What do you find when you stop? When praying, having time with the Lord or sitting quietly, do you feel peace, or do you experience something less desirable?
I’ve really wanted to come out of this situation a changed person, different to the one who started lock down five weeks ago. It can be risky asking the Lord for this sort of change because then you must respond to the opportunities that arise!
In our Bible study we have been learning what it means to walk in the Spirit and to hear what God is saying in our lives. Recently as I sat to have my quiet time, the moment I closed my eyes I was overwhelmed by a sense of anxiety. Initially I thought that the coronavirus and the natural concerns I have for my loved ones was the cause, but I have come to realise this is not the case.
One of the chapters in my book is called ‘Open the eyes of my heart’. Reading it, the lovely song 'Open the eyes of my heart Lord' by Paul Baloche came to mind and stayed there. A strange thought, hearts having eyes. It doesn’t make any sense, but we know the key to the heart is not through the mind, in fact, the mind can be a hinderance. In the song we sing, ‘Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you’. Feelings are another barrier to the heart and can make it virtually impossible to see or hear the Lord if not dealt with properly. I realised that subconsciously I’d started to avoid slowing down, my time with God was not as it should be. Reading is a good ‘avoidance tactic’, a way to take your mind somewhere else, but my book brought me back to thoughts of heart. I know that as a Phlegmatic I have the capacity to feel anxiety for no reason; this is my nature. Under normal busier circumstances I find it easy to ‘not look’ or place that anxiety on daily life. This has been my usual pattern, but this is no normal or ordinary time.
Conversations with people have highlighted how differently we all operate, but if we are living at heart level then things become so much clearer and obvious. Many people are just holding on until things return to normal. Issues previously avoided in relationships by busy lives are now being highlighted and thrown up into the spotlight due to our circumstances. On Sunday Tim shared about Peter. He changed over time but there were key events that changed him deep within. Peter found out who he was, he had the eyes of his heart opened and was no longer tossed about like the waves.
Whether you ask for it or not, God will bring about opportunities to change things that hinder our journey and relationship with him. Half of the battle is seeing these as welcome rather than failures if we don’t automatically change. We will be given the chance to alter deep routed patterns and open our hearts to God, time and time again. Listening to the Bible Study and this week’s talk from Tim has encouraged me to push through the layer and resist my natural temptation to avoid looking when something is uncomfortable. The discovery of your own heart and the hidden treasure is worth it.
I want the eyes of my heart opened so I can walk day by day in the Spirit. A phrase was shared two weeks ago in church and has stayed with me ‘walk in the spirit not in the flesh’.
We have the Spirit, who guides, prompts, prays for us and intercedes. Let go of the baggage of the flesh and trust in God the father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit who work together to bring us ever closer to them.