’s nothing left to show. Until my heart and mind are reduced to puddles on the floor. I rehash and replay looking for every ounce of bad that was in me. Looking for why God has rejected me from the chosen ones that get what I desire.
Criticism has taken me to some dark places because it has been rooted in fear.
For too long I’ve believed that I must criticize myself relentlessly instead of trusting God. I’ve believed that He asks me to examine my heart and mind, but today I felt like He was asking me, “Monique, did I ask you to search your own heart, or is that My job?”
To be completely honest I don’t know the Bible cover to cover to say that we are not to look at our hearts and make changes but heres what I have searched and found so far.
In Psalm 139 David talks about how God knows him intricately, fully. To remember that God is always with us even to the point of knowing and being where we are when we try to run and hide from Him. He knows us better than we know ourselves. David realizes this and ends his prayer with
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
Then in Jeremiah we read that God tells the prophet that no one can understand the heart except Him,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind…” Jeremiah 17:9
I think there is a lot we can learn from these two passages. In Psalms we see that David humbled himself and asked God to do the searching. To try his thoughts and lead him in the right way. I think when we see that God is the one that searches our hearts and leads us our response should be to trust His leading. To lean on His understanding because He knows better than we do.
In Jeremiah God says that He is the one who examines and tests the heart and mind. He looks at our motives and does something about them. What does He do? I believe that He will bring things up to our minds about the way we think or the motives we have, not to shame us, but to show us a better way.
God has given us His Spirit. I think too often I believe that God is frustrated with me and has left me to figure out my own motives. Like we are playing this awful game of guessing if my motives were wrong and which motives were bad or worse or good and pure. I sit back and judge myself over and over and over again. But I am starting to believe that He hasn’t called us to do that. The Holy Spirit is the one who is in us and He will show us what we need to work on. Thats what conviction is. Its simply seeing that we sinned because He shows us, we repent and humble ourselves, ask Him where to go and go.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
God is in the business of exchanging. He wants to always take the old ugly mindsets and exchange them for something better. Instead of dissecting I need to ask Him to do the searching. But we can’t exchange the things that are ugly for new things unless we go to Him. He’s not asking us to clean ourselves up first. If so, Jesus’ death would have been pointless. He’s calling us to come just as we are. Messy. Broken. Hurt. Not even sure of what we really want. And in His hands He is holding a new heart.
He wants to give us new heart.
I need to remember to ask for a new heart more often instead of dissecting mine. To allow Him to clean and make it whole again. I need to believe more about the competence of God instead of the capability of myself. I need to trade my scape for a sword. Not just any sword but the sword of the Spirit. The word of God. Thats where I learn to know Him and His character. From there the Holy Spirit can do His job and show me the things I need to work on in the moment. From there I can lean and trust on His understanding as He sets my path straight.
As you go through your journey I hope that the Holy Spirit’s voice becomes the voice you listen to more than your mentor, leader, pastor, author, parent etc. I hope you choose to elevate what He is saying above what circumstances say. I hope that you find yourself seeking His will above your own. And in the times when it’s tough, choose to humble yourself and ask Him to search your heart and give you a new heart towards that person or circumstance. Remember dear friends, He has you. He loves you.
Keep journeying dear friends. Until next time,