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# 7. What if my Heart doesn’t want to hear from God?

So far in our series ‘Hearing your Creator’s Voice’, we have seen main seven reasons why some people find it difficult to hear the Lord’s Voice:

                Ignorance that we can, wrong teaching, faulty beliefs about His nature and character, life is full of other things like idolatry, occult and other dark spiritual influences, fear that God is like an earthly dad, past hurts and then, too much effort required to change if we allow God’s touch.

Today we will look at an eighth big block that stops us hearing from God – our heart might not want to hear from Him!  This is different from the hurts and pain of the past that might block our hearing.  So, we need to return to what the Bible meant by the heart.

One of the greatest truths we have learned in our 20+ years as counsellors has been about the heart.  The more we can help people deal with the root issues in the heart – rather than just the head – the deeper the change and the more healing is likely.

A.  So what is the Heart?

    1.  What do we mean by the Heart?

There are pages and pages of verses in the Bible about the heart.  We see that ‘everything comes out of the heart’ and it is the called ‘the wellspring of life’.  Our heart can be in different ‘conditions’: rebellious, fearful, callous, darkened, anxious, hardened and so on.  It also can be touched by God, cleanses, wise, glad, loves the Lord, sincere and taught to seek God.

The Bible also tells us that we don’t even know what is buried in our heart: “The Heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm. 4:23, Luke 5:45, Mark 7:21, Hebrews 3:12, 2 Peter 2:14.

The psychiatrist Sigmund Freud talked about the ‘unconscious’, an area of personality we don’t know about consciously.  Freud maintained that the unconscious caused us to do things that we have no control over.

When Sigmund Freud talked about the unconscious, subconscious, I believe he was talking about ‘the heart’, that inner part of us that is buried, hidden and easily swayed by desires we allow to control us.

2.  The Heart is also similar to a treasure house or a mansion which stores our pains and pleasures, our childhood memories and all our past events.  The heart is also like a sponge; whatever it is exposed to, it will soak up as store as a treasure.  We have to learn to see what’s in there and then begin to protect it, Philippians 4:7.

3.  The heart is not particularly moral or ‘Christian’.  The heart has its own ways of thinking and handling the pains and pleasures of life, Hebrews 4:12.  It has its own ‘logic’ when dealing with life, usually different from the logic the brain uses.

4.  The heart tries to plug into things and ways to cope with life’s pain. It makes ‘friends’ with these things because the heart thinks these things will take away the pain.  It uses these ‘friends’ to replace God’s way of doing things.  These things are ‘false friends’, and what God calls an ‘idol’.

 

Many people live with a huge gap between their head and their heart.   The heart can be wounded, shattered and struggling to handle the pain and traumas of living, while the person thinks they are sailing through life.  They cope mainly on the efforts of their mental understanding – unaware of the depths of pain within.

Unless we learn to handle the heart in God’s way, the inner pain is ‘transferred’ or connected to the physical body.  Many of the aches and pains of the body can be traced back to some emotional or undealt with heart issues.

 

What things might the heart make friends with?  Here is a story that might help:

  Graham grew up in a home just after World War 2 had ended.  Life’s   essentials were getting easier to buy for his family.  As a treat, Mother would buy chocolate biscuits, quickly devoured by the five siblings.   Mum’s threats would then be ‘You kids eat all the biscuits so I’m not buying any more!’  It was either a feast of famine for chocolate biscuits at his house.To add further chocolate issues, whenever his parents had friends over, a box of chocolates would appear – but for the adults only.  He had many memories of sitting on the stairs watching the adults consume this precious treasure.The bottom line is:  What did Graham tell himself about what he would do when he was an adult?  “When I grow up, I am going to eat all the chocolate I want!”  His heart made a friend of …. chocolate: for pleasure, comfort and reward.

 

B.  How do you help your Heart be more willing to hear God?

1.  First, only God knows what is in our heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 7:9.  So our first job is to work with the Lord to find out what is there and how it needs to be changed.

2.  By renewing the mind, we can help cleanse our heart, John 15:3.  Renewing the mind allows the Word into our thoughts, emotions and decisions.  James 1:21 (KJV) says “…, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.”  Or “…by the washing with water through the word, …”, Ephesians 5:26.

3.  Another good way is to catch the inner dialogue, the self talk.  What might be the kind of self-talk we would hear the heart saying?  You can find many ‘heart lies’ this way, things the heart believes – that aren’t true.  Such as …..”I’m a failure.”

4.  Our Reactions to life’s events are also a window to our heart:

Seeing the ‘buttons’ that ‘others push’ in the events of our daily life, can give you clues to what is in your heart.  An example might be the difficulties one person has with their female boss at work.  With the Lord’s help, they might discover that not only do they react to her, but also there have been others in the past that have brought the same reaction – other females in authority.  In fact they might realise that problems with female teachers and other females have been a pattern.  Where do you think the real issues are?

…but then we have to ask, whose ‘buttons’ are they really?  If my buttons get pushed, it is my responsibility to do something about it rather than try and make everyone not push my buttons.

We all get caught in patterns and reactions like this.  By learning to work with the heart on these reactions, we can ‘get down to the heart of the matter’ – which is the heart!  Learn to be aware of these occasions for His help with your journey.

5.  Another good way is to watch your emotions, the heart’s messengers.  Learn to see your emotions as messengers of what’s going on in your heart.  Anger = “I hear you heart; you are angry.  What are you angry about heart?” Learn to talk with the heart and hear what’s going on deep inside.  Remember, the heart is hidden but God knows what is there.

6.  Your main job is to mediate between your heart and the Lord Jesus’ way of healing it.  Only God can truly heal your heart, so ask Him to do the work that needs to be done! Jeremiah 17:9-10.

 

C.  So how does this help us get our heart to be willing to hear from God?  So how do get a healed, clean heart?

1.  It doesn’t come with hard work out of our own efforts.  Partnership with God is necessary.  We become ‘clean’ through Jesus’ power and what He did for us on the Cross.  By applying God’s principles, our heart learns to trust and respond to Jesus’ initiatives. and allow His cleansing to happen.

It we allow our heart to be honest, many people find the heart is unwilling to allow Jesus in or to obey Him  – because often the heart does not trust Him.  Life’s disappointments, questions and traumas have left the heart saying “Who is this God of love anyway.  Where was He when I needed Him?”  These questions may have to be explored first, before the heart learns to trust.

2.  When your heart trust you, obedience to the Lord will be easier.

Sad to say, we most often treat our heart the way we were treated as children.  To start with, the heart may seem locked up with overwhelming issues and pain.  The more you work with your heart, openly and honestly seeing its responses, the more the heart will trust YOU.  Then the more your heart trusts you and Jesus, the more willing it is to obey and love God “ …. with all your heart …”.  Then, the other things He asks you to do, such as forgiving “from the heart” will also be easier.

3.  Your Heart may need some emotional release.  Most of us have learned faulty ways to deal with our emotions.  We have become good at repression, blaming others or just ignoring the inner turmoils.  Actually, emotions are ‘messengers’ from our heart that something is happening inside.  We can use these messengers to help us see what is in our heart.  That is the subject of next week’s session.

4.  Jesus knows exactly what is in our heart – and He still loves us unconditionally!  There is nothing we can do to earn more of His love.  Self-improvement or people pleasing add nothing to our account with Him.  Trust and obedience does.  Neither does legalism, keeping rules and laws or using self-effort to ‘be a better Christian’.

5.  Father God is working with our heart for the best possible outcome.  He loves us too much to let all the hidden, painful, deceived ‘compost piles’ to stay in our heart.

Here is a picture someone shared with me once:

The Lord showed a woman a beautiful piece of marble being carved into a statue. “Would you like to see the workman on this statue?” He asked her.  When she said “Yes”, out from behind the piece of marble came her mother-in-law, her son and her niece – three of the most abrasive people in her life.  What was He saying to her?

Be surprised by the tools He uses to mould us.  One of the reasons why Jesus came is to heal the broken hearted.  We need to know we are the broken hearted before we can receive His healing.

Another example: ‘Rats and the Compost Piles’.

If I have an open compost pile in my back yard, it will soon attract all kinds of animals and insects, even rats.  I can get rid of the rats with a cat or with traps but what is the real issue?  Learn to remove (by repentance) what ‘the rats’ – the demonic – are feeding on from the heart and most ‘rats’, the demonic oppression will leave.

The demonic feeds on and can influence us through the stuff we lock up in our heart.  The hidden anger, bitterness, resentments and grief of the hurting heart attract the enemy forces.  Clean out the heart and the enemy has no foothold.  Perhaps that is one reason why Jesus taught so much on the unforgiveness we often find in our hearts.

D.  Conclusions:

We have been stressing how important it is to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what is in our heart.  Part of our healthy walk with Jesus is the sanctification process, which is a moral and spiritual transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We walk this path by letting Him deal with heart issues at such a depth, the heart is released and healed.

E.  Some Ideas to help you find what is in your heart:

1.  Find a quiet spot and become still before the Lord.  Pray and ask Jesus what is in your heart (i.e. what motivates you).  God’s answers should include positive and negative things.  Remember, the real you is a spirit being, so what your heart wants is not necessarily what YOU want.  Record what the Lord tells you, so you can deal with it in the way He wants.

2.  If you have trouble getting an answer about what is in your heart, pretend you are a ‘Superman’, who can do anything you want without consequences.  In other words, you have all the money you want, you cannot fail, and no one (including God) can judge you.  Pray and ask:  “Lord, if my heart could do anything it wanted, without restraint, what would it do?”

It is important not to feel guilty about any answer the Lord gives you.  It is the reality of your heart at the present time and God knows about it already!  Do not try to suppress any negative messages you hear, just record them on paper (somewhere where they will remain private).

May you learn to hear your heart the way the Lord does,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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