There’s a difference between knowing what to do and doing it. There’s a difference between knowing truth and living like we know truth. There’s a difference even between knowing and believing. It’s often said that the difference is between having that knowledge in our head vs in our heart. While I understand what’s being said there, I think practically speaking that statement still leaves the hearer perhaps feeling a little more emotion but without any helpful solution.
Physically speaking information does not, and never will, reside in the organ we call the heart. Our heart pumps blood, and while that in and of itself is an important and beautiful task, that’s all it does. Our minds however are capable of both hearing, understanding and applying knowledge. Those are the tasks that need to be done and it happens entirely in our brains.
So, then, if we don’t have to transplant information into our “hearts” to get it into our lives, what do we have to do?
This has been something I’ve been thinking about recently, and apparently I’m not alone as just in the past 2 days 3 separate people have had the same conversation with me independent of one another. This thought of doing what we know, applying what we’ve learned, and holding on to truth we’ve been given seems like a pretty common struggle.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling as if I’ve found some missing puzzle pieces that are starting to give me a fuller picture of what’s going on in my life, clearing up things that have happened and giving me some direction for what to do now. In this, I’ve hit a few ups and downs. It’s like I see so clearly, make a decision, and move on only to be faced with the same decision the very next day… and the next… and the next. At first this was really frustrating to me. I kept thinking, “Why am I yet again struggling with this? I gave up control of this just yesterday, why is it back?” But slowly I’ve begun to see that I can’t give up control over things once and for all, it’s a daily and sometimes moment by moment occurrence. And I think this is the key to getting what’s in our head to play out in our lives (aka. get it into our hearts.)
The proof is in the pudding. We can talk all we want about how we’ve given God control over our lives, how we’ve forgiven someone, or how we’ve chosen a new and improved lifestyle – but we know this has happened when we walk it out and we walk it out by taking a single step and making a choice with every step that we take to continue in the right direction.
It’s ok that we are hurt when people say hurtful things to us, that’s totally natural. But when that happens we must hold on to what we know and choose to believe the truth of what God says about us. It’s completely natural to prefer cookies over broccoli. But if we truly believe what we eat impacts our health and our life when faced with those choices on a daily basis we must hold to our resolve and choose (at least the majority of the time) what we know to be fueling to our bodies over comforting to our minds. When finances are tight, when the future is uncertain, when we don’t know where we’re going to live or what we’ll eat, in the times of uncertainty and fear we have two choices: take it on ourselves or offer it to God. The two are diametrically opposed, so you can’t do both, it’s one or the other.
If you choose to take care of it yourself, well, you’re on your own then. If you choose to let God take care of it, then it’s in His hands and you need to take yours off. This is much easier said than done, it requires holding tightly to your decision and trusting that God will bring out good in the end. Sometimes this is a one time decision, but I think much more often it requires a constant reminding that the situation has been given to God and leaving it there. And that’s where the peace is. Leaving whatever it is with God and refusing to pick it back up again. It’s an exercise of will, but as with all exercises, the more it’s practiced the easier it becomes.
I’m so thankful that we not only have theory, but we also have truth. This truth that we’ve been given is a Rock to stand on, a safe haven to run to, and peace that passes understanding. So hold on! But not to your problems and your temporal solutions. No, hold on to the Truth that God has handed you today – His in sovereign, He is in control.