Excerpt from Chapter 1 – The Heart of the Matter
cleansed & renewed
overflowing with the love of God
The essence of life is found in the human heart. God’s mission with each believer is the renewal of their heart. His intention is for us to be utterly filled and function with the love of God. What shape is your heart in? Does your heart need to be renewed?
God will allow us to be tested. He authorizes a testing to show us what is within our human heart. The test shows us where there is a need for an adjustment in our attitude. This reveals our strengths and weaknesses. It also shows us the frailness of our humanity and our deep need for God.
God is Good all the Time
There is nothing that escapes God’s knowledge and consent. Anything that comes into your life, even a hard circumstance, has been allowed by God. He has a purpose and a plan in all things. Everything God created has a meaning for its existence. Within His plan is the provision needed to fulfill what He has purposed for your life. There is no need to be anxious or fearful. Cast all your concerns to Him who cares for us. The resolution is not far. In His vast love for us, He has perfectly designed the path for you to be conformed into His image. If you find yourself facing a trial, you must not fear. There is a lesson within the difficulty that will bring good. Although suffering does not appear worthwhile and certainly is not appealing, it is beneficial for the perfecting of your faith. Spiritual growth and strength emerges from the struggle. A courageous new heart is birthed through His beauty and strength.
Holding onto Fear
Many Christians have a divided heart in the area of fear and worry. In situations that are out of a person’s control, the natural reaction is to become anxious. Complete trust has yet to be established since fear has hindered full surrender to Christ. Although we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, have we turned total control over to Him? Are we continuing to hold on to society’s philosophy of self sufficiency which emphasizes personal abilities instead of recognition of our need for God? A common statement of concern is, “If I do not worry about it, who will?” This misrepresentation causes one to consider the act of worrying as being required to obtain a solution to the situation.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call
on him in truth.
Trust can be especially hard for a believer whose parent(s) failed to provide a fundamental sense of security. Since childhood was not a safe and protected environment, trust is not easily established. Experiences have disillusioned the child of God from being able to place total reliance on anyone. In their limited understanding, resting in God’s Sovereignty is not accessible since they may unknowingly feel God failed them. In this case, it is central to first establish fully who God the Father is in all His glory and majesty. It is equally important to understand the identity received from a relationship with the Father in order to release all independence. Next, the Holy Spirit must be invited to remove all embedded insecurities and replace them with the Father’s perfect love.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am
your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I
will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Once we identify with the fact that we can totally be reliant on God, fear can be surrendered, and complete trust can be placed in Him. It is challenging to remain confident when we have done all we know to do, and yet difficult circumstances have still not changed. In the midst of the predicament, we must securely rest in His promises. Believe in God’s sovereignty to work things out for the good. Worrying has never changed a thing. It is by faith our position changes.
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the
deliverance the Lord will bring you today.
Let the Word Combat Our Fears
Uncertainties of what the future holds may cause us to become doubtful. If we have misgivings about a situation, we should evaluate its correctness against the Word of God. Feelings are to be dealt with in the same fashion. All feelings that are not in line with God’s profound truths must be crucified. Faith believes in the promises of God whether they appear to be possible or not. Whispers of doubt and fear must be combated with the unadulterated Word of God. Let the infinite authority of the
Word of God settle concerns about what is true and what is false.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Instigator of Fear
Fear has come against each and every person many times. It is our choice whether or not we will succumb to it. Fear and negativity are not of God. Perhaps you have heard in your Christian walk the definition of the word FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. Believing a lie is what Satan tries to accomplish with all of us. The Bible tells us Satan roars like a lion looking to devour. His roar is artificial, a pretense intended for us to become frighten and overwhelmed. The truth of God is the strength that will prevail.
Fear is the enemy’s biggest strategy. He implements a false need for us to become frightened. Fear opposes faith. Therefore, fear has no place in the life of a Christian. As followers of Christ we must follow His example by combating lies with the Word of God. To overcome it is mandatory to regulate thought patterns. Restraining from fear allows faith to rise. God is Sovereign and true to every one of His promises.