A Word from Pastor Sun Hee
FROM THE INSIDE OUT – HEART MATTERS
Another season of Lent has begun. Ashes have been placed on our foreheads, Lenten disciplines have been committed to, and the other usual business in the life of the church leading up to Easter is already taking place. But for some reason, this Lent feels very different for me. Perhaps, it’s because of the amazing Revival we had with Rev. Sifa Hingano and his son, Pete Hingano, where we heard the call to receive the power of the cross and live with Christ-centered hearts. Or maybe, it’s due to the host of seemingly unrelated conversations and various things happening around me that all point me into new directions and new ways of thinking. One thing for sure, all of these serendipitous elements are causing me to pay attention to my heart. Yes, my heart! For sure, I believe that God is calling me these days to pay more and more attention to what’s inside my heart.
Friends, what is inside of our heart absolutely matters. And it’s important for us to do a real good heart check from time to time to know what is the condition of our souls. I don’t know about you, but so many times, the stuff that is inside of my heart eventually finds its way out and affects all these different aspects of my life. Even when I try to ignore it, the heart stuff will eventually surface. That’s why the Scripture reminds us that God is not nearly as concerned with what goes in our mouths and He is with what comes out of our mouths (“… it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles…” Matthew 15:11)
Andy Stanley, in his book, Enemies of the Heart, says, “Somehow, what’s in our hearts, good or bad, is eventually translated into words and deeds.” He says this is an important subject because heart issues always takes a toll on relationships. “People with shrapnel lodged into their hearts from something in their past don’t really want to be known. Being known is tantamount to being found out or discovered,” says Andy. Consequently, Andy believes that people build walls around their lives and that the things that pour out from their mouths are ultimately connected to a wounded heart.
In his book, Andy Stanley addresses four “invaders” or enemies of the heart. And he explains that these enemies, if left to their own devices, will grow in power and influence. These enemies have the tendency to numb your soul, steal your life, and threaten your relationships. He identifies these four enemies as – Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy.
Pastor Anne and I will be preaching through this book and this theme in the upcoming weeks believing that it is so important for all of us to be aware of these enemies and to know how it is that we can be free from them. Thankfully, we have Christ’s sacrificial love that has been already laid as a foundation to make this possible for us. And we have at our disposal four spiritual exercises that we can engage in order to effectively neutralize the affects of these enemies. We will be excited to share about these in the series during Lent, and we encourage you to pick up one of Andy Stanley’s books, so you can intentionally and diligently follow along in this series. I have already started reading the book and applying some of what I’m learning, and it’s been making a huge difference!
I want to close with what Andy Stanley shared in one of his interviews regarding his book:
When one of Andy’s sons, Andrew, was eight, Andy was sitting on the edge of his son’s bed, having a talk about the events of the day. Without thinking, Andy put his hand on his Andrew’s chest and asked him, “Is everything okay in your heart?” As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Andy thought he was asking too much from an eight year old. But he paused and said, “Yes, sir, Daddy.” That began a weekly and sometimes biweekly habit that Andy continued for five years.”
I’m definitely planning on trying this with Kevin. And I hope that you will also join me in getting into the habit of checking your heart matters regularly…. Is everything okay in your heart?
With a heart full of gratitude and a desire for an honest heart check,
Pastor Sun Hee