When Your Heart Needs That New Car Smell

Soaped down, hot water jetted, and towel whipped, your car might as well have come out of the furnace like a piece of blown glass, crystal clean.

You know the feeling. Your beautiful wheeled baby is free from the layer of grime that had begun to build on the doors. Not a spot or blemish can be found sprinkled on the windows. The leaves stuck in the windshield wipers have been vanquished. And that’s not all.

The crumbs wedged in the crevices of the seats have been lapped away along with the dirt and candy wrappers that littered floor. Dust no longer coats the dashboard and the coffee stains have been scrubbed until their existence is forgotten.

To top it off, a little cardboard tree hangs from the rearview mirror filling the car with the aroma of sexy Black Ice or whimsical Tropical Sunrise.

That drive home feels just as satisfying as if you had driven straight off the lot with a new car. Remember that feeling and savor it as I tell you why a car wash is on my mind.

You see, that’s how I feel when I read the Bible. That’s how I feel when I spend time alone in my room praying. And not just the “Dear God, A. B. C. Amen” kind of praying, but simply being in total awareness and transparency with God, which is a state we tend to reserve for when we’re really in a bind.

As a result, I always end up feeling clean and new, but I often wonder why I don’t strive for that as often as I could?

Can we really say we drive a clean car when we only clean it once in a while?

Only when the dirt and clutter get too overwhelming, we finally cave and clean out the car, just to wait another six months before doing it again.

Our hearts are the same way. Every day adds another layer of grime or a new addition of garbage and we are the culprits. We allow it. Wouldn’t we feel better if we just kept the car clean?

I know God would prefer it that way.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

The God of the universe can hold the stars in his hand like a pile of gold dust and yet He sent His Son so that our hearts could be His forever. We are just that precious to Him.

If we don’t take the time to maintain the condition of our heart with God’s Word and His presence, our heart will suffocate from the negative forces designed to strangle the life out of us. Their weapons? Chainmail of laziness. Arrows of bitterness. Daggers of anxiety. And of course, the tempting poison of everything the world has to offer.

As I challenge myself, I also challenge you to make more room in your heart for Jesus because He is the ultimate satisfaction and the greatest weapon for when Satan tries to steal it away. Believe me, he will try. It might take more work, but all the effort is worth it.

Don’t be caught with a dirty car, because you’re chauffeuring the King of Kings.

God bless!
-LJM
Romans 12:2, Psalm 51:10, Matthew 5:8

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True to Your Heart or Your True Heart

If I were to take a special X-ray of your heart–not the one that pumps blood but the one that dreams and feels–what would I find?

I asked myself that question and decided to paint the results.

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When I examine my passions and dreams, I see a performer who runs after goals, who hopes for love, and who maybe drinks a little too much coffee.

You may look and think these elements are what makes me a unique person and see nothing wrong with that. But, let me share what I see.

I see a heart that is consumed.

What looks like personality traits or unique characteristics can actually be disguising what’s truly underneath. The heart I see is vain about appearances, obsessed with career goals, addicted to coffee, desperate for love, and thirsty for praise.

I’m not downing myself; I’m being honest about what makes me–me.  God has given me dreams to pursue and interests to enjoy.

BUT, there’s a fine line. The line separates God’s intentions for these qualities and my intentions. If I allow these things to control me in honor of “being true to my heart,” then I’m damaging my relationship with God in the long run.

!!!BREAKING NEWS!!!

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. -1 Corinthians 3:12-15

One day, we will all stand before Jesus and he will let us look back on our lives. Then, we will watch as a fire consumes everything we believed, everything we worked for, and everything we were passionate about. What was true and pure will remain and shine like silver, and what was in vain will burn like chaff.

I want to start testing my heart now to be sure of what will come through the fire and what will be burned. I don’t want to suffer from the loss of a life doing wasteful things. I don’t want to find out that everything I thought was good enough could have been better or put to better use.

I challenge you to look at your heart. Not only at the negativity that resides there, but also look at the good. Look at what you believe is harmful and harmless. Examine your time, your hobbies, your dreams, your deepest desires and ask, “Is God over all or just a small piece?”

God has work to do in our hearts, let’s not stand in his way, but let’s give him the torch.

God bless!

-LJM

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Forever Enamored

By Leah Jordan Meahl

 

The arrow flies

Striking perfectly,

A poisoned tip of desire

Pierces skin,

Seeping into blood

That pumps life

Now strangled.

 

Stuck.

In a pit.

Face glistens. Hot.

Chest constricts. Heavy.

The ladder to climb out

Has no end.