I am a person who feels….a lot. And how I view my life has everything to do with how I’m feeling at the moment. I wouldn’t say I’m moody necessarily (my husband may disagree..lol) but a negative interaction with someone, even a stranger, can change my really good day into a bad day in seconds. Those who love me would tell you that I care way too much about the opinions and feelings of others. It’s a tough way to live…..and I wish it were different a lot of the time. God is working on me in this area and we’re taking baby steps.
Recently, during my morning devotional time, a word jumped off of the page of scripture as it often does. The word is steadfast. Psalm 57:7 says, “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.” As I read it I realized that I’ve heard that scripture so many times. In fact, I’ve probably sang praise choruses and hymns about being steadfast. But for whatever reason, on this particular day I was supposed to really hone in on what that word means and I couldn’t get any further in scripture without doing some research.
First I searched the dictionary definition. “Steadfast – adjective: resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” Then I did a Bible word search and a topical search. The more I searched, the more I found scriptures related to steadfastness. Numerous references to “stand firm”, “fear not”, “do not give up”, or “remain unshaken”. I searched for deeper meaning or other guidance and found many articles and sermons on the topic. But the more in depth I dove, the more the words “my heart is steadfast” played in my mind. It was clear that this was a something I was supposed to “get”….and not skip over.
As I thought more about a steadfast heart and how my own heart seems to change with the wind, I was reminded that far too often we are focused on following our hearts. I hear it all the time about decisions as small as whether or not to buy a blouse at a boutique to decisions relating to relationships or career changes. It’s written on T-shirts and murals and is the basis of many Hollywood love stories from Disney to mature audiences. “Just follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong.” “You deserve to be happy.” “The heart wants what the heart wants.”
The reality is, my heart apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, cannot be trusted…..at all. My heart is far too unpredictable to provide a compass for the directions I should take. If I follow my heart, I will likely be running off of the road at every turn like a toddler trying to steer a tricycle for the first time or a teenage driver without any practice in an open space. Following my sinful heart would take me places I thought I’d never go and into things I thought I’d never do. Following my heart is just a really bad idea. I think what God wants me to learn right now instead is that a Christian heart is a steadfast heart. An unwavering heart. A heart that knows, no matter what we may “feel” that He is faithful and trustworthy.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I think often we use that verse to assume that God will give us whatever we think we want. But what I believe that scripture really means is that when we line up our hearts with His desires, when we are steadfast in our beliefs about Him, when we take captive every thought and “delight” in Him, then He will ALWAYS meet our hearts desires because our will and His will line up. Only then can I safely “follow my heart.”
I have a bit of a graphic T addiction or I would already own it, but I saw a T-shirt recently that says, “Happiness is a mood….joy is a fruit.” I really love that. Life is hard. People are difficult. Things don’t always go our way, even when our relationship with God is rock solid. We aren’t promised happiness, we are promised joy. And with a steadfast heart, we can always have the certainty of His promises and the assurance of His faithfulness even when everything else is faltering. Resting in that means our joy is never dependent on our circumstances or situation.
There is a praise and worship anthem that I have on repeat in my playlist right now that I hope gives you all the feels as it has me. When I feel my heart begin to go off course, I am claiming Psalm 57:7. “My heart is steadfast and I will sing and make music.” And this is the song I’m going to sing for a season. Take a listen (volume way up!!)
Let’s encourage one another, remind each other to hold the course, and celebrate together in the times that everything feels right….even when they are few and far between. Our God is a Waymaker and even when we don’t FEEL it, He’s working….He NEVER stops working.