Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
How an Executive Pastor Frees the Lead Pastor to Do What Only He Can Do
Tue Mar 04, 2014
by Sutton Turner
An Air Mattress and a Steadfast Heart
“Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:17–18
My favorite moments of summer involve my air mattress. This is not your typical floaty device—mine has a comfy backrest and cup holder for maximum buoyancy enjoyment. This summer, I whiled away the hours basking in the sun (wait, who am I kidding, I am a busy mom who lives in Seattle—I went a whopping five times!) But, it was enough time spent to thoroughly enjoy myself and ponder an interesting connection between my heart and my floating rainbow plastic friend.
When air mattressing (yes, it is now a verb to describe my favorite water sport) there is always one goal: maximum relaxation. Don’t get too wet, don’t work too hard, and don’t let the wind carry you to the other side of the lake. But try as I might, even after paddling to the best sunny, no-kid splashing spot for floating perfection, in a few minutes I am off course.
Drift is a mere annoyance when it concerns air mattresses, but it is downright dangerous when it comes to our hearts. We are far too easily blown off course in our desires and demands. Singular devotion and focused worship are the battlefronts of the heart. The lighthearted nature of this illustration ends here as we consider the reality of living as people with steadfast hearts. To have a heart anchored to Christ means to let go of all else. It means waging war on self.
Gotta Love Peter
Peter is my go-to brother when I consider his rash, impetuous nature and see similarities to my own. If Jesus referred to him as a rock after Peter so brazenly denied any connection to his Lord, God can change my heart too. Peter teaches us much about grounding our convictions on the unshakable foundation of biblical truth. He urges us to not lose stability.
He models unleashed passion to walk on water at the proper time and place, submitted to God’s power and glory and not used for our own. He warns against false prophets who entice unsteady souls. False prophets can be lies whispered to our souls, masquerading as truth and proclaiming, “You’re too busy for your Bible today,” “Your sin is bigger than God’s love,” or “You deserve to be happy.”
Lack of prayer and the sin of unbelief are hallmarks of the unsteady soul.
The very nature of prayer is that is puts you in a place of communion, protection, and intimacy with God. One who is unsteady may try praying briefly but it never brings results quick enough so off the heart goes for more tangible relief.
Unbelief is insidious—it rules the unsteady heart. Much time and effort is spent upholding and substantiating the plausibility of the lie: “You are dirty because you were sexually abused as a child. And look, you were a promiscuous teen so there’s the proof!” Unbelief is often rooted in the lie that you are what you do.
“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!”
In a particularly vulnerable moment of soul drift, I remember stumbling across the above stated verse and yearned for the psalmist’s bold and confident description of his heart. I wanted it but it seemed elusive. God began showing me other places in Scripture where a steadfast heart is fleshed out in greater detail. I could then apply these truths to the moments of my life that needed a Holy Spirit infusion of steadfastness.
8 Signs of a Steadfast Heart
A child of God with a steadfast heart …
- Entrusts his or her future to God (Prov. 31:25): “Lord, I lay aside my desire to control and my tendency to fear those situations that produce anxiety.”
- Befriends faithfulness (Ps. 37:3): “Lord, I repent of my tendency toward flaky, undisciplined time in your Word. I will make friends with faithful time with you.”
- Does not fear anything that is frightening (1 Pet. 3:6): “Lord, strengthen me in the face of fearful situations. Help me to not fear what the future may hold.”
- Does fear the Lord and has intimacy with him (2 Cor. 5:11): “Lord, keep my head lifted to you when I have sinned. Make me afraid of being far from you as I rest fully in your knowledge and acceptance of me.”
- Can say with confidence that God is for them (Psalm 56:9, Rom 8:31): “Lord, even when I am weary, make me believe you have good in store for me in the midst of it.”
- Walks blamelessly and does what is right (Ps. 15:2a): “Lord, strengthen me to choose life and godliness in the midst of temptation.”
- Speaks truth in his or her heart (Ps. 15:2b) “Lord, in the place where no one else can see or hear but you, may my heart’s meditations be truthful and honoring to your holy name, and not filled with doubt and grumbling.”
- Attests to his or her hurt and does not change (Ps. 15:4) “Lord, in the face of past experiences, may I grieve that hurt while not letting it define me. I attest to the pain but claim your name of Redeemer and your work on my behalf, making me pure and righteous.”
By the generosity and grace of God alone, may we be able to joyfully and boldly proclaim to the world, “My heart is steadfast, O Lord, my heart is steadfast!”