Get Your Heart Right With God
There was this phrase that we used to use a lot in the evangelical faith communities of my youth that included the following words: "... get your heart right with God."
As in: "You need to get your heart right with God." or "I finally got my heart right with God."
I remember youth leaders, pastors, my Christian school teachers, and even my parents exhorting me to "get my heart right with God" on numerous occasions. In fact, I was told on more than one occasion that if I didn't "get my heart right with God," I was headed for serious trouble.
It took me a long time to figure out what they actually meant when we said those words. Basically, it had very little to do with God, and more to do with keeping the rules and regulations of the faith communities we belonged to.
Despite my history with that phrase, I rather like it. In fact, I feel like getting my heart right with God is something that I want to spend more time pursuing.
But what I mean by it is this: I want to align my own heart with God's more and more every day. I want to see more clearly where God is at work in the world and join God there. I want to have my heart transformed and me along with it.
What I've learned over the years is that when you desire to be close to God and to be in line with God's purposes in the world... you can't help but experience transformation.
And the transformation that you experience when your heart becomes "right with God" isn't the superficial behavior modification that the faith communities of my youth sought from us. It isn't blind acceptance of a series of doctrines, rules, or even beliefs.
It's the kind of transformation that happens when you decide that it's more important for you to be doing whatever God would have you do than what you've been doing. It's the kind of transformation that comes when you surrender your will and all of your outcomes that you've been trying to control.
It's the kind of transformation that comes when you realize that getting your heart right with God means finally trusting that God loves you beyond all love and that you are filled with God's glorious purpose to bring shalom to the world around you.
Fr. Richard Rohr once wrote: God does not love us if we change, God loves us so that we can change.
I've always loved that quote for so many different reasons, but most of all because it helps me to reclaim that phrase from my youth, and to understand what it truly means to "get my heart right with God."
If you have been believing for far too long that you need to get yourself and your life together before you can begin the shalom-bringing work that God has called you to do... If you think that you are not yet good enough, smart enough, or qualified enough to fulfill your purpose in God's great redemption story...
It's time to quit that "stinking thinking," and get your heart right with God. It's time to simply draw closer to God in whatever way that works for you to do so. It's time to get your heart right with the truth of God's love for you, and how deep, abiding and never-running-out it is.
And then it's time to become the person that God longs for you to be--the person you were meant to be.
May it be so for you today and every day forward. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.