Monday, July 13, 2009

The desires of our hearts

Darin Hufford, in a recent podcast said, “The more you get somebody away from their heart, the more they can be controlled.”

Religion is all about conformity. We’re taught that there’s only one way to do it. Our christian life is all mapped out by a set of rules that we’re expected to follow and our standing in the church is determined by how well we keep the rules. The result is a powerless religion that leaves us shamed and frustrated.

The truth is that Jesus came to set us free from a performance based religion. He came to bring us into a relationship with our Father that is alive and fulfilling and he does this through the desires he places in our hearts.

In religion, we’re taught that the heart is deceitfully wicked. That’s an Old Testament verse that was spoken to a group of believers who didn’t have the life of God in their hearts. Today, Jesus lives in our hearts and we’ve been given a new heart which Jim Robbins describes as our “good and noble hearts.”

Religion has taught us that we can’t trust our hearts. Yet, God wants to lead us through our good and noble hearts. Because of that false teaching, we’ve shut ourselves away from our hearts. The result is that we’ve lost the ability to hear our hearts and to be led by them. Instead, we now depend on external voices to give us direction.

We pore over the Bible looking for a verse that will tell us what to do. We go to church, notebook in hand, hoping the sermon will finally give us the answer we seek. Yet, all the time, the answer is in our hearts but we won’t go there because we’re afraid of being deceived.

For years, that’s how I lived my life. I didn’t even know that I could listen to my heart and I actually didn’t even know how to listen. God is now bringing me to a place where I’m learning to hear my heart and to trust its voice. Teachers like Darin Hufford and Jim Robbins have been instrumental in helping me grow in this area of my life.

I’m currently reading a book entitled “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe. Although the focus of the book is to encourage introverts and to teach us how to live successfully in an extrovert world, I’m finding that the author is also showing me how to tap into and recognize the desires of my heart and to flow with them. This book has taken me to a level of freedom that I’ve only dreamed about.

This has been an exciting journey and, the last few years, God has completely re-shaped my life as a believer. Today, it looks totally different than it used to look. The changes in me have been so dramatic that I’m no longer totally uncomfortable with allowing God to lead me into new and uncharted territory. Years ago, as I started this journey into the unknown, he spoke the following scripture to my heart and today, I’m seeing it fulfilled as I follow the desires of my heart.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)


lionwoman said...

Aida, I still have a stack of notebooks full of sermon notes. They were taken at church, at ladies’ retreats, at seminars… searching for that elusive missing bolt that would put the whole Christian package together where it would look and function like the one on the infomercial.

It was just like you said when I took all these notes. I can’t trust myself or my heart, so I need to listen to the professionals who have this thing down and maybe someday it will rub off on me.

This basic misunderstanding is what keeps people serving the IC and relying on it for 'spritual growth.'

I LOVE the IP book! It has helped me realize I am not a defect. I am the way I am; Father made me this way. Learning how to function in that fully is going to take time, but I’m glad now to at least have permission to quit trying to be an extravert.

Ouida said...

Aida, I came across your blog by accident in a search engine, and just let me tell you...Your words were like a cooling salve on a hurting heart. THAT'S why I love the body of believers. No matter who we are, where we are, we are able to help in the healing of each other's hearts. I've become an instant fan! Thank you for your words of encouragement...for such a time as this.

Bino M. said...

So true, Aida!

“Introvert Power” is something I might enjoy. I have always thought that I am an introvert.

Aida said...

Amy, a lack of understanding of our good and noble heart has kept the church in a spiritual infancy because we’ve been taught to not trust the part of us where we hear God’s voice.

It took me a while but I finally got rid of all of those notes. Each service or conference promised something that it never produced even though I would read and re-read those notes. I’m glad to be free from all of that.

Introvert Power is a great book. I still haven’t finished reading it yet but I’m so glad you introduced it to us.

Aida said...

Ouida, welcome and thanks for posting a comment. I believe as we share what’s on our hearts, God will speak to someone through those words. I so appreciate you stopping by and letting me know that what I wrote has encouraged you. You've encouraged me. Feel free to send me an email if you’d like to talk a bit more.

Aida said...

Bino, I think you’d really enjoy this book. It has helped me to understand myself and to know that it’s okay to be ME.

Thanks for your comment.