Where Is Your Heart Focus?
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Where Is Your Heart Focused?
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
I believe that the Lord speaks to us all the time if we would only have our hearts open to what he has to say. Notice I did not say our ears. Though sometimes we may need our ears to hear what he has to say, we may not actually hear what he says unless our heart is open to listen. I believe that most of the time the Lord speaks to our heart instead of our ears because he knows that if the heart hears it then action is most likely to take place. Let me tell you that I have been hearing from the Lord these past few weeks and his message really came to full understanding on Friday this week on my way home from work.
I have in my hand an envelope. What if I told you that in this envelope, I have a check written out to one of you for $100,000? Now one of you is going to receive this envelope this morning. Now don’t tell me out loud, but I want you to think about the first thing that you want to do with that money when you cash it in. Picture this desire in your mind and imagine what this money is going to do for you. Now that you have this thought in your mind, instead of thinking about what you want to do, I want you to now think about what you should do with that money. If you are really listening with your heart, I believe that most of you may have had two different answers on what to do with that money. I also believe that these answers that you gave may also speak to you about where your heart is focused.
This past week I was receiving emails advertising information about the coming recession which we are now in as of Wednesday afternoon regardless of how the Whitehouse wants to try to define recession. These email warnings were also giving education on how to survive and even how to thrive during a recession. I found myself entering a rabbit hole with this and thinking and dreaming about all of the possibilities and things I would do if I was able to take advantage and profit from this recession. I was thinking about all of the things that I could do with this money and after I had climbed back out of that rabbit hole and back focused to my current reality, the Lord spoke to my heart and at that moment I listened. I had realized exactly where my heart was in that moment at the mere thought of riches having riches untold. For I am ashamed to say that my very first thought and desire of what I wanted to do with that money was not to tithe what should belong to the Lord. My heart was focused on material things that will one day pass away instead of the one thing that will never pass away. Shamefully confess this to you and ask you now. What was the first thing that you thought about when I mentioned that $100,000. Where then is your heart focused? If I your first desire really was to tithe what should belong to the Lord then this message may not be for you today. But if that was not your first thought then hope you are listening because this message is for you.
Colossians 3:1-11 says,
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
Satan is always at work to gain our hearts with the things of the world. The Word tells us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Money can often tell us where our heart is in relationship with God in whether we pay honor with it first to him or to ourselves. Two weeks ago, I received the first beginnings of this message from God. I was on my way in the late morning to pick a part up from the Ford dealership. Focus on the family happened to be on the radio at that moment and the guest speaker was Steve Farrar who is an author and speaker in helping fathers in raising boys to become strong Christian men. He was talking about a time when he was out with his son and they had stopped at a speedway to get something to drink. When they had got there, they found that there was a rather long line. In that line everyone was buying the same thing, lottery tickets. The power ball was up to $850 million so there were all these guys there buying these tickets. Steve said that they were waiting in line for what seemed like 20 minutes or more watching these guys buy power ball tickets and various scratch off tickets. Steve had decided that this would be a great teaching moment for his son. When the line finally got to them, he put their drinks on the counter and the cashier asked him how many power ball tickets he wanted. For which he responded “none thank you, just the drinks.” The cashier persistently then said, “you know that it is up to $850 million. Steve said, “I know, just the drinks will be fine.” To which, the cashier said “I can’t believe that you don’t want $850 million.” To which Steve once again said, “no just the drinks will be fine thank you.” The cashier once again said “I really can’t believe that you don’t need $850 million.” Steve then said, “I find it better to trust in Jesus Christ for my needs instead. Don’t you?” To which Steve said that the cashier and the entire gas station became silent because he said the name of Jesus Christ and he meant it unlike how many of them probably would use His name. When they got back to the car Steve talked to his son. “You see all of those people in there thinking that they need $850 million and they will waste their time in there to get it. However, I don’t need $850 million because if I did I would have it for the Lord says in Philippians 4:19 says, ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.’”
I said that this message came into full understanding on Friday on my way home from work. On the radio they were discussing a topic just for fun they said. The Michigan Mega Millions was set above $1billion and the topic was what would you do if you won all that money. I have to tell you that it was very interesting and unfortunately very sad to hear what all of these Christians calling in on the radio were saying. You see because it revealed where their heart was focused. The love of money can destroy you if you are not careful and I believe that the Lord allows us to have what he knows we can handle and be responsible good stewards with. If we needed a million dollars in our checking account then we would have that million dollars because the Lord would provide it. Are there instances in which our quality of living could be much better if we had more money? Absolutely, however, the Lord looks at your heart and if he knows that your heart cannot handle it, I believe that he is not going to give it to you but he will give you everything that you need and what he knows that you can handle.
We must be careful of where we focus our heart because there is power in the heart. In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus shares the parable of the rich fool.
“Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then his said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’ And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded and abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ ‘But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” ‘This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.’”
It appears that Jesus had two frustrated men in the crowd that had a feud that they were in the middle of at that very moment. I think it is safe to assume that this parable was meant for the both of them for it seems that both of their hearts were focused on greed. One focused on keeping all for himself and the other focused on getting his fair share. However, they were both focused on earthly things instead of things that are from above. If they would both focus more on being rich towards God instead of themselves then they would not have this feud going on between them. However, Satan likes to play games with the desires of the heart because he knows where are heart is focused is where we will be also. If our hearts are focused on things of the world then we will remain to the world for all eternity. However, if we are focused on things that are from above then we will live with God for all of eternity. When you put it in this perspective, all of the money of the world is not worth our place with God in eternity. If this message was for you today, I hope your heart was listening and that you now can see where your heart is focused.