Today I want to share a quote that I read this week in The Excellent Wife. It really opened my eyes to an area that I was totally unaware and I pray that it will help you to really evaluate what is at “the heart of the matter”.
Here is the quote:
“An idol is something that we set our hearts on that God does not want us to have, or does not want us to have right now. It can be anything, even a good thing. It is a desire we are willing to sin for…become angry, frustrated, self-pitying, anxious, manipulative, bitter or to lie about in order to get what we want.” (Excerpt from The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace)
The Lord really hit me between the eyes with this one because I realized something that I have been doing that isn’t right.
The Lord showed me that when I get frustrated/angry/anxious, etc., it is not just that my attitude and heart is not right, but maybe my very desires are not right. I have my heart set on the wrong thing.
Before I thought I could have what I “wanted”, but I just had to handle my attitudes right. If I found myself getting frustrated over something or angry or irritated, I wouldn’t stop to evaluate what my heart was set on or what my desires were, but would just pray and ask God to give me a good attitude through it. I was simply putting a bandage on a heart issue that needed to be addressed.
Now I am not saying that every frustration in our lives is related to wrong desires or setting our hearts on the wrong things. But I am realizing that I am too quick to assume that there isn’t a problem with my heart or desires and then just ask God to help fix my attitude.
I think we can fill our lives with many, many “good” things and have our hearts set on these things, and without realizing it they become idols that we hold up at all cost. And because these are “good” things, we are blinded to the fact that maybe these things are not what the Lord wants our hearts set on.
As we are continually blinded to this truth, frustration builds. Then instead of turning to the Lord and repenting and finding rest and peace in Him, we turn to other things for comfort — food, sleeping, reading, work, exercise, recreation, sports, and the list goes on.
We continue to feed our selfishness and set our hearts on things that will not satisfy.
But there is good news! Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
God will put the desires in our hearts that He wants to be there! All we have to do is delight in the Lord, and ask Him to place the desires in our hearts!
The neat thing about this Christian walk, is that it is constantly changing. We are constantly changing. God remains the same!
As we move through the different seasons of our lives, God will be faithful to place in our hearts the desires He has for us in that season! That means we can’t compare ourselves to others. We can’t judge others.
We are all at different places in our lives, and in our walks with God.
So I want to encourage you. The next time you get frustrated over something, stop and take the time to seek the Lord about it. Ask Him to show you what your heart is truly set on, and then if that desire is what God has for you at that moment.
Once God shows you, trust and obey. He will be faithful to give you the desires of your heart as you set your heart on Him!