“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard; for out of it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 AMP)
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit in me.” (Psalm 51:10 AMP)
“So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (deifying of self and other created things instead of God).” (Colossians 3:5 AMP)
“My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in My ways.” (Proverbs 23:26 AMP)
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 AMP)
One of the responsibilities of Christ followers is to guard our hearts against 1) our own flesh and 2) Satan’s wiles. The Word of God is clear on the necessity of guarding and submitting our hearts to God for His analysis.
Why is this important? Think about the times we are living in. Daily we are bombarded with sights and sounds that are desperately wicked. Television and social media are filled with images of violence, hatred and sexual impurities. Great temptations are literally at our fingertips to draw us away from God’s perfect will for our lives.
Our hearts are the new “Eden” where God wants to walk with us in the cool of the day. The same command is given for us to guard and tend the garden of our hearts as was given to Adam to guard and tend the Garden of Eden so long ago.
For gardens to produce the desired end result of produce, we much watch over it and maintain it. There are critters out there that want to eat our produce; there are varmints out there who want to trample our garden down. There are thieves out there who want to steal our seed. A garden must be tended to every day to maintain it properly. A neglected garden gets full of weeds that choke out the good produce and makes it difficult to even get to it with briars and brambles growing up in it.
The way we “tend” our garden is to make sure we have no evil way in us and this must be done with God as our “auditor.” He sees the deepest motives and cries. He sees things we have buried and are no longer in our consciousness. That’s how deep He is into us.
How do we ensure our hearts are clean before God? We ask Him to do an audit of our heart and show us where we need to repent, to change and to turn. What chokes our garden? There are several things that can choke out and stop our purpose in God.
The cares of life ~ this is perhaps the greatest “weed” in a neglected garden. It draws us away with distractions and we get colder and colder towards the things of God. A “care” can be a natural disaster and the process of recovery. It can be a stressful job or marriage. It can be a rebellious child or other family strife. It can be a health crisis or a financial crisis. These “cares” can overwhelm us to where everything else just has to be put on the back burner. Little to do we realize that if we would only run to God FIRST, we could avoid a lot of heartaches.
Spiritual Heaviness ~ This is very insidious because a lot of times we don’t’ think we are depressed. We just keep on plodding along not allowing the joy of the Lord to strengthen us. We neglect our relationship with Him. Our perspective becomes darkened with the glass half-empty instead of half-full mentality. Our words begin to reflect the negative state of our heart. This results in Satan’s ability to attack us based on the words of our mouth. The Bible says to throw off the spirit of heaviness and we do this through time spent with Him and in worship and praise.
Disobedience to His Commands ~ When we have a close relationship with God, and we recognize His voice, He will give us personal instructions that are aligned with His Word. For example, He has given me personal commands to take care of myself more wisely. If I make the wrong choices that I KNOW He doesn’t approve of, I am disobeying His commands. This is disobedience. These choices will bring a rift in the intimacy I have with Him. I can tell it. I feel spiritually “cold.” Because I hate this, I repent and make the right choices quickly so I can live once again in that beautiful place. This is life on the narrow road. The choices are hard, but the rewards far outweigh them.
Harboring Offense ~ This is another heavy-weight weed that the enemy can use to choke our garden. If we are easily offended at others, then our love walk is not right. We should not care what other people think or say about us. Our focus should be on what God thinks and says about us. Everything else is dung in comparison to His opinion of us. When we get this perspective, we can look at the haters and feel God’s compassion for them. We should ask God to help us see people like He does. This keeps offense at bay in our lives. This is why Jesus said to “pray for your enemies and bless them.” God is well-pleased when we show mercy to others in the face of their hatred because that is what He did for us when we were lost.
Unrepented Sin ~ Guilt of sin will trample our garden quick. Our fellowship with God will be broken and the only way back is through repentance. A turning away from the sin. This is closely tied to disobedience, but it is more serious. Especially sexual sins, which have bad consequences that we have to walk out. A perfect example is King David’s sin with Bathsheba. He paid dearly for that sin even though God forgave him. According to the Law of Moses, he and Bathsheba should have been stoned to death. But David’s quick repentance caused God’s mercy to be applied to his life. Absalom, his son, rebelled against him and slept with his concubines on the rooftop before all Israel. His children rose up and killed one another. It was a mess. Don’t be deceived, sin has consequences even though forgiveness is given to us by God.
How does a heart audit work? An auditor requires an appointment to go through your finances. Likewise, God requires an appointment to examine your heart. He needs the “keys” to all the doors in the hallways of your heart so He can go in and examine each “room” in your heart. If that room has issues, He will bring it to your attention and you need to deal with it at that time.
The auditing process, requires that you know God personally and you have an intimate relationship with Him. This means that your relationship has a two-way communication component to it. For example, a lot of people talk to God only when they are in trouble and expect Him to fix their problems only to return to their neglectful ways with Him. You can’t hear God’s voice if you don’t know Him intimately. This requires a daily level of time spent talking to Him and listening to Him. If the only thing you do in your time is praise and worship, but no talking and listening, then you are not going to recognize His voice. It is crucial that we actually KNOW Him and live with Him daily. God is very pleased with the person who submits their life to His audit and cleansing process. He can really flow through someone like this.
How often should we seek an audit from God? As they say “life happens,” so we should let life set the times. Troubles come and we need to ensure we don’t get side-tracked or if we do, get back on track quickly. On the flip side, prosperous times can corrupt us and make us complacent. If you notice your level of intimacy waning, you need an audit. If you feel “dry” then you need to seek an audit from the Lord. The Bible says to “submit yourself to God and He will lift you up.” That is what this “audit” is. It is bringing your life to God for Him to adjust and tweak it to re-align it back to His perfect will.
We are responsible before God to maintain the garden of our heart. The Bible says to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” It is a serious thing to God to maintain the heart garden so He can come and fellowship with You—just like Adam and Eve did so long ago in Eden. Take the time today to take spiritual stock of your relationship with God. Ask yourself these questions:
How often during the week do I spend quality time with the Lord?
Have I placed time with Him on the back burner because life is so hard right now?
Am I obeying what I know He has instructed me to do?
Am I holding offense against anyone in my heart? Have I forgiven everyone? Am I looking at them through God’s eyes?
Am I committing sin against God’s Word? Do I want to stop? Is my sin more valuable to me or is my relationship and eternity with Him more important?
Am I depressed because of the cares of life? Have I lost my motivation to seek His face daily? Have I lost my hunger for His ways and His Word?
I must say that we are living in not only perilous times physically but more importantly we are living in spiritually perilous times. This is the time of the end and great deception is everywhere and strong delusion are part of the norm in the world today. It is more important than ever before to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High. The number one priority must be God. You can carve out time for Him in your busy day. It is crucial that you do. You will find that as you put Him first, He will direct and order your steps in pleasant places and bring you through the waters and the fires of life to the other side.
The moral of this message is this: Put God first and watch what He does with your problems! “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!” Letting God audit your heart often ensures you are seeking Him first and that is going to bring you into a very beautiful place of victory…
Well said, Micki. I have been so blessed for the past 10 years of retirement because I have so much more time to spend with the Lord. In my book It Is Written I have a section on confession and have included a long list of things to repent for. Every so often I feel led to get those confession prayers out and go through them myself. I think it’s good even as a reminder of those things we have been forgiven for and have left behind us.
Years ago I wrote a poem Weeds in My Garden, and I was reminded of it as I read your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Every Christian who is serious about his/her faith walk needs to heed these things. God bless.
Reblogged this on Stones of Fire Ministries.