Saturday, April 4, 2015

Joel 2:12-13 -- On Hearts

"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
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

I wonder if we ever take the phrase "with all your heart" seriously.  I think we often just commit a tiny bit of our hearts, to God, and often even to other people.  It's interesting in these two verses because the first one says give all your heart, and the second one says break your heart.  Instead of showing our humility or repentance or commitment in some outward way, God is asking us to show in an inward way.  To change our hearts... to become new people, to change who we are.  He asks us to turn to him, and to do that sometimes we need to change a lot.  We need to change our minds and our hearts and our actions.  At some point in our lives we have to look at ourselves and realize that we want to be more than we can make of ourselves, and to really become who we want to be, for that transformation that we can't do alone... for that we need God. And in order to understand and grow closer to God, and just to allow him to help us, we have to let go of who we have been.  We have to throw away our souvenirs of Hell, and dedicate ourselves to heaven.  It doesn't happen overnight, but it must happen for us to get there.I like how it mentions fasting and weeping and mourning.  Those things are often part of repentance and change.  Fasting, combined with prayer, helps us learn self-mastery and helps us focus on the needs of others rather than our own.  Weeping and mourning are often part of losing habits or ways of looking at the world... we loved those things or we wouldn't have done them or thought that way in the first place.  But the weeping can often also be for joy, when we discover that what God has in store for us, and who we are becoming is so much better than anything we used to be.  It can be hard sometimes to remember why we wanted those other things so much.  Today, let's turn to God with all of our hearts, with broken hearts, and let's allow God to show us how to be so much more.

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