UCAN sharing: Skipping heart
Scripture: Matt. 6:30-33
Be still, and know that I am God Ps 46:10a
Skipping: to move in a light, springy manner by bounding forward with alternate hops on each foot.
A child whose heart is full of joy may often be seen skipping along. This skipping is an expression of where the child is as a person. You don’t see sick or sad children skipping. Why? Because the situation of being sad or sick has taken away their joy so they are unable to skip. Jesus says that we can have the fullness of joy because we are connected to Him (Jn 15:11). Many Christians trudge through life experiencing only moments of joy while the rest of their lives are rather mundane. But Jesus came that we should have life and life abundant (Jn 10:10b). God’s idea of life abundant means our hearts are filled with expectation of the love that He is pouring out daily and as a result our hearts skip with joy. For when we are in Christ and living for Him we are able to deal with worry. Once freed of our worries we experience a lightness of life that can be had and maintained only in Christ Jesus.
Adults don’t skip much. Life is too serious for us to be seen joyful and light. We are brought up to put on our fighting face and put up our boots straps and go out there and take on the world. But the world doesn’t fight fairly and we don’t always see what is coming next. It is easy to get slammed in the side of the face with a punch and knocked down. Once this happens a few times we live more carefully. Wondering when the unpleasant things are going to happen. We think about how to avoid them and we lose sleep as we consider the painful outcomes. Doubts rise up along with nagging thoughts of how bad life is going to be. Around and around in our minds we play out the various bad scenarios till the tension is almost more than we can bear. Worry and fears have stolen our ability to skip from our hearts. Heaviness sets in and numbed to life we live day to day just getting by. In this condition it is no surprise we can’t find the will to express joy, we have so little of it.
Within the heart of a person who is in worry are thoughts and emotions that bind that person up in a bundle of negativity and hopelessness. It is the feeling of having to face something you know you are unable or unprepared to overcome. Often worry involves situation that are beyond our control but we prefer to use up lots of energy in a useless attempt to change what can’t be changed. The unacceptable lack of control coupled with our limited abilities to find answers drains us of our ability to move forward. We can’t see the way as we reach for answers and the fires of “what if” grow in us. At the heart of a person in worry is uncertainty. We don’t know what is going to happen so we think about it till it dominates us. Worry thus not only removes any space in our hearts for joy but it fills us with dread of what is to come. Lost is all freedom due to our fears and worries.
23 And the LORD said to Moses, “Has the LORD’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” Num. 11:23
Worry is sin not just because it is wrong but rather because it rejects the sovereign nature of God. When we choose to worry over taking our needs and fears to the Lord we are saying that we don’t believe He is able to deliver us. This has been a common problem in man since the beginning. We lack trust in God to change the circumstances because we don’t believe He can. As we receive this lie we fear and worry doubting God’s word and love for us. This often drives us deeper in to ourselves, becoming increasingly carnal, dependent on ourselves, as the worry increases. We can’t be free of our cares because we won’t let them go. We still believe in what we can do and that the answers are found in man. We are disobeying God by not trusting him.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
A child that is skipping is able to do so because their heart is light. They are not weighed down with the cares and responsibilities of adult life. Theirs is a simple outlook on life because they have trusted. A child with caring parents who takes care of the child’s needs finds it easy be as ease. Whatever burdens they may have they simply turn to their parent and ask. In this way their faith in their parent’s ability to give them what they need and maybe even more comes out. If a child sees how they have food, clothing, a safe home and more they will easily release faith due to trust in to their parents. From this foundation of security the conditions that grow a joyful heart come out.
In a very similar way as we spend time getting to know God as Father we too will develop a heart of trust. From this trust comes faith and faith must be tested. When trials come do we turn to Him like a child runs to his parent when scared? When we don’t know God well or seek Him inconsistently to live life with Him we will not develop the trust needed to overcome worries and fears. God opens Himself up for us to find and this relationship is natural and easy to grow. It takes unlearning the ways of this world for the truth of God to become part of who we are. (Rom. 12:2)
God’s nature is unchangeable. He remains the same today and forever. As we seek to know Him through first His word and then intimacy with Him by prayer and listening to His quiet voice within us we gain confidence that He is able to do what he says and will be there when we need him. This births a change of heart. Freshness comes as we become certain that we can face whatever circumstances because God loves us and is with us. We no longer have to rely on our own strengthen but rather we shift our hope to God alone. It is God’s desire that we come to Him and receive from Him that our have a life of consistent joy.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. Jn 15:11
As our relationship with God deepens we are freed from ourselves and the negativities, doubts and fears that so plague man. This freeing makes space for God’s presence. God is joy and in Him is life itself so as we gain more of Him our hearts learn to depend on Him more and more. We are freed from ourselves and the weaknesses we all have within us. No longer bound we are able to surrender our souls to God and live for Him free not to do what we want which will only return us to bondage but to give ourselves to him to remain free and joyful. We may not go around skipping physically but within we can consistently experience a deep joy that is not of man but God. This leads to a skipping heart. Jn 14:27.
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Stop and prayerfully ask the Lord to show you if you are living in His joy. To what measure? You will know by the fruit of what you do. Are you at peace consistently and not easily moved out of it? Are your days filled with boredom or heaviness? Do you fill you days with activities to bring happiness? If you find that you lack God’s joy pray and ask God to reveal to you why. More than likely it will be that you are running your own life a part from His will. In other words you are the lord of your life. God is the only true Lord and we must bow our knees to Him if we want to be with Him. Repent and ask God to be your Lord. Consider trying to let God be your Lord and taste and see that He is good. Your heart will rejoice for it.