(Read at https://zackhensley.wordpress.com)
So like many Christians in our culture, we all come home from church, a camp, or a conference excited about the touch from the Holy Spirit we received and are filled with excitement to cultivate that experience into our daily lives. Yet as the weeks and months go by it becomes all too clear that the “buzz” from the experience has faded and “real” life has set in. Suddenly we start to doubt the experience we had, or other times we begin to doubt God even encountered us. Though we want to be faithful to God, love for God is hard to maintain.
There isn’t any one way to cultivate love in the human heart. The Human heart, in the spiritual sense, is a mystery. A mystery that many have spent ages trying to conquer and answer. Shakespeare tried through poetry, Aristotle through reason; Soren Kierkegaard dedicated his entire life to philosophy and theology desperately hoping to answer his own internal questions about the mystery of the heart after leaving the love of his life at the altar. But at the end of all human wisdom and achievement, the answer to the human heart leaves all parties found wanting.
The Bible however is clear in its answer. The human heart is a journey not answered by searching out oneself but instead in looking into the heart that is its twin; the heart of Christ. In life the answer to finding out how we work and how we are to keep our heart alive is found by searching out God’s heart as we were made in His image. When we begin to faithfully gaze at Him (prayer, studying the Word, worship) we are transformed into His likeness and our heart’s burn with love as his does. Paul calls it “knowing the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge.”
Jesus gave us 5 values in Mathew chapter 5,6, and 7 commonly known as the “Sermon on the Mount” that helps us gaze at God and His beauty, and helps us cultivate a lasting and lifelong encounter with Him.
- Serve: Charitable deeds, time and energy spent on another’s behalf. Jesus is a servant. Serving others causes us to partner with his ministry and teaches us to be like Him.
- Give: Giving service and or money. Being generous with what we’ve been given helps remind us where it comes from and makes a statement as to where our heart is.
- Pray: Both in petition and contemplation. Praying to just to ask (which is important to do) but to worship.
- Bless Adversaries: Forgiving and rejecting bitterness; being proactive to love our enemies and seeing them through the eyes of Christ.
- Fast: Food within your dietary health. Fasting can be more than just food, fasting is a lifestyle of being “Poor in Spirit”.
Over the next couple of days I will go over each one in greater detail. The road map to God’s heart that Jesus lays out for us in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is one that not only should be studied but is THE way to sustain and grow your heart. I encourage you to go on a journey of searching out God’s heart within those chapters and see where He takes you. Jesus is the real, living, and active God. My life’s ambition is to love Him well.