7/13 Learning to Talk to your Heart for Total Wholeness

We have been talking about the heart, what it is and how it works in this Blog on Total Wholeness.  We have seen how important it is to hear and to understand our Heart. We don’t always consciously understand our spiritual hearts because it has hidden motives and desires.  “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9.

Only God can truly understand our heart. Only by talking with God can we find out what is the true state of our hearts.  “Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?” Psalms 44:21.

As we have seen, the essential motivations of our lives come out of our hearts.  “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  Proverbs 4:23.

We need not obey our heart, but we need to hear its message.  If we don’t, the heart can become sick and even shut down.  Often it corrupts the body with disease.  Using God’s principles, we can learn to care and protect our heart.  I’m convinced that anyone who is serious about personal growth needs to study the Bible about the heart.

A.  Jesus expects us to hear and apply truth

Just understanding God’s principles with our mind can limit our personal growth.  In fact, being obedient and allowing truth to touch our heart is one of the aims of Jesus’ message.  To just see truth without applying it is like a man looking in a mirror.  He soon forgets what his appearance was, James 1:22-26.

The way to good heart growth is to learn to apply what we have learned from the Holy Spirit.  Another example of this was Jesus’ parable about the man building on sand or on rock, Matthew 7:2-27.  What do you think Jesus was saying?

B. Most people want change

Most people come for counselling, or to growth groups, because they want change.  They believe something, or someone, in their environment, ‘needs to be different’, so that they will find peace from their conflicts.

1.  The presenting problem is not the real issue

Often it is not the present situation that is the real problem – it is our heart belief about the event that needs changing.  Remember our example of our heart’s attitudes towards spiders, where five different people will have five different responses?

2.  Change can take discipline and working with the Holy Spirit.

Going through change is much like crossing a river.  You are on one side and you  know you want to be on the other side of the bank.  Sometimes there is a lot of rough water to get through; sometimes it’s just hard word to get through the mud!

That’s where your Divine Teacher, Counsellor and Guide comes in.  You are not expected to do this change process by yourself….or all at once.  It’s a lifetime journey.

You could lock yourself away in a Monastery for ten years and work really hard to Cleon up your Heart…but guess what?  There will always be things the Holy Spirit brings up.  If we could get perfect by ourselves, we would not have needed Jesus to be our sacrifice.

3. Our heart is also like a computer hard disk

Our heart is similar to a computer’s hard disk.  You can only process information that has been entered onto the hard drive.  Good things in means good things out.  That means ‘Garbage in means garbage out’, Matthew 12:34.

a. The past cannot hurt you.  You will never be that little boy or girl again, caught in those powerless situations.  However, what has been entered into the heart as ‘truth’ will control you now.

b. When we acquire faulty ‘truths’ in our heart (and thus mind), our whole life is affected.  An important part of bringing healing to the heart and mind is to help it sort out “What is Truth?”  Our heart still believes the half-truths and heart lies we have absorbed from childhood.

c. Our reaction to events can help us see what is in the heart.  Whenever we are aware of cycles or patterns, or certain reactions to people or things, we need to investigate the heart issues that keep these reactions going.

d. Reactions, pain or emotions are the indicators of the lies that the heart still believes.  Getting healed of the heart lies will bring release as the Truth gets down into the heart and my reactions stop.

C.  How to get into the Heart

As we have already learned, the heart is hidden, even from us.  Only God can see into our heart and help us sort out our issues.

1.  The heart must be willing to work on issues

Just like the Lord, your heart is always trying to talk with us.  Since it doesn’t use ordinary language, you need to understand how your heart talks to you.  One way the heart speaks is through your emotions.

Medical science tells us that about 80% of all disease is ‘psychosomatic’ (meaning we carry the causes of the disease in our lifestyle).  Much of it is related to unforgiveness or bitterness.  Learn to heal the lifestyle rather than cure the physical symptoms.  Disease and medical problems are more connected to spiritual and heart attitudes than we know.  Why allow unforgiveness to ‘eat you up’ on the inside?

Be aware of your heart’s reactions when you start work on ‘heart issues’.  If the heart says ‘NO’, it doesn’t want to work on issues, then you need to respect this.  If your heart does not fully trust the Lord, you may need to work through these issues first.  Sometimes though, you can ask your Heart if Jesus can come talk to you and the Heart can just listen.  Amazing because the Lord gets through then.

2.  Some pathways into your heart

Even though the heart is hidden from us, there are several ways that we can find out what is in its depths.  The pathway will be different for different people.  Following are some ways to see what is in your heart:

a. The presence of a very strong emotion,

b. Finding that you are caught in reaction patterns“I have problems with my pastor’s wife, my mother-in-law and my home group leader.  They are all authority figures and I react to them.”

c. By learning to talk to the heart and discover its pain or happiness,

d. Working with the ‘little child within’,

e. Some physical pain, “I have a burning, hot poker in my stomach”,

f. The Lord may have already told you what is in your heart,

h. A word of knowledge about your heart from someone else,

i. Spiritual pictures, like the throne of your heart, a wall, and so on.

3.  Discovering faulty thinking patterns

As we have discussed, what is in our heart will cause us to think certain ways.  “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak” – through our thought patterns.

a. How do we undo emotional reactions and triggers?  We have all developed coping methods to handle situations where we feel insecure or out of control.  Some of the most common coping methods are ignoring the emotions, explaining or rationalizing the uncomfortable emotions away, thus burying or denying emotions.

b. God does not want us to continue in our dysfunctional coping methods.  He loves us too much to let the harmful patterns to continue.  He wants us to see these emotional reaction cycles, so that we can clean out our heart.  Remember the sequence goes like this:

Heart — > (Memory) — > Thinking patterns — > Emotions — > Behaviour

c. If you want to change your behaviour, you work on understanding your emotions.  However, your emotions are created because you believe certain things about yourself or life (your world-view).  Changing your thinking patterns will help but remember, the roots of everything will be in the heart.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author



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