Think of your heart as a house. It is where your spirit hangs out. If not tended to, it will remain dusty with cobwebs. Your heart will never self-clean itself. You must tend to your heart daily to keep it clean and tidy. The only way to clear away the dust and debris is to allow God’s Word to enter in. It has the power to transform; read 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12. It also has the authority to remove your spirit from the throne in your heart and allow Jesus Christ to reign.
You see throughout the scriptures how God moves within believers’ hearts by His transforming power found within its pages. One example is found in Acts 11. Both Jews and Gentiles were receiving the Word of God; see verse 1. Before Christ, believers were primarily Jewish. God’s plan wasn’t for Gentiles, so the Jews thought. God was revealing His eternal plan through His apostles and that included the Gentiles. Essentially, God’s plan is for everyone! But it took some time and some Holy Spirit interference to help the Old Testament believers to accept the fact that God’s love is for everyone.
God used Peter to help Jewish believers to receive Gentile believers into the family of God. God first, though, had to prepare Peter. Peter had his own cobwebs of religion still in his heart. Read Acts 10 to see how a vision from God opened Peter’s eyes to clear away the cobwebs that lurked in the corners of his heart.
Peter returned to Jerusalem from speaking to Gentiles in Caesarea. Jewish believers couldn’t believe that he would hang out with Gentiles. He even ate with them! This was a repulsive thing back in their day. There was lots of segregation going on where judging and misconceptions about God took place. Those nasty cobwebs sure like to build up within a heart that doesn’t keep itself clean.
Because of the vision, Peter was able to share truth about God and His plan of redemption. Peter followed what God revealed to him. Peter aligned himself to the very words spoken by God. He agreed with God. He was able to for his heart was full of love for his Lord. Peter chose to believe God and receive His ways. When Peter met Jesus, he took the next step of faith and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
As Peter spoke truth, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening (and believing); see verses 15-16. Peter told them, “And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift He gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”17
When everyone heard this, they stopped objecting and criticizing what God is doing and they praised Him.
My friend, as you prepare for the birth of your Savior, may you be diligent like the apostles were, in clearing away the cobwebs that like to hang out in your heart. Don’t allow any misconceptions to build up. Don’t let spiders weave their webs of despair, doubt, or unbelief in the corners of your heart.
Be brave and talk with God about the state of your heart. Every day housekeeping must show up. It comes in the form of honesty, repentance, and asking for forgiveness from the One who died to set you free. A tidy heart happens when you turn to the Lord and align yourself like believers did in Acts 11. When they heard truth, they changed their minds. God united them in love by the Holy Spirit. They lived in agreement to what God was doing in their midst.
Today, tomorrow, and so on, know the truth. Read the Bible. Study it. Change your heart and mind. Agree with God, even if you don’t like what He’s telling you or where He wants to take you. Just follow and obey. He can be trusted.
(With various things going on, this will be the only blogpost this week. Change is upon my husband and I. While we are not sure what tomorrow looks like, we know who does, and God will lead us for He has never steered us wrong, nor will He ever.)