teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name... psalm 86:11

Thursday, July 28, 2011

swollen hearts...

I was reading a blog the other day and one of the lines just jumped out and grabbed me. The writer said, “We must stand firm in our faith and love twice as much… part of how we stand firm is to know Scripture, and not with swollen heads but swollen hearts.” It was reminiscent of a challenge one of my college professors always gave us: Don’t read to know, read to live.
I’ve long given up on debating theology and trying to impress others with obscure verse references- because honestly, what’s the point? I’d rather be known for my passion and love than for my intellect any day. I think that's why this statement resonated with me so much. So how do we transition from swollen heads to swollen hearts? I think for starters, we make our approach to scripture deeply personal. We place ourselves in the midst of the words and make it about us… because isn’t that the point of scripture- to be a meeting place of divinity and humanity? These are the very words of God and they have power that we leave untapped when we limit it to a “textbook” understanding, merely food for our brain. In Hebrews it says that when we engage with Scripture in a personal way, it has the ability to “expose and sift and analyze and judge the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” I don’t read the Word of God, the Word of God reads me. [Wish I could take credit for that last line- stole it from church two weeks ago!]
I love how the Message says it: “His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word.” To listen and obey. Obedience is the other integral part of moving from swollen heads to swollen hearts. When we lay ourselves bare before the lens of the Word of our Creator, there is always an invitation.  It’s an invitation to exercise faith by applying what is whispered to our hearts through the Word. It’s not formulas, checklists, or 3-step plans… but a dance between us and God as we take one step at a time following His lead.
I’ve been meditating on portions of Psalm 119 lately in my desire to appreciate and align myself with scripture- it’s all about the Words of the Lord and why they’re important to us. I challenge you to join me in that meditation if you’re at a place of wanting more than just head knowledge…
May we all desire to exchange swollen heads for swollen hearts… hearts that beat with the rhythm of God’s heart… and spill forth the passionate resolve of a firm faith…

...open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions... psalm 119:18

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