Firmly Standing in Grace

Where does your heart stand? Now, before we conjure up images of little cartoon hearts with big feet, lets ponder what this question really is asking of us. After all, we know that hearts can’t actually stand, so we need to dig a little deep to figure out that this question is really talking to us about the posture of our hearts. What do we praise? What do we fight for? What comforts us? What do we worship?  Spiritually speaking, the heart is the center of our being. Just as the actual heart pumps blood through our veins, spiritually our heart pumps truth to our souls. And just as our heart can be weak or our blood diseased, our spiritual center can be oppressed causing our soul to be tainted by the lies of the enemy. Isaiah 7:9 warns us: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”  It is an ultimate gift of God’s grace that our hearts can stand firm in faith.

What does your heart praise?  In Psalm 119:162 we read: “I rejoice in Your Word like one who finds great spoil.”  The first sign that our hearts have taken on the posture of faith available to us through the grace of God is when we praise the truth of His Word. There are a lot of things in this world that can be reasons for praise –a job promotion, a financial gain, an academic achievement or the birth of a baby, but if our hearts become consumed with these worldly praises, we may forget to focus on the one thing that is worthy of praise – and that is God’s Word. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven….For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  He further explains in Luke 10:20, when the disciples are pleased about their “promotion” to have the power to cast out demons and perform miracles: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” And so, we realize that a heart postured in faith will remember to store up treasures in heaven and to praise our God who has our name written in His book of life.

What do you fight for? In Psalm 119:163 we read: “I hate and abhor falsehood but I love Your law.”  Do you hate the idea of being deceived? In the garden of Eden, Eve was deceived by Satan so she let her heart be oppressed by his lies which resulted in blood tainted by sin. There are a lot of interesting philosophies in our world today. Our moral values have become corrupt and our ability to determine the truth is becoming more difficult. If we are not carefully guarding the posture of our hearts, we can find that those subtle lies can infiltrate our spiritual bloodstream. A lie told over and over again begins to sound like the truth. Colossians 2:8 tells us: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”  The only way to fight the falsehood of our society is to saturate our minds with God’s truth. 

What comforts you?  In Psalm 119:165-166 we read: “Great peace have those who love Your Law; nothing can make them stumble. I hope for Your salvation, O LORD.”  There are many things that promise comfort and relief from pain in this world. There are substances, behaviors and thrills that provide temporary comfort but ultimately make many a heart stumble. If we are to stand firm in faith, we need to let our hearts have the peace and the hope that God promises us through His grace. Does food or alcohol provide the lasting comfort that Psalm 4:8 gives us: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety?”  Does partying or seeking fame fill you with the same hope that the Holy Spirit promises in Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope?”  Or does jumping out of an airplane satisfy that desire for feeling alive that Romans 6:23 can give us: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord?” Those who belong to Jesus are alive in Him. When your heart is comforted by God alone, you will have the peace and hope of a living fully alive.

Finally, what do you worship? In Psalm 119:167-168 we read: “My soul keeps Your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. I keep Your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before You.” We worship what we keep. If we keep images in our minds that are from movies or books for days on end then we are worshiping those images. If we keep our minds fixed on our problems then we are worshiping them. If we keep our plans centered on that next goal or achievement then we are worshiping them. But God tells us in Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”  However, if our souls keep God’s Word and love it exceedingly and if we keep His instructions, then we will worship Him with devoted hearts and He will keep guiding our ways so that we do not stumble but stand firm in His grace. 

We don’t need hearts with big feet in order stand firm in faith because God’s grace gives us all the instruction we need according to His Word. He is worthy of our heartfelt praise. “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)  His truth is worth fighting for. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)  He is our only comfort. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)  He is the One our hearts worship. “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”  (Psalm 95:6)

So, where does your heart stand? Do you join our psalmist in Psalm 119:161 in saying, “…my heart stands in awe of Your words.”  Are you in awe of the faith that God’s grace has given your heart? Then put your heart in the posture of Ephesians 6:13-14: “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness…Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

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