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Keeping Your Heart Soft

The Lord spoke this to me in my spirit the other day.  “When you’re not flexible, your life will be hard.” 

Flexible makes me think of something that bends easily.  Something that is pliable & able to conform to its surroundings.  Things can be flexible & people can be flexible.  Things can be set & hard & people can be set in their ways & hardened in their hearts.

So many times we allow our hearts to become hardened by life.  We like to keep our life the same.  We get comfortable & we don’t like to change.  “Why would I want to change?” We say.  Our hearts can be hard & they can’t see & they can’t hear.  Many people living in this region live like this everyday.  We have to pray out in the heavenliness to open back up the region to the gospel.  We have to re-dig the wells of salvation that have previously been here in this land.

There are many examples in the Bible where people had a hardness in their hearts & lives.  They had a mindset that kept them from their promises.  The children of Israel had hard bondage in Egypt.  They worked for 430 years waiting & waiting for their deliver.  Then when God sent him, they fought against him constantly in the wilderness.  They wanted change, but not THAT much change!  Oh, they missed the comforts of Egypt, but the slavery they forgot about.  What good are leeks & onions if you are a slave?  They forgot all the miracles that God had done for them.  They lusted exceedingly for the “olden days.”

Exodus 13:21; And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; & by night a pillar of fire; to give them light; to go by day & night.

God was so gracious to go with them, leading the way.  His presence was to them as a pillar of cloud by day & a pillar of fire by night.  But they just got familiar with Him.  They didn’t keep their hearts soft before Him & continuously thank Him for HIs great deliverance of their people.  They complained.  They murmured.  They lusted for the comforts of Egypt.   They didn’t remember that the great God Jehovah was with them, leading them & guiding them along the way.  How could they lose with God on their side?  They lost because they lost focus on what they were supposed to be doing.  They were to be a nation of promise in which God could send His Messiah.

They saw the miraculous way that God split the Red Sea so that they could walk across it.  They also saw how God let the waters come back upon the Egyptian army & destroy all their enemies.  They believed for a time, because of the miracles.  God fed them with angels food, the manna from heaven.  They were not satisfied.  Their clothes did not wear out.  But they were not happy.  They wanted entertainment & revelry, so they made a golden calf to worship.  When times got hard, they couldn’t handle it & they talked of wanting to go back to Egypt.  They had allowed their hearts to become hardened.

Mathew Barnett said, “Sometimes when you’re going through the battle, it is for the success of your future. I’m reaping the rewards from being faithful & standing.  I have kept the faith.  If you don’t keep the faith you won't see the miracles in people’s lives.  When you do keep the faith, it shows others that they will be able to keep the faith too.”

Sure, the children of Israel had it hard.  It wouldn’t have been easy no matter what.  But it was the will of God for them.  They balked at the will of God because they were not comfortable.  Things were hard.  The Children of Israel could only see that they were uncomfortable in the wilderness.  They didn’t like it.  They had to pack up all their belongings every time the pillar of cloud or the pillar of fire moved.  They had to follow God during the 40 years they were in the Wilderness.  They were not flexible.  They were not soft hearted.  They were not hearing the voice of the Lord. 

But, their children grew up in the Wilderness.  They grew up on the miracles of the water coming out of the Rock.  They grew up with learning to move when God said the move.  They learned to eat the manna & they learned to do what they had to do when the time came.  They were the generation that was soft hearted enough, & flexible enough to follow Joshua into the Promised Land & fight the inhabitants that dwelled there.  They learned how to keep their mouths shut for 6 days as they walked around Jericho.  They also learned how to SHOUT when it was the 7th day & so they shouted so that the walls fell down & they rushed in to take the city. 

But how does a heart grow cold & hard?  When you refuse God’s guidance your heart grows cold. When your pastor tells you something to do, like get a job or clean your house, or be a have a little more compassion for others & you let it go.  Your heart becomes just a little harder.  Sin will callous your heart to the point where you can’t hear Him calling anymore.  That’s what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness.  God was trying to bring them into the Promised Land & they refused.  They thought that they had good reasons for refusing to obey God.  They were so full of fear & unbelief that they thought if they did what God said to do, they would be destroyed. 

It doesn’t make any difference how good your reasons are for disobeying God.  That disobedience will cost you.  It will also harden your heart.  The children of Israel ignored God’s leading so many times that He just sent them into the Wilderness.  They were so stiff necked that He couldn’t lead them into the blessings  that He had planned for them.  He just had to let them wander around for 40 years until only 2 of the original ones were left.  The rest had died in the wilderness.  He had to raise up a whole new generation that was softer hearted people before He could bring them into the land. 

Sometimes we make “deals” with God.  We think that if we put off obeying Him it will be easier later.  It won’t be.  It will be harder.  Sometimes we think, “Well, maybe that wasn’t God speaking. Maybe it was just me.  I’m just going to do what I want anyway.”

Sometimes we have a stronghold of fear built up in our life.  Fear to step up.  Fear to move ahead.  Just like the children of Israel.  They feared to go into the Promised Land because they saw themselves as grasshoppers.  We have to break that pattern of fear & HEAR GOD FOR OUR LIFE!!!  Hear Him for what we are to do, then DO IT!  We don’t just live our lives for ourselves.  Our destiny is not just for ourselves, it’s much bigger than that.  (think of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”)  You may have to fast & pray, humble yourself before the Lord so that you can hear Him.

There was a girl that I know from another state, that had a prophet prophesy over her about not moving to Kansas City.  That she was called to the ministry & was called to a certain region.  She decided to do what she had already planned & that was to move to Kansas City.  She wasn’t there very long when she got into a very bad car accident.  She totaled the car, but she came out ok.  Being out of the will of God will definitely cost you.  It didn’t take her long to get into line with what God had said.  But if she would have heeded the Word of the Lord she wouldn’t have gotten into an accident. 

God protects us in His will.  The safest place to be in this world is in the will of God.  Sometimes our own will is the idol in our life.  We want what we want & we won’t listen to anyone else or make the changes to humble ourself before God.  (JT) Pride is a repellant to grace.  Our pride, or willful contrariness, will stop God’s blessings on your life. Pride is doing your own thing in your own strength.  Humility is doing things in God’s will & in His strength.  Humility draws honor & honor is the highway to the anointing.  Pride will cause you to be ill equipped.  Honor will clothe you with anointing. 

Sloppiness means that you don’t have a spirit of godliness or an excellence about you.  It is a life out of order.  It is an attitude of poverty.  We have to raise our standard of thinking first, & then raise our standard about submitting to God’s will for our life. Integrity, honor & ethics is important.  God won’t put His hand on somebody that is just doing their own thing. 

Hearing God is a place of rest.  It will take pressure off of you.  In the end it is not just about my faith—It is about whether God can trust you.  You have to qualify.

God wanted to bring a strong church that would teach & preach the truth of the Bible in Sioux City, IA.  Many a church would start & most of them failed.  But God’s will had to be done.  God looked for a man who would qualify & keep the faith. He looked for a man that would raise his family up to continue the vision of the church.  God found Pastor Larry & Eileen Gordon in GA & brought them up to Sioux City, IA to do His will.  He said to Pastor Larry, “Go up & build My house & I shall take pleasure in it.”  For 35 years later that house is still standing & he has passed the baton to his son, Pastor Cary.  See, if you have a true vision from God it will continue past your life time.

2 Cor. 3:5; Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Psalm 51:6; Thou desires truth in the inward parts & in the hidden part thou shalt me to know wisdom.

God already promises us wisdom.  He wants us to walk in greater fullness of what He has for us.  The devil always comes to test your heart.  There is no such thing as a word for you life & it not be tested.  We have to let the Holy Spirit inspect us.  We have to let Him look at the fruit in our lives.  Don’t let the devil help you to get familiar with the leadership in TC.  It is easy to grow familiar.  We have to be diligent to pay attention in the heart. 

Constantly making your own plans for your own reasons is being hard hearted.  Living for God’s will in your life is being soft hearted.  IF things are not working for us, maybe we need to ask God why they aren’t working.  Where did we get off.  What are we holding on to?  What attitude do we have that needs an adjustment?  We need to ask God to search our heart.  Sometimes we need to get away & let our heart get soft in His presence.

James 4:6; But He gives more grace ; Wherefore he says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (7) Submit yourselves to God & resist the devil & he will flee from you (8) Draw nigh to God & He will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners & purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted & mourn & weep (for your sins) let your laughter be turned to mourning & your joy to heaviness (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord & He shall lift you up.

Psalm 139:24; Search me, O God & know my heart; try me & know my thoughts. (23) And see if there be any wicked (twisted, offended, off, like wicker) way in me & lead me in the way everlasting.

IF we have a job we are assessed for our performance.  We should assess our life on a regular basis.  We should assess our finances every month.  We should assess our home & it’s needs.  We should assess our relationships our marriages our own needs.  We should be able to assess our spiritual growth too.  If the pastor has to say something to you, then you’ve already fallen back in an area. 

vs 9) If I take the wings of the morning & dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea (10) Even there shall thy hand lead me & thy right hand shall hold me (14) I will praise thee, for I am fearfully & wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works & that my soul knows right well. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me; O God! How great is the sum of them!

God told me a while back to “think the thoughts of God.”  He told me, “That that will be a Hallmark for me.”  Well, to do that means that I have to know how God thinks.  I know that He always thinks that the impossible is possible.  He always think on great provision.  He always thinks on protection & leading us & guiding us in all truth.  When I think the thoughts of God my heart becomes soft because then there is no room for fear, worry, doubt, loss, lack, sorrow.  There is only room for the great possibilities.  When I enter into God’s room, there is only joy, love, peace, faithfulness, kindness, long-suffering, patience, hope.  There is all good things.  Sadness shall flee away. 

All the soft hearted people who live for God’s will in their lives will be there.  The hard hearted people may not be there. 

Hebrews 12:14; Strive to live in peace with everybody & PURSUE consecration & holiness, without  which NO ONE will ever see the Lord.

I think that that scripture is pretty self explanatory.  We are to desire & pursue consecration & holiness.  Desiring God’s will in our life should come first.  That is pursuing a soft heart before the Lord.  That is where your reward is.  That means that your life will not have to be hard, because you have stayed flexible, pliable under the might Hand of God.