The Importance of a Healthy Heart

Guarding Our Hearts


Why is it that we choose to hold off on healing? Often times we are prone to put our heart’s health on the back burner, because we don’t feel like our personal healing or inner health is as important as the other things that God has laid out in front of us, but the Bible instructs us to:


“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬


What does God mean by this? He means that we should guard our hearts, because the nature of our hearts establish our thoughts, which then determines our actions, and over time our thoughts and actions mold our character... so from our hearts flow life.


In order to maintain a healthy heart, we need to guard it, heal whatever has been broken within us, and break free of anything that’s keeping us bound. The truth is that if we continue to put our heart’s health on the back burner, then regardless of how much we desire to walk along God’s purposed path for us, we will become stagnant, distracted, or mislead.


Maintaining a healthy inner life/ heart consists of us guarding our hearts by obtaining wisdom through truth, and God’s word is that truth. We have to guard our hearts from things like temptation, distractions, untrue thoughts, and doubts; we also need to fill ourselves up with scriptural knowledge in order to be able to discern what God is personally convicting us to guard our hearts from. There are numerous all-embracing things that God calls each of us to guard our hearts from, but there are also personal convictions that are specifically molded for each of us, and the more time we spend engulfed in God’s truth, the more clarity we gain about what we need to eliminate from our lives. Spending time in God’s word also reveals which internal areas we need to gain healing in, so that we can achieve and maintain a healthy heart. The more time we spend immersed in God’s word, as well as speaking to the Lord, the healthier our hearts become.





Some areas in our lives that we need to heal from may have to do with things like forgiveness, insecurities, anxiety, or depression. There are so many lies that fuel the feelings that can lead and keep our hearts in a broken state, but God’s word debunks every single lie that drives these untrue thoughts within our hearts. For example, for those of us who feel like we’ve sinned too much and strayed too far to be loved and forgiven by the Lord, God’s word states that “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”(Micah‬ ‭7:19‬ ‭ESV‬)

This means that God loves us despite the fact that we are sinners, and that when we lay whatever we’ve done at His feet and ask for His forgiveness, we will receive it. We also need to remember that Jesus died for our sins; He was sacrificed so that we could live. When we ask God for His forgiveness He extends His grace, mercy, and love. He forgives us, and casts our sins to the side. This means that not only is God a good good father, but the thought that we are too far gone to be forgiven or to walk with the Lord, the thought that is driving some of us into a depressive state, is simply untrue. God’s truth, will eliminate every lie that fuels our brokenness; the truth will literally set us free.


As previously stated, personal convictions are personal, which means they are uniquely tailored to each of us. Some personal convictions that we’ve been lead to by our own discernment may drive us to guard our hearts from watching certain shows, listening to certain music, drinking, social media, or even going to certain places. Personal convictions are incredibly essential to pay attention to so that we guard our hearts from all that God calls us to guard our hearts from; being obedient to our personal convictions keeps our hearts healthy.





Tips to Get and Keep Our Hearts Healthy

  • Read your bible. Make sure that you are getting familiar with God’s word, so that you can grow in wisdom through truth.

  • Pray. Spend time talking to God; Submit all things to Him, and give thanks to Him.


  • Remember that God’s conviction isn’t His condemnation.


  • Get involved in a Christian community. That will help to hold you accountable, carry your burdens, pray with you, and remind you of the truth.


  • Be mindful of what’s influencing you. Make sure that those things align with God’s word.

  • Set boundaries that will help you to stay obedient to the Lord.

  • If need be, seek counseling. Sometimes we need specialized help in order to heal and to grow.



Truths to Remember

  • “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah‬ ‭43:2‬ ‭ESV)‬‬

  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms‬ ‭147:3‬)

  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬) ‭


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Meet Alicja

Alicja Oshiokpekhai is a 24 year old graduate from Texas Woman’s University. She was born in Germany to a German mother and a Nigerian father, and moved to the United States in 2001. She is an inspirational blogger, and serves on the team as our LYBM Voices coordinator! In her free time she enjoys writing, reading, learning, and growing with her community.

Created to Create

Created to Create

One of the beautiful things about creativity is the process. The artist’s hands become multicolored with paint colors amidst the completion of the finished work they envision within. The potter’s hands are plastered with clay as he forms a vessel. The writer sits at their computer screen and types, deletes, backspaces and starts over again until the words on screen communicate effectively...

I Am More

I Am More

One day I specifically remember going home in the third grade, and feeling defeated and crying my eyes out to my mom about how I didn't want to be the dark-skinned girl anymore. I was so lost in my pain and I wondered why God created me to look distinctively different from all of my other classmates. I longed at the time to trade places with my mom, who is lighter and fair-skinned with a softer hair texture. I voiced my frustrations and wishes to my mom as she held me and wiped the flood of tears that were gushing from my eyes. My mom, a Sunday school teacher and English teacher at the time, immediately sat me up and refused to let me think lowly about myself because I didn’t fit in. Instead, she told me a story that shifted and impacted my outlook on life from then on.
 

Fearless

Lately, I’ve had some sleepless nights. One of those nights, before the sun rose, I told God: I can’t go on like this. When will this finish? Instantly, I remembered a verse from Proverbs 31:25:

"She dresses with strength and nobility,
    and she smiles at the future."

I had the Bible next to me. I hurried to look for it and then I went on and read it aloud.  Each time I repeated it, I would feel God’s peace invade me and little by little I felt more confident that everything would be ok. A couple minutes later, I fell into a deep slumber. 

I’m a young woman with goals set, big dreams and an amplified vision. I know that there is a calling to complete and this comes before my own desires. Although I recognize that reality is harsh. In the social, economic, work, academic and even spiritual aspects, the hill seems difficult. Each day the slope seems steeper.

I imagine you asking me: How do you not feel fear? All of these things scare us and doubt the things that haven’t happened. If we don’t know how to control our minds we can easily get tangled to a point that we'll feel overwhelmed and insecure about the future that a dark  that is covered by a thick fog that doesn’t allow us to see ahead. 


"Every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows."
Matthew 10:30-31

Only Jesus knows how to eradicate the fog of insecurity and fear. He has the perfect formula to rid us of dread. 1 John 4:18 says, "Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear."

If someone knows about perfect love is Jesus.  He is the essence of love and knows how powerful a healing love is by being loved by him.  His love empowers us and makes us secure. It’s through love that he has given us hope in order to eternally enjoy and a glorious future. 

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). If our future, dreams, plans and vision are in the hands of God, we should not to be afraid and feel helpless. His grace is and will forever be sufficient in every area of our lives. When we feel that fear is invading our minds, allow the love of God to surround you. There is nothing more freeing than His love. Nothing can make you rest as much as the peace of the Lord. Nothing can make you feel close to our Maker than His own Spirit.

THE CLOSER I AM TO GOD, THE FARTHER FEAR STAYS FROM ME.

"The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father." 

Romans 8:15


With all my heart, 

Miredys


Llevaba unas cuantas noches casi sin poder dormir. En una de ellas, casi llegando la madrugada, le dije a Dios: –Creo que ya no puedo seguir así. ¿Cuándo esto va a terminar?  Recuerdo que al instante llegaron a mi mente las palabras de Proverbios 31:25:

Está vestida de fortaleza y dignidad, 
y se ríe sin temor al futuro.

Tenía la Biblia al lado de mi cama. Rápidamente lo busqué y leí ese verso unas cuantas veces en voz alta. Y cada vez que lo repetía, simultáneamente la paz de Dios me invadía y poco a poco me daba más confianza en que todo estaría bien. A los pocos minutos ya estaba profundamente dormida. 

Soy una joven con muchas metas trazadas. Sueños gigantes y proyecciones futuras. Sé que hay un llamado que cumplir y que va primero aún que mis propios deseos. Sin embargo, reconozco que la realidad en la que me encuentro es dura y retante. En términos sociales, económicos, laborales, académicos, aún en los espirituales, el panorama parece ser cuesta arriba. Cada día la subida se siente más empinada.

¿Y cómo no tener miedo? Todo esto nos asusta, nos hace pensar y pensar en lo que aún no ha pasado. Y si no sabemos controlar la mente se nos enreda a tal punto que nos sentimos abrumados y atemorizados por la incertidumbre de un futuro que parece ser como una calle oscura arropada por la espesa neblina que no nos deja ver qué hay más adelante.

“Dios les tiene contados a ustedes hasta sus cabellos. 
Así que no tengan miedo, ustedes valen más que muchos pajaritos.”
— MATEO 10:30-31

Sólo Jesús sabe como disipar esa neblina de inseguridad y temor.  Él tiene la fórmula perfecta para liberarnos del miedo. 1 Juan 4:18 dice: El amor no sufre del miedo. Por el contrario, el amor que es maduro echa fuera el miedo.

Y si alguien sabe amar a la perfección es Jesús. Él es la esencia del amor y sabe cuan sanador es ser amados por él. Su amor nos empodera y nos hace sentir seguros. Y es por amor que nos ha regalado la esperanza de poder disfrutar eternamente de un futuro glorioso. 

“El miedo es un sufrimiento que produce la espera de un mal. ”
— ARISTÓTELES

Para los que aman a Dios todas las cosas le ayudan a bien. Si nuestro futuro, sueños, planes y proyecciones están en las manos de Dios, no tenemos por qué atemorizarnos y sentirnos desprovistos. Su gracia es y será más que suficiente en cada área de nuestra vida. 
Cuando sientas que el miedo invade tu mente, deja que el amor de Dios inunde tu vida. Nada podrá hacerte libre como el amor de Dios. Nada podrá hacerte descansar como la paz de Dios. Nada podrá hacerte sentir más cerca de Dios que su propio Espíritu. 
 
MIENTRAS MÁS ME ACERQUE A DIOS, EL MIEDO ESTARÁ MÁS LEJOS MÍ. 



Y ustedes no recibieron un espíritu que de nuevo los esclavice al miedo,
sino el Espíritu que los adopta como hijos y les permite clamar: ¡Abba! ¡Padre!
-    Romanos 8:15


De todo corazón, 

Miredys