Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Quest For Joy-Part 2

Matthew Henry said, "Our hearts follow our treasure like the sunflower follows the sun."

Sunflowers actually do follow the sun.  The flower itself will turn and follow the sun.  I did some reading and read all kinds of cool scientific facts on cell expansion in the flowers stem but at the end of the article, the conclusion was this: "What is interesting is that no one really knows why the flowers themselves follow the sun, the best guess is that they need more light to grow more seeds."

Oh. My. Goodness.  Did you read that?!  Isn't our God just ridiculously amazing?!
They follow the sun because they need more light to grow!

If our hearts are captured with temporary treasures, then there WILL be darkness in our souls. Just like when we physically walk in the dark, we know that we must find our way, but we simply cannot see.  When there is darkness in our souls, we know that we must find truth, but we cannot discern our way.
Nothing in this life is guaranteed and without the light of the Word of God, we will not be able to find our way in the darkness.

When we are filled with fear and anxiety, our hearts are divided and that simply cannot be.  When you feel that anxiety coming on, God is graciously showing you that your heart is following the wrong sun.

We are not to love and focus on:
-self promotion
-self protection
-self gratification
-self indulgence

We would all probably read the above and respond with something like, "oh yeah, definitely. We know this." 
But do we?

Let's break it down:
Self Promotion- how can I make my life better? What can I do to improve myself?
Self Protection- more concerned with your own safety than loving those around you.
Self Gratification- the act of satisfying oneself. What can I do to bring myself pleasure?
Self Indulgence- It's all about me.

"Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1

Am I saying that we should never think about these things? That we should not do everything with a spirit of excellence?
No, of course not.
But what consumes our hearts? Are our hearts and thoughts consumed with these things, worried about these things?  They shouldn't be.

Jesus says DO NOT WORRY.

Worry is sin. Worry is evidence that we do NOT truly trust the Lord with our lives. Worry simply put is unbelief.
What do the scriptures say about unbelief?
"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God." Hebrews 3:12

"Unbelief is the root of evil and the essence of evil. All our sinning grows out of unbelief in the iving God and what He has said to us in Scripture. Anxiety is the one of the evil conditions of the heart that comes from unbelief. Much anxiety, Jesus says, comes from little faith." -John Piper

Now for those who are in Christ, this knowledge is good news because we know the One to cast all of our anxiety and worry upon and we can rest in His promises.
"He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

"We know than our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Romans 6:6

Live NOW.
Be faithful to what He has placed in front of you NOW.
Love Him NOW.
Love others NOW.
Do not fear tomorrow.  He is here NOW. He is there tomorrow.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, as His children, we are FREE from the sin of worry! Believe Him. Believe His word.

How can practically apply this to our lives?  We know these things, now what can we do?
1. Pray! Cast your anxieties upon Him. Leave them at His feet. Ask Him to give you peace. His word says that He will give a peace that surpasses all understanding when we cast our burdens upon Him, trusting Him.
2.Paul tells us to pray with thanksgiving. Phillipians 4:6-7

One of my favorite quotes is by Ann Voskamp. "When you want peace, give God praise."
I truly believe that a thankful heart is KEY to a joyful abundant life! 
I love talking about thankfulness! I am loving sharing with you and learning with you! Part 3 is all about a thankful heart. :)

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