For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
There are times when we can feel ourselves pierced by reading or hearing the Word of God - we hear the truth and it cuts us to the core. Sometimes that piercing can cause us to deny what is revealed, or be defensive of our actions, but if we’re tender-hearted, the piercing should open our eyes to discern our thoughts and intentions. The problem is getting our hearts to the place where they are soft and receptive to the truth.
The heart is so deceitful, it can hide true intentions even from our own minds. That heart of ours is so creative, it can even confuse intentions. We can have selfish desires mixed in with good desires so that we don’t even see the selfish ones.
For example, my deepest desire and most frequent prayer request for years has been for the salvation of my sons. God has used this desire over the years to work on and reveal the true intentions of my heart to me. My desire for my sons' salvation has always been for His glory, but over the years, there are times when that good intention was mixed with selfish desires...and even times when those selfish desires are louder and stronger than the good ones.
For example, when they first told me of their disbelief, my heart wrestled with what others would think of me - I was a church leader whose children did not believe in Christ. How could my leadership be valid if I couldn't get my own children to believe? I also wrestled with the ownership of their salvation. I would desperately pray for the words to lead them and our family devotional time became focused on their questions or concerns. I thought if I could just addressed their questions or concerns, then I could lead them to salvation. Fear of man and pride in self, and that I somehow had the power to save, were thoughts mixed in to the righteous thoughts. Over time, God used His Word to reveal those thoughts to me.
As I moved through the years, and I realized this would be my prayer burden for a long time, my heart became frustrated. I just wanted it to end - there were days I would complain and whine, "enough already!" On those days, I want them saved because it would just make things easier for me. I grow tired of the constant battle. Or some days, it's the selfish desire that I want them just to be with me in heaven, and I don't want to wonder any more if I will see them on the other side of eternity. But God reveals to me how these thoughts are self-focused, and not focused on Him. My children will be saved to the glory of God alone - not because people are judging me, or because it would be easier on me.
When God has pierced my heart over the years with His word, and I see my true thoughts and intentions, it can hurt like being pierced with a sword. It would be easier to deny my true heart and claim all I want is for them to be saved for His glory - that is truly one of my intentions, after all. But we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to allow His Word to pierce our hearts in ways only He can, and reveal to us where the soul is taking over the Spirit. Then we need to confess and submit those places in our hearts and allow Him to fill the gap created by the hurt with His love and His truth.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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