When I turn to my interns, I often ask this question – “How is your heart?” There’s something about this question that immediately communicates that I want to know the true state of things in their life. It’s a simple question, but how could one begin to describe the condition of their heart. In this heart the battle of our nature as men and our inheritance in Christ wages on day after day. You now see the difficulty in this question?
I have found God asking me this question quite frequently over this past week, and I have been very conflicted in trying to conjure up an answer. My heart is at peace, but I cannot describe the state of it’s being because there is an opaqueness overshadowing the true condition of things and the picture has not yet become clear to me.
When I dig into the scripture of the Old Testament, there is something about the Israelites that I resonate deeply with. Unlike Moses, oftentimes the Israelites intentions were not to please the Lord. They desired freedom from bondage and to bestow the riches of the land promised them by God (Ex. 17:1-7). By way of God’s faithfulness they would praise his name, as he gave armies into their hands and whole civilizations to their taking. On the other hand, Moses was vastly different in the way he sought out the Lord. In times of blessing and in times of hardship he presented himself before the Lord and led the Israelites in his ways (Deut. 8:1-10). There is an authenticity in Moses’ relationship with the Lord – in trials and pains Moses still praised his name above all others and did not turn to other gods. And being witness of such a strong man of God, I ask myself again, “How is your heart?” Do I seek the Lord for his namesake, or do I seek him that his blessing may come upon me and my way made easy. Remember the words of Christ – “my yoke is easy and my burden light,” (Matt. 11:28-30). Christ alone gives us the strength to walk in his ways, and by worshipping and following him despite our “destinations” our way will be made known to us. Turn not left or right, but set your eyes on the Lord (Psalm 141). As with the Israelites, we too stray so easily and distrust God and the promises he has made to us. Did he not say he would feed us, cloth us (Matt. 6:25-34) and life everlasting? (John 4:13-14). You see, all our stake is in the Lord. Christ is our everything, so why do we not have faith? Let our intention be Christ, lest we not arrive at our destination.
”57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 58 And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 59 To another he said,“Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ 60 And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ 61 Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ 62 Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:57-62.