Cultivating the Soil of Our Hearts: Are You Dead on the Inside?
By Jecenia Jackson
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
In late June, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers that had been sitting on our counter for a little over a week. When I first brought them in, I made sure I immediately gave them what they needed to ensure their longest survival. I trimmed the ends of the stems, gave them the powdered food it comes with, put them in water and moved them close enough to sunlight to get what they need. Now if you know anything about flowers, you know that cutting or trimming the stems helps prevent unwanted air bubbles while they’re in the water and helps them to absorb more moisture so that their life can be extended and freshness prolonged. Also, water and the nutrients from the food obviously gives them the nourishment they need to live. Lastly, the sunlight provides the photosynthesis which is important because it is the way plants and flowers derive their energy. Without light, it’s impossible for them to survive.
But then I noticed there was a small flower that fell off and didn’t make it. I decided to keep it on my window ledge just because it was so beautiful. I didn’t want to just throw it away. However, as the time passed by, I realized that the flower began to die and wither away while all of the other flowers were still standing upright and bright.
Of course, we all know that without proper care and nutrition, flowers and plants will die but through this simple truth I already knew, God began to show me that this is a “physical depiction of your spiritual life without getting your heart the proper care and nutrition you need from Me”. He first affirmed to me how He made me in the beginning saying “I created your innermost being; knitting you together in your mother’s womb and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14) but He also revealed to me that when I don’t cut down and trim everything that’s not like Him out of my spirit and my heart, feed myself with His word which is the bread of life, water myself with His truths and affirmations about me or draw nearer to His light, then my spirit begins to suffer a lot like this flower; diminishing from the inside out. See for the first couple days, the single little flower was still beautiful and looked normal and healthy, you know, a lot like we look on the outside, hiding what’s on the inside? But because it lacked the proper nutrition, the damage had already begun internally which was guaranteed to later show up on the external just like it eventually does with us.
Just like that flower, are we lacking the spiritual nourishment we need from God? Does everything seem to be fine on the outside but total chaos on the inside? Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I love that because it shows how vital it is that we keep our heart pure! If you want to hear from God, keep your heart pure. If you want to know God’s will, keep your heart pure. If you want to see God, keep your heart pure! It’s literally all linked to the heart which is why it’s so important to constantly check our heart’s condition. In order to keep a pure heart, we have stay connected to the only true source of LIFE, Jesus. How do we do that? Well I have noticed that if I can capture my thoughts early in the morning, by talking to God through prayer and meditating on His word, then it’s easier to protect my heart throughout the day. No, I am not perfect in this area. I still struggle sometimes making this an every morning priority but I can tell you there is a HUGE difference in my day when I don’t. When I risk waiting until the afternoon or before I go to bed, I’ve usually already let the enemy dump all kind of things onto my heart or in my mind and then I have to really fight to try to get a handle on it.
So, brothers and sisters, I can’t stress enough how important it is that we properly garden and care for the condition of our hearts so that we can stay connected to the Father. I know I needed to hear this & I pray it blessed you the same. Let’s get back to spiritually cultivating the soil of our hearts.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You are near ready and willing to work on our hearts if we only seek You. Forgive us and help us to continually pray “create in us a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within us...”(psalm 51) Continue to reveal to us the importance of staying connected to You and remind us that you are our strength and You are the only true source of life. Show us who we are in You as we continue to grow into the man or woman You’ve called us to be and help us trust and depend on You for our every need. We love You and we thank You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.