Tuesday, February 26, 2013

strengthen your heart

My best friend knows me so well. :)

I've been realizing lately that I have some issues with control and anxiety. I just recently recognized my need to surrender certain things in my life and am currently doing my best to make that a tangible reality.

She just sent me this and it just rings so true with so many of the things that have been stressing me out and overwhelming me lately. It's pretty simple, but I found it was a great reminder and wanted to pass it along in hopes of encouraging you today as well:

Turn off the news. Really - I mean it. The news is a product sold every day; evil sells. "Three children were told today they are loved" doesn't make headlines; "Three children found dead" does. The evil one uses the news to celebrate darkness. Turn it off.

Forgive. Bitterness and resentment eat away at the heart like cancer. It's time to let it go.

Name your fears, and turn them over to Christ. Fear is also a cancer (usually felt as 'worry'.) Name it, and lay it at the feet of Jesus. Every day if you have to.

Play worship as background music in your home, your car. For one thing, the demons hate it and don't like to be around it. But more so, it enriches  your spirit, mind, and heart.

Stay with one truth at a time. Distraction doesn't nourish. Pick one truth God brings you and spend a week with it before you rush on to the next thing. Marinate.

Sabbath. I don't mean an hour at church and then grocery shopping, paying bills and homework. I mean, where is the rest in your life? Weekly, what do you do for Sabbath?

One night a week. Most of you are running hard; the pace of life is in itself an assault. Give one night a week to quiet, to God, to joy, to whatever strengthens your heart. (It won't be TV; television does not strengthen the heart.)

Recover what once brought you joy. What was it? Running? Playing an instrument? Reading? Taking walks? Go take it back; joy strengthens the heart.

Distance yourself from draining people. I don't mean stop loving; I mean set boundaries for heavens sake. This may be hard, but the relief will be worth it.

Beauty. You need beauty in your life - nature, music, visual beauty. It's life.

Pray Ephesians 3:14-19 for yourself, often. This is God's will for you - that you be strengthened by his power deep within. My goodness - ask for it!!!

Tell Jesus you love him, several times a day. As we make a practice of loving Jesus, it strengthens our hearts because this above all else is what your heart is made for.

My friends, I hope you understand we are living in soul-draining times. The enemy very much wants to break the power of God's people. And remember - an affair doesn't happen in a day, nor does an addiction, or a suicide. All the woes of the human heart happen over time, subtly at first, as we yield to surrender, to the spirit of Defeat. You do not want to surrender your heart, not in these times, not when you need every bit of strength you can possibly find. Strengthen your heart. Seek those things out that Jesus is using to strengthen your heart.

It matters.

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