What To Do With Our Hearts?


The heart can be such a heavy part of our body. It can seem so much larger than it is when it hurts, when it has been broken, and even when it is full of new love! "Love is blind," they say, probably because the heart grows so large we can't see our way around it!

How awesome it is to bring our heart to God! To step into His inner sanctuary and find Him waiting there for us. As I listened to Josh Groban this morning singing, "You raise me up to more than I can be," I knew it was so true of our God. Without Him, what would we be? But with Him, we can be all things because He transforms us.

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by
changing the way you think.
Romans 12:2a (NLT)

This world can weigh so heavy on our hearts. We have so many cares and concerns that need to be dealt with. There are homework projects that our kids need to be reminded of, there are car repairs needing our attention, there are bills to be paid and lawns to be mowed. There are relationships that need mending, and some simply needing a bit more of our time. The phone is ringing, the dog is barking, the baby is crying, and we could certainly use some "Calgon, to take us away."

In those times, is there anything we desire more than some quiet, maybe a massage, or how about reading an excellent book while sitting on a white sandy beach by a turquoise-blue ocean? Perhaps just an inspiring piece of music that can transport us out of this world and into a place where we find some peace...

Maybe a song like this, where Josh Groban sings:

When I am down, and oh my soul so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit a while with me

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up, to more than I can be

Songs like this can speak to those places in our hearts that need God's peace. They can help us find that tender place that the world hardens us to. That place with God that cannot be reproduced in any other artificial way because only time alone with God brings the peace that He provides.

If we long for that peace, we can be "still and wait here in the silence...until you come and sit a while with me." That is where "God transform(s) you into a new person by changing the way you think." (Romans 12:2)

Why would we want to change the way we think? Well, what do we think about? If we think about it...our thoughts alone can be a heavy burden. Then when we act on them, the burden can become unbearable! Why would God want to change the way we think? Because He knows what we think about, and it's not good! Not in our old sinful-nature way of thinking! He wants to transform our thinking to our new nature, the one filled with the Holy Spirit!

Why? Because:

Then you will know what God wants you to do,
and you will know how good and pleasing and
perfect his will really is.
Romans 12:2b

If we don't spend time alone and quiet with God, being still and listening to Him, how will we know Him? And if we don't know Him, how can we possibly know what He wants for us to do? How can we know His will if His will is covered over with all the thoughts we have about what we think, how we feel, what we desire?

When we get alone and quiet with God, there is no better place to be. It's not a real easy place to find in today's world, or maybe it never was unless you were Adam and Eve before the fall when God walked and talked with them daily. But in this day and age, that tender place with God can go strangely missing very quickly if we are not devoted to finding it and being there with Him for any length of time.

It is a place called the Most Holy Place, and many Christians never really find it. This is not to say they won't spend eternity in heaven, it is only to say that the best part of being a believer on this earth is skimmed over and not given much thought. We get so busy doing for Jesus, that we don't really know what He wants us to do. If we would take the time to wait for Him to come and sit with us for a while, we would be amazed at what He has for us to do.

Guess what that is? He wants us to get to know Him more, to understand just who He is and how much He loves us! He wants us to really understand our place in this world, and He wants us to understand when He is our everything, everything else dims in comparison. That simplifies things a bit, believe it or not!

When God is our everything, we are satisfied beyond our wildest dreams. When we sit in God's presence and soak in the love He has for us, we cannot help but to be in awe of all that He is! He puts everything into such perfect perspective that we are not overwhelmed with what He may call us to do, we are eager to see Him work through us to do it! We know that it has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who He is!

God does not call us to The Most Holy Place to beat on us, to give us some job assignment that we'll detest or to make us feel uncomfortable because of the sins we have committed. He calls us there because it's there that we discover the love and the care and the concern that He has for us in whatever situation we find ourselves in. He says, come to Me and I will carry your burden for you. Just bring it to Me here, and lay it down, My love will cover it. And as His love washes over our hearts as we lay them bare before Him--He begins to heal the hurts that lie deep inside each one of us.

When we arrive in the Most Holy Place, it is not crowded. We have our own personal appointment with our Savior as He sits at the right hand of our Father. We are welcomed in to spend as much time as we need. We come in dressed in dirty rags, and are given the clothes of Christ to put on. Jesus is there as our Intercessor and our Friend. He has died for this very appointment, and He is so glad we have come.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you
to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living
and holy sacrifice-the kind he will accept.
When you think of what he has done for you, is
this too much to ask?
Romans 12:1

God asks us to bring our whole selves to Him-mind, body, soul, spirit and strength! He asks us to come boldly to the throne and bow before Him and worship Him. He does not ask this because He wants to put us down--He asks us this because He wants to raise us up to stand on His shoulders to be more than we can be.

That's why Josh's song speaks to the hearts of those who listen to it, because he sings the truth! When we spend time in the inner sanctuary of God, we are raised up to new heights. We find that the things that weigh heavy on our hearts become so very dim in comparison to who God is in our lives.

Like a good Father, He wants to set us up on His shoulders so we can see the "parade" of life more clearly. He doesn't want us blinded by the crowd of humanity and thereby missing out on the best part of what He has for us.

Be glad for all God is planning for you.
Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.
Romans 12:12

To be prayerful, truly, means that we enter into the Most Holy Place. Yes, we can offer up quick prayers as we go about our day, there is nothing wrong with that and even more that is right with it, but that is not where our relationship with our Savior is formed.

Our relationship with our Savior is formed when we come to Him in the Most Holy Place and we are raised up above the crowds for a better look at life. It is where we will be filled with the joy of a small child who sees the "parade" so much better now and loves their daddy for being so tall and so strong and so willing to help them get a better view. There comes the clown, with the big floppy shoes, how funny! There is the float with the funny music coming out of it. There are the horses, and the marching band! It's all so exciting for a child, all so new and wonderfully amazing!

We don't have to lose that perspective, even as the world crowds in on us as we are pushed and shoved and squashed between the enormous amounts of tasks that fill our day. Our Daddy is there, to raise us up, to put us on His shoulders. Oh, how He would love to do that for us, if we would only look up to Him and ask Him! He'd bring us into that Most Holy Place and give us a new perspective on things that we never thought were even possible. Talk about a wonderful "parade" to watch!!

Romans 12 in the Message Bible puts it this way:

"So here's what I want you to do. God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

You can stay there on the ground if you want to, looking at the backs of all the tall people around you blocking your view-you can stay at that level of immaturity, never really seeing the "Parade" passing you by, or you can allow your Daddy to raise you up and set you on His shoulders, and expose you to a whole new way of thinking and seeing you never thought was even possible.

None of us are going to get out of this ordinary life, until the day we die. This is the life we live, be it good or bad, happy or sad. We can wish that we were somewhere else, that we were someone else, or that we just weren't here at all, but wishing won't make it so. What makes life worth living is being raised up above it all and seeing it the way God sees it--seeing what He has for us to do on this earth, and fulfilling that task as He works through us with the new perspective we have gained on it after spending time in the Most Holy Place.

What God has called me to do is to live each day now without my youngest son on this earth. That is one, if not THE assignment I have been given. I don't know how it is possible. I don't know how it is possible to have a peace about any of that. I don't know how my heart has stopped hurting, or how those empty places in my heart are even filled. I don't understand any of it and I sometimes wonder, is this really even me in this body? I shouldn't feel this way, I should be sad all the time, I should hurt, I should not heal from this. All I can say is, I have spent lots of time in the Most Holy Place. Each time I go there, my Daddy raises me up and sets me on His shoulders. I am not groveling in the gutter along the "parade" route; I am up above the crowds and the confusion when I am with Him. Slowly, He has helped me see things more clearly. He has transformed my heart and my way of thinking into something I don't even recognize and given me much more of an eternal perspective on it all. I don't know how God heals a broken heart, but I know that He does because He is. That's all I can say. There is a peace that transcends understanding that God has promised to all of us if we will only come to Him and allow Him to raise us up above the "behaviors and customs of this world."

You still may be asking yourself, what are you talking about, Diane? I have never been to the Most Holy Place and I don't know how to find my way there-I'm not even really sure I have a clue what you are talking about and I've been a Christian for years! I've prayed to God for years! Have I never really been raised up on the shoulders of my Father even after all these years that I've known Him?

Well, only you can answer that question because if you have been to the Most Holy Place, you know it. It doesn't need an explanation. You have discovered that there is no better place on earth to be and you will desire it in your daily walk with God. Yes, just like Adam and Eve in the Garden, it's where we spend our intimate time with God truly getting to know Him. All works aside, all busyness aside, all reading and writing and struggling aside. Just being with Him, that's all He asks of you in the Most Holy Place.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly
enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the
blood of Jesus. This is the new, life-giving way
that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred
curtain, by means of his death for us.
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over
God's people, let us go right into the presence of God,
with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil
consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood
to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed
with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22

If you have never entered heaven's Most Holy Place, I'm going to ask God to help me help you right now. I'm going to stop and pray that God will give me the words to explain this to you so that you might find your way there and be raised up onto His shoulders for the very first time. Just a moment...


You need to be in a quiet place, and not be rushed.
Completely alone, no distractions. No time schedule.
Then close your eyes and knock...the door will be opened to you...
Let your heart lead the way in...hold it out in front of you with your eyes closed...hand it over to your Father as you picture Him there with you...head bowed and eyes closed...acknowledge Him as your Father...say "Hello" to Him...ask Him to help you empty all of you out and to fill you with all of Him...seeing the center of your body as an empty vessel that is being filled with all His goodness...did you just take a quick deep breath?...feel Him fill up all the empty places in you...rest in that peace and fullness for a moment...ask for help to block out all the distracting thoughts that the enemy would rather have you thinking about...tell God you are new at this and really need His help, but that you desire to know Him on a more intimate level like this...acknowledge that there are many places in your heart that need His healing touch...that you're not even sure what your heart contains at this point, but here it is...breathe Him in...take a another deep breath and let it out slowly...relax...acknowledge that He is there with you, even if you don't "feel" Him there...even if you feel unworthy, remember Jesus is there at your Father's right hand. You come in in dirty rags, He clothes you in His righteousness...tell Him that He is the Creator of all, and without Him there would be nothing...believe you are there with Him and that He can see you, because He can...let Him lift the burdens out of your heart...release them to Him and feel the weight lift...you no longer have to carry them or worry about them, your Father has them...He'll take care of them...when you feel a peace that transcends understanding, when all the world falls away even for just a moment, you have arrived in the Most Holy Place. When you sense that sweet spot, that unbroken connection between you and your Father, you have arrived. It may be brief this first time or it may last a few minutes, but you'll say, "Oh, there it is...there's my Father, I'm with Him."

The length of time you will spend there is up to you, but as your relationship with God becomes more intimate, there will come a time when you can "be there" in an instant because you know your way there so well. You won't need a quiet spot, you won't need to be alone, because you will begin to realize that you can live in the presence of God all day, every day, anytime you turn your attention to Him and acknowledge that He is with you, because He always is! He will lift your cares from you as you bring your heart to Him.

This experience with your Father has nothing to do with doing anything for Him, but just being there with Him. It's not reading, not writing, not studying, maybe not even speaking, but just being still before Him and knowing He is God. You can just sit quiet at His feet and listen if you want to; letting Him fill you up with the wisdom only He can give. You can ask for forgiveness, tell Him your troubles, pray for someone else, whatever the Spirit moves you to do is just fine with Him. Nothing is required, but everything is gained.

It's hard to listen to Him when the world and your mind are calling you elsewhere, but it's more than worth the effort you will put out towards Him. It can change your whole relationship with Him because maybe for the first time you will realize it's not who you are, what you do, or how well you perform in your Christian "tasks," but it is His transforming power in you each day that will bring about the great changes we are all hoping for in our lives. It takes time, it takes years, it is a process, be patient with yourself and with your Father.

After time has gone by, you will be saying, "You raise me up, to more than I can be." When you have experienced the Most Holy Place and an intimate relationship with your Father in Heaven, you will not only hear a song like this with your ears, you will feel it in your heart-a heart that has been transformed as only God can do!

Getting a better "view" can change the way you think about your entire life!!
"Stormy seas" won't bother you as they once did because your Savior can walk on water, and you are on His shoulders!!

How does the "parade of life" look to you now?

Raised up for a better view,