Rend Your Heart

photo credit: onewritelife.com

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel 2:12-13

Throughout the pages of the Bible we read about different people mourning the loss of a loved one or mourning over sin. When news entered their ears of a sin or tragedy, they rent their clothes. They tore up what they had. People then were not afforded the luxury of many different outfits of clothing. So, ripping their clothes was truly a great sign of heartache or loss. The loss of a loved one mattered more than their garments.

This is not part of our custom, but back then this was the outward expression of inner grief or turmoil. Many times when sin was repented of, someone would rend their garment, put on sackcloth, ashes, and repent until God would provide his mercy.

In the scripture above in the Book of Joel, God was letting the people know, quit performing the outward expression of ripping your garment, start rending your heart instead.

When we open our hearts, we need to allow God to teach us how to empty our hearts before Him.

God is saying here that we must rend our heart and not our garments. Rending a garment was the outward expression of inner pain, anger, or frustration.

In this scripture context, God is speaking that His people turn to back to Him with weeping and mourning, but rend your heart and not your garment. Do not let it just be an outward show.

The time of rending our hearts is now. It is time to open ourselves up to God, instead of covering up our hurts, our anger, and putting on an outward expression that we are okay. We can be lying to ourselves and wind up in a bigger mess.

Throughout our lives people have hurt us and offended us deeply. Although we not be aware of it, we can keep track of those wrongs. We were treated unfairly and we have every right to be hurt and we have every right to guard ourselves. However, it is when we look in the reflection of God’s Word and we start examining ourselves, can we see ourselves for who we are? Have I held onto pain so long that I don’t even realize that it turned into a grudge? Do I become angry or depressed when I talk about memories? If there something in me that I don’t even see?

As we yield to the Spirit of God, and as we ask Him to uncover the hidden things within ourselves, we will see the truth. There are things within us that are not healthy. As humans we do hold on to past hurts, but God reveals them little by little if we allow Him to. He will heal each and every hurt and memory in our lives. When we get to the place where we can talk about the past or someone who has hurt us, without crying or hurting, then we know that we are healing.

There are many of us who have been deeply hurt or treated unfairly, and we were completely innocent or had the best intentions. However, what the enemy wants to do is to turn that pain around on us, where we start letting things grow in our heart that toxic. We can be so used to doing something and not even realize that’s what we are doing; such as feeling sorry for ourselves. God’s Word is light, it illuminates all the dark crevices of the lurking past, the shadows that run deep into our being. He sheds light and then He fosters healing.

So, how do we rend our hearts today? Do we rip our clothes and sit in ashes today? We, take it all to God. We pour it out in worship. Adoration unto God. Worship is an expression of our love. To rend your heart, is to tear it open, pouring out the contents therein. Pouring out our concerns and our worship to God. Move past the cookie cutter Christianity and pour out your praise unto God.

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GIVE UP!

photo credit: harmonist.us

The more you know someone and become close to them the less likely you are to do something that they don’t like. The more you fall in love with someone, the more you want to do things for them, and make sure you do not do things that would hurt them or make them angry.

When you grow in your relationship with God, things become clear to you about your pursuit of Him, you want to do things that please Him and you desire to know Him more. If we are defiant in our attitudes and actions, there is something wrong in our hearts that we must look inward and not outward to find the cause. Give up and let God take over. Recognize how you truly feel. Write it all down before God and if you truly want things to be different with you, prepare yourself for change.

Things will be uprooted out of your soul, mind, and heart.

In order to change, get ready to have things removed from your heart. These things you have actually grown accustomed to and adopted as your personality. You have just come to realize that they are not good for you, they are things that you hold on to tightly and therefore, God has shown you or will show you how these things do not stand the test of time. These things you may hold dearly will not help you through a storm or a battle, so it is your hopes that God will change you and soften you and make you pliable in His hands.

Once you pray for that change, the crushing begins, the temperature rises. In order to get the impurities out of precious metal, like silver and gold, it is required that you raise the temperature and melt these metals to allow the dross or impurities to rise to the surface. The impurities of your heart will surface. Your temper will burst when you least expect it. You think that you have everything handled and under control, while you have been seeking God for change. All of a sudden you feel an anger or outburst come from your emotions and you simply do not understand. You feel like you are so disappointing to God.

“Why must this be? I am trying to be more like Christ.”

This is the problem. You are trying. It is time to stop trying. Give up! Let God know you can do nothing without Him. He is nigh unto them that humble themselves, those who surrender their will, and they are willing to admit that without Him we can do nothing. He is allowing these things to surface, so that He can cleanse you of all imperfection and weakness. Yes, we hold our mouths shut and bite our tongues, all the while at the end of the day we can pat ourselves on the back for not messing up? No!

When we disassemble our religious characteristics, we surrender and say, “God, I cannot even walk without you holding my hand.”

I must submit myself therefore unto God, resist the devil and he will flee from me. Draw nigh unto God and he will draw nigh unto me. That is where it is. It is in the need of a Savior. It is in the dependence on His strength. Reliance on His character. If we are dead, then let’s die every day. Today is the day that Lord has made. This is the day I want God to steer me, lead me, breathe through me as though I am a musical instrument. It is not the day for me to tell God what he is going to do, it is the day that I want to know His will.

If we offer ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, we are simply saying that we want Him to lead us, we want to walk in His spirit and hear his voice. I am tired of hearing my voice dictate my thoughts every day. I am tired of my emotions ruling many important moments in which I could do so much better through surrendering my will to God.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.                                           Romans 12:1