Updated: Jun 21, 2020
I woke up one beautiful morning, to a notification on my phone. I was already miffed at myself because I planned I was going to start waking early to seek God’s face. I mean, I wake up as early as 5 for work! Getting up early to seek God shouldn’t be difficult. I learned quickly that the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
This particular morning, I was determined to speak to God first before anything else. But halfway through my prayers, I got distracted. That notification was an invite, to edit the new GY devotional. It spoke about the condition of our hearts. It then said something that hit me:
The devil will sneak into your heart to distract you with other, good, Christian-y stuff, like revival or the word. But then you will forget the simplicity of loving God.
Oof. That got me.
I had been praying for an encounter with the Holy Spirit. I had been pushing myself to study the word more. But I hadn’t gotten what I wanted. At the same time, I was becoming restless, short-tempered, impatient and scared. I would doubt my convictions, and I’d go back to God to ask Him to strengthen my convictions, in all areas of my life. I’d ask Him about my marriage, about career, about ministry all over again.
Furthermore, God showed me that something was wrong somewhere. I was doing all the wrong things in all the right situations. That got me even more stressed out. And I began to ask God what He meant.
A heart tainted from the past.
As I write this, I realise that my heart had been tainted from my past. And I knew it. So, I had stopped believing I could hear properly from God, unless He shouted at me from the heavens, in my dreams. As in, the convictions I had, of me hearing from God, I stopped holding onto it. God speaks to everyone. But His voice is soooo very quiet that, you need a little training, a little discipline and complete hush in your spirit, to hear it in time. And I can’t tell you how many times He’s whispered into my heart, and I’m too busy to clock it UNTIL it’s almost too late! Anyway, I’m doubting my salvation, my convictions and everything else in my life, and my faith is shaky. And that made me doubt EVERYTHING God had already told me, planned for me, or was in the process of fulfilling.But as I finish editing the devotion, I’m reminded of a bible scripture.
'“No one uses a piece of new cloth to patch up an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear off some of the old cloth, making an even bigger hole. Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” '
Even if God was going to encounter me, He’d be pouring a fresh wine into an old wineskin. He’d be putting fresh fire on an old altar. Such altar will not be able to carry that fire. Such altar might burn to ashes instead. Your old heart receives new encounter, becomes overly stressed, gives up, and you backslide because you believe that you cannot keep up with being a Christian. Then the whole process becomes counterproductive. And the devil is in the corner, rubbing his hands together, grinning, because he has succeeded. That will not be our portion, in Jesus’ Name.
But, all of a sudden, it makes a whole lotta sense. My pastor, calling me up, asking me to fast and pray with Psalm 51, God showing me running around advertising church services but not joining in, and God showing me making all the wrong decisions in all the right situations. God was ready for that encounter I’d been asking for.
My heart wasn’t.
It was stony, hardened and rough. It had seen heartbreaks, known betrayals, met backstabbers, and housed bitterness. I needed a completely new heart. Pure as pure can be.
Well, I’m off to ask for a new heart. Heaven is near, Jesus is coming NOW, and I cannot afford to miss out. I suggest you do the same. Now, if you’re with me, rise up, recite this next verse, and turn it to prayer:
'Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me. Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your holy spirit away from me. Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. '
By Courage Adeniyi