Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation
This has been a verse that a friend has shared with me and I look to it as an important verse to live by. Do we want to know who can be with the Lord and receive all of His blessings? He tells us right here, those with CLEAN hands that do not do things with ulterior motives and those with PURE hearts. “Well, my heart is pure.” You might be saying. “I don’t have any evil motives in MY heart.” Those were my words before as well. I didn’t want to admit that my heart was NOT lined up with God. I used excuses. I blamed my husband. I blamed my circumstances. I blamed that I didn’t have enough time for such spiritual matters. Besides, I was a keeper at home. I wasn’t to look to those “other women” who invested time in seeking spiritual matters. That was for my head, my husband to do. Mine was to be submissive, read my bible, and train my children. I didn’t need to have God’s anointing, His Holy Spirit. Those were just “spiritual” words that bible people threw around.
“God knows my heart, and my intentions.” I would say. “He knows what I want out of life.” But I was not taking the time to find out what God wanted for my life. I was just going through the motions. I was going to church, doing my duties faithful. I would come home and TRY and have a peaceful week. I might “have a moment” a few times a week. I might talk with my friends and “complain” about my marriage or my children. But just excuse it away and not do anything about it. Sure my heart was pure, I had all the right intentions. I just wanted everyone to line up with what I thought was good and then life would be perfect. Right???
We cannot expect to have a pure heart if we are not knitting our own hearts with God.
It all begins with accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I assume that you have done that. Now, I have learned that you can do just that, attend some ladies bible studies, read your bible, and pray and it makes you comfy. You can along and be good to people, donate your time to worthy causes, and feel good about yourself. That sounded good to me from my switch from being a heathen to become a believer in Christ. But there is so much more.
I would read my bible many times and it seemed that the words would get lost and all jumbled. Sometimes they were hard to understand, sometimes I would even fall asleep!!! I know so bad, but I did. I read numerous books. All self help, homemaking, Christian mom books that talked of being submissive and loving the Lord, fulfilling your purpose, and they helped. It seemed that I was getting more of my help in life through books then from the word of God.
Books are great help, especially when you are struggling with a particular thing. But what I am saying is that the Word of God is supposed to be our number one self help book. All that we need is wrapped up in it. We just need to take it, read it, mediate it, and learn from it.
I had to make a change. I had decided that I wanted MORE out of life. Sure, I was a stay at home Mom of 10 children. All I did was change diapers all day long, make meals for a large family, and occasionally talk with the few friends I had. There wasn’t much excitement going on in my life. I wasn’t making a big impact on others, or so I thought. I was happy, but I felt like I was missing more.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
I wanted to experience those feelings from God that could bring about a contentment and a peace in my life. I would see other women that were living a life full of zeal and joy in God. Sure they were older, they weren’t changing three children’s diapers every day, and they had much more time then I did to focus on seminars and services, etc. But something inside of me wanted that. I know we were both at different places and seasons in life, but why must I have the “boring” part while they experienced such great anointing, power, and experiences from the Holy Spirit?
Then it started…………
All I had to do was seek it. I had to start reading the word of God everyday. I had to mediate on God’s word. I had to pray and ask what I needed to work on. I had to ask God to reveal my sins. Things that were holding me back. Now, I thought I was a good person (smile). Don’t we all. Then God started showing me things that I didn’t even realize I was doing wrong. Imagine that.
I was a controller. I liked to manipulate my husband. After all, it was what God wanted. No, it was what I wanted. I had to give up control and let God work things out. I had to learn to humble myself, suck in the lower lip, and let God do what I couldn’t do.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
I had to change my thoughts. I had to get rid of any toxic thought in my brain. Any negativity at all. I had to learn to take no offense. Our pastor told me this once. So nonchalantly, I asked God to help me on this. Well, he gave me the best person to learn this by, my husband. Oh, how hard it is to not take offense at things your closest person in life has done to you?? He taught me how to have much patience and love instead of taking offense. It is hard, but I am working continually on it. But this has helped me hugely in life. I think that if people didn’t take offense, it would be a whole lot better world that we live in. More on why this is so important and how it hinders our walk with the Lord later.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
I had to continually seek God. Even though I was tired, I had to read God’s word. I had to ask Him what He wanted me to learn from it. It was better to get through one paragraph and get something out of it then skim through an entire chapter and get nothing from it. Whatever time allows, just do something. You can’t learn to have a heart knit with God, if you don’t read what He wrote for us.
We have to change from what we know, to something new that we want to become. We don’t want to just live . We don’t want to be defeated. We don’t want to walk around with the mentality that our life is crap and that we made mistakes and now we are paying for them. Stop blaming the reaping and sowing effect! God does not want us to stay that way. He wants us to walk in victory, everyday. There is no reason to walk around defeated. We need to be content in our hearts and in our lives. If something is unchangeable in your life and you have done everything in your power to try and fix it and can’t, then good. That is when you have to let it go, and let God do a work. He will. But you need to detach yourself from it. The more we hold onto something and try and manipulate it, then God cannot do His work.
And he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
Do you struggle with your husband? Leave it alone. Do all that you can on your part. Have no flaws. Don’t do things in anger. Why do we treat complete strangers with more compassion and love then we do our own family? We need to start looking at our immediate situation–the people in our home–and treat them as a ministry field. Would you sass back to the homeless man on the street? Would you yell in a moment of frustration to the ladies group at church? No, you wouldn’t. “But God I want more, I want more opportunity to serve others.” Okay then start with your own home. Start treating your family members as you would those that you want to minister to. God sees what you do in private, He can’t give you a ministry field if you fail on one as simple as your own home. It starts there, small and comfortable. Then God can move you out of your comfort zone and into something even greater. Home is the BEST place to minister to, but you can make a huge impact on others going through things that you yourself have overcome.
There are so many different preachers, churches, avenues of Christianity out there it is hard to find where to be. We have attended numerous different styles of churches. In the beginning, we went to the “feel good, beginner church.” The one where you got saved, they didn’t preach condemnation, and just taught you to be a good person. Or so you thought. Sins go beyond the obvious— of murder, stealing, and addiction. They dig deep into our thoughts, motives, and what is in our heart.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Then you have the ones that are considered more plain and straight to the scriptures. They taught many rules, but did not discuss any part of the Holy Spirit part of God. The part that He PROMISED to give to us, so that we could have a guide in life. After finding this part out, I NEVER wanted to NOT live without the power of the Holy Spirit. I would not want to be walking through my life without the leading of of it. I would then just be walking around blindly, doing what I think is right.
Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2 Timothy 3:5
Then we went to a more spirit filled group. This one taught about living your life with God and the Holy Spirit guiding your life. They show much about getting the sin out of your life. They direct you to scripture that says why your prayers go unanswered and how we need to be walking with love in our hearts. If our hearts our knit with God then only love can flow from it. God will flow from it. The Holy Spirit can flow through your life, directing you what to do and say. Then God’s work are manifested and we can give Him the glory.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
You also have your positive self-help groups. They focus solely on being happy. Living a life undefeated. Walking in God’s blessing, his anointing, abundant living, and financial blessings.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
So we have heard them all. Some people shut out and shy away from certain groups, because they think they are evil and teaching the wrong things. Maybe so. But I think that we can ask God for discernment and guidance. I think that ALL of these situations we can take and learn from and implement in our own lives. I know that in my own life. God put me in different places so that I could grow. If he would have put me in my current church when I was first saved, I might have thought they were crazy. He had to mold me and shape me as He wanted me to be. He had to show me the wrongs and what to avoid, and also what to take with me for the next step in my life. All of it helps mold me as a person to be used by God effectively. I can take what I have learned from the different types of groups and use them in my current situation. Everyone has flaws, unfortunately even in our churches. We need to pray for a heart that is knit with God.
When we were attending one of the churches and trying to “fit” into it, I was struggling. Why was it so hard to conform a way that I was not feeling comfortable in? I reached out to a friend whom I met in that church, looking for wisdom. I wanted answers of what to do. My friend said, “Amy, I don’t know what God has planned for your life, all I can do is pray for you. Pray for the Lord’s leading in your life and that you would be obedient to Him.” That is the ONLY line I remember from her letter. “THE LORD’S LEADING” and “OBEDIENCE” It is all about Him, not us! It isn’t for us to conform to a certain standard, it is about where He wants to use us.
When our hearts are knit with God, then our lives will reflect Him. No matter where God has us, we can be a light in the world. There are all types of people in the world, God will speak to them in the place they are in. But it starts with us as believers to have our hearts knit to Him so that we can do whatever His will is. Stop trying to fit into a certain group, start fitting into God’s word.
All this begins with studying the ONLY book that will get you to that point. The bible. Take the time NOW and start reading a little each day. Find a schedule that shows reading the bible in a year plan. It will help you to stay focused on reading it every day. If we don’t take the time because we don’t think we have it, then we are already deciding not to listen to God that day. Expect things to go wrong, frustrations to mount, and woe is me to happen. God knows what is coming today, He already planned it. But he plans for you to take a few moment with Him to start it out. If you worked at a job, you would want to find out what you are to do each day from your boss right?? God has us working each day as well, turn to Him for guidance and direction.
As a side note, especially if you are just starting out. It may be difficult to read and understand any of it. I know I was there. I started grabbing bible studies and trying to learn from different people. Those were good, yes, but they took away from what God spoke to me directly. When I finally just started reading God’s word, consistently, I started seeing things. It didn’t happen at first, I had to really focus. I sometimes copied what I wrote and put in where I would read it each day.
Then I had to pray. I asked for direction, for discernment, for understand of His word. When I asked for things that I struggled with, it seems I got many opportunities to work on that!!!
Remember the devil would love nothing better than to keep you from this. He will put distractions in your life. He will try and come against you, especially if you are just starting out. But guess what? We have already WON the battle. Satan is undefeated, he does not win. Only God does, but we must join sides with Christ and let the devil know, you are not going to be manipulated by him. Stand in times of trial. Keep consistently at it, he will realize you are tougher than he thinks.
The ONLY way to get closer to God, to have our hearts knit with God is by spending time with him. You CANNOT cultivate a relationship with God by having a spiritual occurrence at church on Sunday, but do nothing with it after that. God’s existence and power is real. But it won’t keep manifesting in your life, if you don’t stay in the Word. Pray, believe it, ask for guidance. It is a constant thing. You shouldn’t look to God only on Sunday or only when you need Him. He should be in your heart ALL of the time. Just as you may cherish your children or spouse more than anything else in this world, that is where God should be in your life.