Test Your Heart

Just as we are acutely aware of our physical health, we ought to also be equally mindful of our spiritual well-being. Paul advises the people of Corinth this way: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?’ – (2 Corinthians 13:5)

 

We are meant to check ourselves to make sure that we are solid in our faith. Are we moving forward toward God, grateful for all that He has done, or are we drifting in the wrong direction, frighteningly unaware of His faithfulness? To be in the faith, is to be in an ongoing and growing relationship with our Redeemer. Christ lives in the hearts of all who have invited Him in, yet do our lives reflect His presence? By checking ourselves regularly, we are more readily available to correction and redirection as it is needed. For our physical bodies, we have doctors and dentists, trainers and teammates to stay healthy physically. Likewise, for our spiritual health we have pastors and small groups, prayer teams, and dear friends traveling the same direction on this leg of life’s journey, to keep our hearts right and minds renewed.

 

Test your heart often,Test Your Heart

to see where you stand;

are you seeking God,

or on sinking sand?

The very same God,

who’s living in You;

will give direction,

show you what to do.

Know He is faithful,

His presence secure;

when You call on Him,

you’ll find He’s right here.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You dwell in us, and give us the capacity to check ourselves to determine whether or not we are following the path of faith You have laid out before us or not. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and minds, whispering reminders of what we should and should not do. Forgive us for ignoring Your still small voice, or for neglecting our own need to redirect our attention on what You ask. Help us to have ears to hear You, and hearts that are quick and willing to obey. Lead us to listen well, and help us to love others as You so lavishly love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they see Your faithfulness at work in us. Be exalted O God, in all that we do and say. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

 

 

Proper Pursuit

Christianity is not a practice in passivity, but rather is meant to be alive and active – an ongoing series of steps of faith, as we follow in obedience, that which God is asking.  In I Timothy 6:11-12, Paul explains it this way: “But you, man (people) of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Yes, the Holy Spirit will equip and empower us to do that which we are called to do, but we have to take action – place one foot in front of the other (either literally or figuratively) and have an active faith that gives action to what is asked.

I knew I was meant to be a teacher from a very young age.  However, I allowed fear to overshadow my faith when I determined my course of study in college.  Rather than pursuing education classes as I knew I ought to, I chose to hide in the art department and major in graphic design, where studio time did not require presentations nor speeches.  Thankfully, God had other plans.  Though it took a three-year tour around Asia with YWAM, where I had to speak in multiple schools to bring me to the place where I was willing to do as He was asking, I did at last pursue the path that He had placed before me, and applied to and was accepted into grad school, where I simultaneously earned my Master’s Degree and Teaching Certificate.  The traveling was not without purpose though, as it was a season of truly learning how to flee from what is evil, to pursue what is righteous and of Him, that which is good, faithful, loving, and gentle, and how to endure.  Perseverance was necessary to faithfully complete both the travels and the additional schooling, and daily, I had to take hold of that to which I had been called.  That season set the standard for my life, and I am grateful for the good that He brought, even through my initial fearfulness.

People of God,Proper Pursuit

pursue what’s right;

flee from evil,

stay strong and fight.

Take hold of faith,

He’s holding you;

let go of fear,

He’ll make us new.

Faith is active,

alive in us;

may it be light,

to show Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good.  Thank You that You instruct us in the way we are meant to go, and You empower us to move as You ask.  Thank You that faith is not passive, but rather is alive and active – moving, growing, and showing Your faithfulness to the world around us.  Forgive us for allowing fear to keep us frozen in our tracks, or for being passive in our faith when You are calling us to action.  Teach us to not only hear You clearly, but to have the courage to act faithfully as You are asking.  May many come to know who You are, as we live in loving obedience to all that You ask.  Let our lives be lived in active faith, ever pursuing You.  Be magnified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.