Matters of the heart – Part 1
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mothering women! May God bless you as you continue to serve Him by caring for your children and those around you. I am so in awe of the work that mothers do on a daily basis. It can be very hard, but God has prepared the perfect tools for your success as a mother, and it is by first being a daughter, a child of God, who regularly communes with your heavenly Father.
‘Communing’ isn’t a term we use often, but simply, it means to communicate on a deep and intimate level. We commune with God by sharing our intimate thoughts and feelings like we would with a close friend. Making time to connect with God in this way is how we get to share the matters of our heart and see what is on God’s heart. It is an awesome privilege for everyone who is a Christian!
So how do we reach that place of intimacy in our relationship with God? The first step is to check our motives and the posture of our heart. God wants to relate to you as His child. So selfish motives and an ‘I know what’s best’ prideful attitude cannot remain. We must humble ourselves as children who don’t know it all, but who belong to a God who does! Psalm 139:23 (NIV) says , “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” because we are often blind to our own flaws.
In Acts 8, the Church was under persecution in Jerusalem. Saul (later known as the Apostle Paul) was executing and dragging Christians from their houses, putting them in prison in his plan to destroy the Church. It caused believers to scatter, but everywhere they went, they preached the gospel.
One of those believers, Phillip, went to Samaria. His proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah drew a crowd, and the Lord confirmed the truth of His Word with miracles, so the people listened to Phillip, believed him, and were baptised.
In Samaria there was also a magician called Simon who amazed the people with his witchcraft. He claimed to be someone great that they should listen to, so they said of him, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” (Acts 8:10)
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” (Acts 8:12-13)
Philip is an interesting contrast to Simon because Philip had divine power - the Holy Spirit - but there is no mention of anyone calling him ‘the divine power’. Philip came to preach the name of Jesus, so he didn’t boast about himself; he boasted about God.
The gospel brought freedom for the prisoners of demonic oppression, recovery of sight for the blind, joy unspeakable, and the glory of God. On hearing and seeing the power of the gospel, even the ‘powerful’ Simon believed!
Our motive for communing and having an intimate relationship with God is critical to His power flowing through us. We must ask ourselves, what is the state of my heart before God?
God has shown time and again that He will allow no one else to take His glory. Next week, we will delve deeper into this matter of the heart’s motive as we consider the work of the Holy Spirit in and through our lives.