A New Heart – Steps to Reviving a Dead Heart
Read: Philippians 1:3-11
There are moments when we deal with the pain in the wrong way. I recall a point where I did not deal well with some things that had happened over a few short years. There were some experiences of betrayal, loved ones struggling with addiction, and key people moving away from my immediate support circle.
Alone and also struggling to carry the weight of others burdens without being intentional about my own personal walk with God, I found my heart getting cold, bitter, and frosted over. I reacted in the strangest way. I removed all the pictures of people from my room. Literally, removed every photo. I decided that it would be better to distance myself from people. That these photos would only be reminders of the pain people could cause. Out of sight…out of mind…right?
I recognized later that my response to people was a humbling reflection of my relationship to God. I was in not trusting God or allowing my heart to be filled by his love, which made me shut down.
1. Trust and have confidence in Gods sovereignty (vs. 3-6)
Even in our struggles, God will carry out a good work in our lives. We can rest in the supreme power and sovereignty that God is working things out. Paul himself wrote this after seeing God establish the church in Philippi after major obstacles. What was planned for evil was transformed into good.
2. Let the love the Jesus flow freely (vs. 7-8)
Paul himself was not a “doormat!" He would often stand up to the Roman authorities that wronged him. He knew how to be tough, but also how to be tender. He clearly expresses this love here. Have you had opportunity to love someone who has wronged you, to pray for them and extend grace.
3. Continue to grow and seek connection with others (vs. 9-11)
“Abound more and more” in love and knowledge of God's truth, both individually and through community with others. Allow God to draw you out of your current perspective through intentional time with him. Others can also remind us of God's faithfulness, even when we feel in over our head that we can’t see it ourselves. Let others pray for you.
It was key people that came through in my life to revive my cold heart. Friends who steadfastly displayed the love and care of God and intentional time reading my bible and beginning to establish better habits of communicating to God in prayer. Humble reminders that I too am broken and need to extend the same grace that God has extended me.
Recently, I felt challenged by God to start putting up photos of people. Consider it accepted.
How about you? What step might God be leading you towards in reviving your heart?