• Pamela Mattox

How Do You Find My Heart?

“…the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” — Deuteronomy 20:4

Have you ever stepped into a commitment or an assignment only to find you were sorely lacking in preparedness? Maybe you thought you had your ducks in row. Thought you had dotted all your “i’s” and crossed all your “‘t’s” with everything in place, only to realize you had overlooked some very important elements.

What about your faith commitment and God assignments? How are you getting along there?

Could it be the pursuit of joy and peace in your spiritual life seems ever out of reach? You feel like you’re doing all the right things, putting in some time each week to read the Word, say your prayers and get to church, but feel you’re always striving. Especially ill-prepared when it comes to times of stress and uncertainty. It just doesn’t feel like you’re doing enough. Might there be a better battle plan?

Fighting the good fight is not for the faint hearted. Not for those whose mind is elsewhere. Distraction leads to deception, and deception leads to destruction. If we are going to slay the strongholds and surrender the shortcomings that hinder our ability to enjoy God’s peace in our lives, we must armor up and be laser focused on the One who can set us free, letting Him help us claim the victory.

I’ve been soaking up heart-stirring truths in Deuteronomy 20:1-9 in recent days, where Moses imparts the rules of engagement for impending war as the Israelites seek to advance against their enemies in order to take up residence in the Promised Land. A passage that begins with a warning and ends with a promise...

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.

Moses begins with the word “When” — saying “When you go out to battle against your enemies…” From that opening line we are instantly made aware there are enemies to battle in our lives. Giants that represent strongholds, idols and shortcomings we are called to wage war against if we ever hope to find spiritual rest. Moses’ opening statement also conveys a sense of expectancy, that God’s children will rise up in obedience and engage in the fight against those things that chokehold and compromise their faith.

Though His people may feel outnumbered, like their enemies are too big and tall to defeat, the Lord tells them through Moses they should not be afraid. Just as He was faithful to deliver the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt, He promised to see His devoted ones through to the Promised Land of peace and rest. That said, we discover few would make the cut.

After conducting a little heart check among the people, many were too focused on external affairs and easily distracted. Others didn’t have the courage or determination needed to persevere. As a result, everyone lacking the devotion needed to be successful would be dismissed and sent home to tend to their affairs.

Those whose homes and hearts were not dedicated to the cause of Christ.

Those who had planted vineyards but not yet harvested fruit.

Those in committed relationships but not yet legally bound in marriage.

Those who were fearful and lacking in faith, unable to take God at His Word.

In evaluating the people’s hearts to see if they are fit for service, the Lord conveys the message that He is looking for the full attention and uncompromised devotion of His followers. He searches for committed warriors because He uses hearts that are after His. Those easily distracted and disquieted are sent home to take care of business, and that should give us pause.

God can accomplish more with a handful of followers characterized by unwavering determination and complete dependence on Him, than an army of thousands of distracted and disquieted soldiers.

Those ready to tear down strongholds and overcome shortcomings must be willing to let the Father evaluate their heart.

RECLAIM YOUR HEART: Take a quiet moment and ask Jesus, “How do you find my heart?” Committed or careless in my walk with Christ? Still sowing seeds or bearing fruit? In lustful or loving relationships? Fearless or fainthearted?

Record everything He brings to mind, then ask Him what your heart needs to know about each item on your list. Press into His instruction, craft a new plan of attack, and let God Himself ready you for the battle that leads to freedom unbound.

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