Prepare your heart and God will prepare you work to do

heart

Over the years, I have found that many zealous, passionate Christians try very hard to tell God how willing and available they are to be used by Him in ministry.

They focus on being willing and available, having passion for souls and zeal for God’s work, but not on preparing their own heart to be ready for the work that God will give them to do.

God said about David:  ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22)

God is not searching only for willing people, but for people who are willing AND have their heart ready and molded by God.

When Samuel saw the oldest brother of David, He said:

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Samuel thought he must be the new king because he was tall and impressive, but God told him that He is looking at the heart when He chooses a person, not just to their willingness, all the brothers would have been willing to be king, but only one had the right heart God needed to fulfill His will.

Let’s look at 2 other examples:

  1. APOSTLE PETER

Jesus re-commissioned Peter after he denied Jesus 3 times. Before He re-commissioned him, He ask Peter a question, to qualify him and see if he is ready to be commissioned. The question was:

“Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15)

God qualified him based on his heart’s condition, not on his willingness only. Did he have more love in his heart for Jesus than the others?

Passion and ministry can be the fruit of love for God, but passion for ministry can exist without much love for God, because it can be a disguise for personal ambition, which is self-centered and the opposite of love for God.

2. THE LOVELESS CHURCH IN REVELATION.

God says to the church:

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,

‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2: 1-5)

We can see here very clearly God making a statement that just zeal and commitment is not pleasing enough to Him. He praises them for their works, their labor, not becoming weary, passion for righteousness, perseverance, patience – all good signs of passion, willingness and commitment.

Yet in His scale of measuring the church, a critical thing was missing – their first love. It was so critical and indispensable, that He even went as far as saying He was willing to let the ministry fail and close down, at His hand, not the devil’s hand, unless they corrected this one critical lack.

If you look in Revelation 1:20, God makes it clear that the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

‘the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches’

Therefore, when Jesus says I will come to you quick and remove your lamp  stand from its place, it’s actually God speaking to zealous, very willing and hard working, passionate for the work Christians and He is saying to them that HE WILL COME AND CLOSE THEIR MINISTRY DOWN! God Himself will do it, if they do not repent of the condition of their heart – in this case, lack of love for the Lord Himself.

What this shows is how much more important in God’s eyes is the condition of our heart verses our passion, willingness and commitment to His work! We should take notice of this strong warning from the Lord, where He is willing to Himself actively work to shut your ministry down if you are not putting love for Him first above love for His work.

Does that mean that all who were once in ministry and are on the sidelines now are there because God is disciplining them? Though that might be the case with some, it’s not true of all and there are many other reasons why people go through seasons where they don’t do full time ministry: there are times of rest, recovery and preparation for the next phase, there are times of learning new skills needed for the next phase, there are times of transition, times of more training, etc.

Does this mean then that all those who are actively involved in full time ministry are approved by God and do have their first love still unaffected? Not necessarily. They might be having their first love or they might not, but they have not yet been dealt with by God.

Blessed is the man who God corrects, there is safety and protection in that correction and we need to be grateful at every turn when God steps in and corrects us. God’s correction is mercy to help you not loose your soul or your reward in eternity.

It is worse for those whom God tried to correct but they would not listen and He gives them up to follow their own darkened hearts into more and more deception – that would be the false prophets and teachers of false doctrines who would not allow themselves under God’s correction. They can many times go on and on in their deception with no correction from God, being deceived themselves and deceiving many. This is the most undesired place for anyone to be in, when God gives up on correcting you and gives you up to your own fleshly desires. That person is doomed and in a hopeless state. They can still return to God and repent, but until they make that choice, they are lost in their deception and the worst is that they don’t even know it.

So, in conclusion, what are we learning from these passages?

In God’s value system, the condition of the heart, especially love towards Him ranks much higher than any zeal, passion, willingness and commitment to His work.

If we know these things then, what sort of people should we be?

How much care should we give to ensure that our heart is in a place on a continual basis that it is pleasing to God?

When we read the Word, shouldn’t it use it primarily as a mirror to see if it reflects on anything wrong in our heart rather than just looking to find another tool for or revelation to help our mission?

When we pray, where should the main focus of our heart be, in loving and connecting with God or in His work?

I think the answer is clear from the Scriptures mentioned above.

Now it’s choice and change time: you can choose to change your heart or you can choose to remain passionate for His work and cold towards Him – that will only prove that you are in His work for yourself and not for Him. Let’s make Jesus our treasure in the heart and then our heart will be where our treasure is.

God bless you

Marilena

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