I am an intentional Christian. By that I mean that I give considerable thought to how I live out the Christian lifestyle.
I have not always been that way, even though it was how I started. As a baby Christian my only intent was to live like Jesus. Like the three little monkeys, I saw no evil, spoke no evil, and heard no evil. But over time I began to become less intentional. First of all, it wasn't the popular thing to do. Somewhere along the line I began to believe the lie that "it doesn't take all of that", or "Jesus doesn't expect you to be perfect". It didn't take long for me to become less like Jesus and more like the world.
It took a while but eventually I got better even though it was almost by accident. I like to think of it as being blindsided by the Holy Spirit. You see, there are two things you must do to become an intentional Christian. You must develop a consistent prayer life and you must consistently study the Word of God. Now to get efficient in both of these things you MUST ALWAYS yield to the assistance of the Holy Spirit. He is the Teacher and He is the Prayer Leader!
Another thing about the Holy Spirit is that He is the Revealer of truth and He is never wrong! Everything that He reveals, teaches, and exposes comes from a place of love to bring us to a place of wholeness and maturity in our Christian walk.
I said all of that because the truth isn't always easy to receive. Lies can be hidden so deeply in our hearts that we don't realize that they are manipulating our mindset and causing us to be deceived in many areas of our lives. The Holy Spirit's role in our life is to excavate our hearts to expose any darkness or sin.
Psalm 139:23-24 TPT gives us a prayer that opens the door for Holy Spirit to do His excavating.
23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.
Examine me through and through;
find out everything that may be hidden within me.
Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
the path that brings me back to you.
Now being an intentional Christian, I learned that I must give Holy Spirit permission to search my heart. Then I had to take the responsibility to own up to whatever He found. This was no time to debate it, explain it, nor excuse it. The only acceptable action was to repent of it, remove it, and replace it with what the Word of God suggests. The only acceptable position is always from a place of humility.
I have learned not to assume that all is right in my heart. Most of us are masters at burying things in our heart and then forgetting that it is there. However, the devil doesn't forget and he waits for just the right time to dig it up and use it against you.
Let me encourage you today to give the Holy Spirit permission to search your heart. Give Him permission to get rid of anything that has been causing you pain. Repent for all the things that you have allowed to cause you stress and anxiety. Then allow him to lead you back to the path that brings you peace and healing.
Be intentional about it!!!