Incline Your Heart
Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in Him - St. Augustine
When I say I want to do what God wants me to do, what does this mean? When I open my life up with the brave prayer of, “let my desire be aligned with Your desire. Incline my heart towards Your ways and not my own preferences.” I remember the story of Christ in Gethsemane, asking His Father if there was another way.
It is not that His ways lead us to the most fun or enjoyment or profit or safety. He does give us these things, but these things aren’t the reason why I keep following hard after God. I know for me it is the strangeness, the upside down world of the kingdom of heaven. The way Jesus wept and sweat blood as He prayed in Gethsemane, yet I know He could have said no. He was never forced, men didn’t just come up and take Jesus away to crucify. Jesus willingly laid His life down.
Jesus didn’t pick this way and we shouldn’t think we get to pick how we lay our lives down either. God decides what that looks like for you. Otherwise wouldn’t we all live and die in the most heroic and prideful way? But God keeps us humble.
The beginning of everything is the love of God. Then, our response to that love. If you love Him, obey Him, as it says in John 14:15. Sounds so simple. Try quick and drastic obedience. I’ve managed to do this a few times successfully. It seems once the decision is made and you step out on that first unsteady step, the Spirit of God takes over and there seems to be a holy ease, a strength that looks easy…I think that is called grace. Grace. Amazing Grace.
We cannot fulfill any ambition, any goal or desire of our heart, at least not to our full potential, without God. On the surface it may look like you can do it yourself, but the end is shallow and uncomfortable. We have to go deeper because God is there in the depths and the heights. He knows us better than we know ourselves. A desire or ambition isn’t wrong. God wants to give us the desires of our heart.
When I say I want to do what God wants me to do, this is what I mean: I want to be like Jesus and say whether you take me out of the hardship or not I will follow. I will trust His love. Sometimes I have to be still and quiet asking the Holy Spirit to intercede for prayers I don’t even have the words or knowledge to pray.
When I open up my life to the changed atmosphere of God’s possibilities instead of my own limited perspective, my heart is changed, not because He saves me from the turmoil but because He helps me through what looks impossible. He changes my heart, inclining me always, as long as I am willing, always closer to Him.