Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Applying My Heart

For the month of January, I have been reading through I Samuel and Proverbs.  God has been teaching me so much from these two books.  Do you ever find yourself reading your devotions and thinking, "Wow, how come I never saw THAT verse before?"  or "I know that verse, but I never thought of applying THIS way!"  That's exactly where I am in my life right now.  I know many of the events in the book of First Samuel - I've heard them growing up in church!  But the Lord has really been showing me the different attitudes of the different people in I Samuel and how I need to apply or avoid them in my own life.  And to top it all off....I read this verse this morning...."Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge."  Proverbs 22:17
I want you to take a moment (like I did) and let that verse sink in - not just to your mind, but to your heart.  I didn't see it at first when I read that verse this morning, but then the Holy Spirit slammed on the brakes and made me go back for a second look....and this is what I saw..."Apply thine heart unto my knowledge."  Do you see it?  How many times have I heard..."Read the Bible and apply It's truths to your heart."?  Now that is not wrong - we should apply the Bible to our hearts, but do you see what God is telling us here in Proverbs?  He is not telling us to apply His Word to our hearts, but rather apply our HEARTS to His Word!  Now like me, you're probably thinking - "It's the same thing - just said differently."  I thought so too, when the Holy Spirit brought me to a screeching halt at this verse.  "Apply thine heart" - hmmm.....I got to thinking about that (still am as I write these words) and I started wondering why God would say it that particular way.  Then I realized how I apply my heart to the things I want to do or need to do every day - for example:  Dishes, Laundry, Tutoring, Helping my Husband, Reading Time with my Kids (another story for another day), crocheting, cross-stitching, and all the other 101 things I need/want to do every day.  But how often do I just stop and apply my heart to the one thing that matters the most - My Saviour?  Yes, I have my quiet time with the Lord every day, but sometimes I just rush through to go to the next thing on my TO DO list.  Shame on me.  That is not applying my heart in the right way.  Do you also see that it goes on to say, "...unto MY knowledge."?  What a treasure-trove of knowledge and instruction we have inside the two covers of our Bible!  And the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that when I (my job) apply MY heart to HIS knowledge, HIS knowledge will be applied to MY heart.  Does that make sense?  In other words, when I take the time to apply my heart to His knowledge, the things I learn will become a part of my life, but it doesn't just happen....it's like telling my kids to go wash their hands - if they don't APPLY the soap, their hands won't come clean!  Yes, the soap is there and it will do the job, but they have to USE (apply) it first, then the soap is effective.
You know the Holy Spirit is so gentle.  He shows us things and then lets it sink in before showing us the next thing - at least that is how He works with me - I'm rather hard-headed you know, and I need time to get things through my head before He shows me the next thing!  So after I absorbed Proverbs 22:17...here is what else He showed me:  Proverbs 22:18-21 - all the reasons why applying my heart to his knowledge is a help and benefit to my life!  Yeah-hoo! (As my Martha says!)
So why am I telling you all of this?  Because the Lord has been working on things in my life, and I want to be a help and a blessing to others...after all, that is why God teaches us things, right?  To have the ability to help someone coming behind us, or someone walking along side us.  As I was thinking of these things and how to share them with others, the Lord reminded me - "You have a blog, Sarah, and it's not just for your personal amusement - use it wisely to be a blessing to others." (Didn't I tell you I was rather thick-headed?)  We all struggle with different things in our lives, but what a blessing it is to know we can encourage one another to keep on serving our Precious Saviour.  I pray that is what this post will do for you today - not because I have all the answers - I DON'T! - but because we can grow together in the Lord by applying our hearts to HIS knowledge!  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. I've been struggling in my walk with the Lord. What used to be a blessing to me has become a chore. And I've been extremely unhappy and feeling separated from my Savior for some time. Always thinking and desiring for things to "be like they were in the beginning," yet somehow falling short of receiving peace like I had when He first saved me. But though I desire a walk with Him, I have not been applying my heart to delighting in Him, putting forth the effort to obey Him from the heart. what I've been saying is, ok.. I'll take the trash out if I must, Dad, instead of I would love to take the trash out Daddy if that's what you desire of me. My heart attitude has been all wrong. No wonder I've stayed miserable. How can I guard my heart from such as this?