Aren’t there a million things that can bring us down or get us off track each day? Pressures at work, family issues, personal disappointments… We are burdened by the challenges we face and the pain our loved ones endure. Then there are the lies we believe: I’m not worthy, I’m beyond return, I should have done better, and what did she just say about me? You can fill in the blank here. And the mental tape player is on “auto repeat”, endlessly…
Wise counsel and a shoulder to lean on are good for the soul, but may I point us to a greater treasure? Settling our hearts in His presence.
The Apostle John was a bit of a hot head, but mellowed out as he grew older. As a seasoned elder, he addressed the recipients of his letter as dear children. His deep pastoral concern for people led him to pass along this counsel:
This then…is how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
So many things that trip us up are matters of the heart: anger, jealously, bitterness, anxiety, fear, worry, guilt, etc. They often stem from false teaching and lies which get locked into our thinking; inevitably they settle into our hearts only to cause rot and decay.
John’s counsel is simple yet profound: settle your heart in God’s presence. Stop running from your problems and take them to the One who upholds the cosmos by the word of His power. Stop holding secrets and bring them to the Light. Lay your fears and worries at His feet. Take the lies you’ve bought in to and sit a while with Him whose wisdom sketched the splendor of creation. Take your battered ego and self image and gaze on Him who is forever worshiped and adored by the angels and saints. Your excuses will evaporate as you commune with Jesus; He suffered so you could know freedom. Your guilt and loathe will melt away as His boundless love washes over you and cleanses your soul. Why all this? God is greater than our hearts! He knows your past and He sees your future. He is no stranger to your struggles. How many times a day does our heart condemn us? Too many! Remember: there is therefore now no condemnation for those are in Christ Jesus! You are free, you are forgiven; you are accepted and unconditionally loved by the Creator and sustainer of your very life.
Today, in the midst of all your busyness, will you quiet your soul before Him and be still? Will you lay your burdens down? It is the Christian’s great treasure to have his God speak peace to him and restore her soul. His presence is pure; there isn’t even a trace of sin or heartache there. So we fix our eyes on not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Don’t settle for second best. May your heart be settled in His great presence today.