All posts by Morgan Matthews

Tilling our hearts

Posted on Apr 21, 2022 | Download

The surface of our heart can often be under prepared for the work that God has promised us. Hosea 10:12 tells us to break up the soil, the untilled ground of our heart. It doesn't say that the soil is bad, or that it is without nutrients. It says that the top layer is hard. And for anything good to grow, the top layer must be broken. How does the top layer of soil in our heart get hard? Most hard hearts starts with an emotion that is allowed to be defined by lies instead of God's truth. It would be easy to say that a "situation" caused us to get hard hearted. But is that actually true? Saying a circumstance made our top soil hard declares that we don't have a choice. God gave mankind free will. Blaming a situation would undermine His Word. So, as life happens around us & to us, emotions arise. These emotions can be positive or negative. The positive are gifts from God to be enjoyed & cherished! The negative are natural yet need to be handled in a healthy & Biblical way. This means reminding ourselves that it is easy to let emotions dictate our behavior. It's easy to put our emotions above our will. Allowing emotions to drive behavior is making them an idol & letting them be elevated over God's will for us. God's will for us is to walk in the Holy Spirit & not our flesh. When we walk in His will we see the Holy Spirit fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we do not invite God into the negative emotions, they are left open & unhealed. Unhealed emotions can be accessed through thoughts by our enemy. He then reinforces lies via repetitive unchecked thoughts. These emotions & thoughts become graves. A heart unsurrendered to God & undefined by His Word can quickly become a graveyard of negative emotions & lies we live by. A place in our heart where we go to mourn or grieve or protect ourselves but that is hardened by death. In John 10:10 Jesus said, "the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Jesus has promised life & life to the full! That does not sound like death, pain, or graveyard living. We are going to ask God to identify to us the emotions & thoughts that are keeping our heart a graveyard instead of a garden. Because the enemy does comes to steal, kill, and destroy, we want God to show us what emotions the thief has been trying to bury us under. We are going to do that by holding them up the the Light of God's Word. This is us taking captive our thoughts & at spear-point, make them comply. Like 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture rebellious thoughts & teach them to obey Christ." I have been reminded recently that pride & doubt are two emotions that have kept me digging graves since I was a child. When I feel hurt or fear, I want to be comforted so I run to pride in hopes that it will make me feel vindicated, justified, safe. My flesh wants to protect itself from attack by becoming the judge. Or I run to doubt to escape. If I blame myself for others poor treatment of me...if I agree that I am worthless, or the problem started with me, then I can avoid doing the hardest thing; like holding up a healthy boundary, or confronting behavior that is unholy, or waiting on the Lord to defend me. Absorbing shame or guilt can feel like an easier burden than trusting God is working it all out. Both directions get me back to the graveyard of death & destruction. Both harden my heart to God & those around me. They steal my joy, peace, hope, and courage. But when I identify the emotion is fear, betrayal, hurt, or rejection then I can turn to the Truth that God is the judge, that He is good, that I am His daughter & that He protects me. I can counter each lie that floats into my mind with truth. I keep scripture verses in my pockets for this very purpose. When I feel my thoughts starting to get out of control or pushing a non-Biblical theme I pull one out and read it aloud. With thousands of thoughts a day trying to define our emotions we have to be vigilant. Proactive. And repetitive. When we know the Truth, no thought of "what if" or "you should say this" are going to hold up unless they align with God's Word. The Bible says that "The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe." Proverbs 18:10 We are not designed to be graveyard living. God invites us to engage our negative emotions with Him and turn to Who HE is for protection. It is who God is that frees us. It is who God says we are that helps us glove up & do the dirty work of breaking ground on the hard top soil. He gives us courage to dig up the lies we have been in the graveyard tending, & hold them up to the Light & God's Truth. So what are you feeling? Right now, ask God what emotion you have been allowing to overpower your will? If you cannot identify an emotion, what situation or life circumstance is on our mind. It is time to dig up the lies! Let's get to the root & expose it to Light!  Ask God to show you the thoughts, the lies, and the root emotion. Holy Spirit, You are welcome here. We recognize that You are a helper. That You speak exactly what God says. We also know You are safe. You wait right beside us. You are not frustrated by our fear or trepidation at going back to the graveyard of emotions & lies. Will You help us break up the fallow ground of our hearts & minds? We need help identifying. We need You. We receive You & say thank You in advance for the fresh & new that You are doing in us. We thank you in advance for the resurrection life you have for us. Keep us focused. In Jesus name, amen.