How to Change Your Heart

How to Change Your HeartToday, I want to wade into a complex theological topic in about 500 words. Trying to explain desires, disconnect and why we don’t act how we should.
Here is the truth: Many of us want to live differently, but we struggle. We want to be more like Jesus, but find ourselves not living like Him. We want to be holy or righteous (to use more traditional language), but we find ourselves doing things we don’t want to do.
Paul puts it this way, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15) So, it seems like it isn’t just us that struggle with it, but also Paul.
Here is a controversial, but true thing: The solution to this problem isn’t more knowledge or more information. Yet, this is precisely what we gravitate to when we or someone else is struggling. We try to give them more information or we listen to more sermons about “How to Change Our Lives” and decide to “try harder.” And, I’m not saying that information or sermons are bad (clearly it’s my job!), but if deciding to try harder and gaining information led directly to transformation, we would be the most transformed and healthy society with all our information
The truth is, when we encounter a gap between what we know and how we live, the problem isn’t with the knowledge. The problem is with our desires.
Jamie Smith puts it this way, “It seems we can’t think our way to holiness.”
I cannot love this quote more. It’s so simple, yet also so true. We cannot think our way to holiness. We cannot decide our way to righteousness. Because, the disconnect in our actions is not with our intellect, but with our hearts. Because our hearts are following desires that lead us away from Jesus, holiness and righteousness. Because we are not just thinking things, but loving beings or wanting creatures.
So, what does this all mean, practically?
Well, what I think it means is that when we struggle to live differently, the problem often isn’t our moral muscle, resolve or lack of knowledge. The problem is that our hearts have not been attuned to love the way of Jesus over the other competing desires in our world.
When I live less than I should, it’s because I love something more than Jesus.

So, my challenge this week is just this: When you act differently than you know you should, ask Jesus to help you shape and change your wants. Because that’s where transformation resides.

Pray and say, “Jesus, help me to want forgiveness more than revenge.”
Pray and say, “Jesus, help me to want generosity more than financial security.”
Pray and say, “Jesus, help me to want your way of love more than fear.”
Pray for your heart and wants/desires to change.
Because, it’s not just about knowing more, but loving differently.
P.S. To learn more, Jamie Smith’s book You Are What You Love is amazing.

Fastening Your Grip ~ Clinging to God…

Earlier this week when I dropped off Hudson for daycare he was quite upset. He’s been sick and not at daycare and so has spent lots of extra time with mommy and daddy. So when I went to drop him off he started crying and said “Daddy, no, home daddy, home”. He wanted to go home with me. He literally wrapped his little body around me, grabbing my shirt and neck with his arms, and my body with his legs. He was literally clinging to me.

Eventually we made it through and after I left our wonderful daycare sent me a text saying he was happy and having lots of fun. But I couldn’t get that picture out of my mind ofHudson clinging to me.

Often in the Old Testament we are told to “cling” to God. We read of this in Deuteronomy 10:19, Joshua 23:8; and Psalm 63:7. In each verse we are told to cling tightly to God, to not let go. The Hebrew word is the word dabaq which literally means to cling, hold on tightly to, to cleave to, or to fasten your grip. This is literally what Hudson did. He fastened his grip on me, he wouldn’t let go, he clung to me.

As I look back on this morning I wonder if I have that same desire for God that Hudson had for me? Am I clinging to God that much? Am I truly fastening my grip on him deciding to never let go? Would I notice if God wasn’t right next to me? Am I that close to him? These are deep questions but important ones to ask.

So today ask yourself this…What do you cling to?