“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds. – Luke 6:45 (MSG)
Or as the NLV translates:
WHAT YOU SAY FLOWS FROM WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART.
So, how’s your heart? I can tell you the kind of heart Jesus desires – the humble heart, the servant heart, the teachable heart, the selfless heart.
PERFORMING A HEART CHECK
We’ve all been uniquely gifted and designed to be used for His purposes and glory. But before we serve Him, before we enter in each Sunday to worship Him, we each need to do a heart check. Am I doing this for His glory or for my own? Am I serving out of guilt or obligation to please others or out of a grateful heart that desires to bless others, point others to Him, because He has blessed me so incredibly? He already knows our offenses, our complacency, and our distractions. But in order to truly experience Jesus and His overwhelming grace that restores & transforms, we must confess and allow Him to do a work on us – to cultivate the soil of our hearts when needed.
As a female vocalist, I can assure you that keeping my heart in check has been an ongoing journey. It is especially difficult when humility is as counter-cultural as you can get. It is human nature to want to be recognized, to be acknowledged, validated by others– but seeking God’s approval should always be our primary focus. Here are a couple of my favorite verses that I pray before I serve in order to keep the proper perspective:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. - Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Having a solid accountability partner is another way to ensure my heart is in line with His will and purposes. I need that honest loving relationship who is going to challenge
me when I need to be challenged, someone who keeps “it real” with me, encourages me when I feel insecure and tempted to give in to negativity, and ultimately another sister in Christ who is going to be praying for me!
A HEALTHY HEART PRODUCES HEALTHY FRUIT
If I am desiring healthy fruit, I need to have a healthy heart, one that is rooted in the life source, in Him! So, I pray! I also go to His Word for direction and guidance! When needed, I confess my selfishness and pride to Him in order to be restored! And I have an accountability sister in Christ who keeps me in her prayers and keeps me grounded!
Let the cultivation begin….