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July 2024 Message From Pastor Mike: “God Listens To Your Heart”

It’s a testimony to the genuineness of our faith that most prayers are not said out loud. We pray inside our minds, thinking words that our lips never pronounce but that we believe God hears just the same. Trusting that the unseen, all-knowing God can discern our prayerful thoughts gives evidence of remarkable faith.

I recently began reading Chatter by psychologist Ethan Kross, a fascinating exposition of our thought-life. We all have some sort of inner dialogue, that silent conversation you have with yourself about your life, your feelings, your fears, your hopes. I suppose it’s technically a monologue, since you are the only one talk-ing inside your brain, but it often feels like a conversation as you go back and forth over the situations and ide-as that shape your life.

They say, you are what you eat. It’s far more true that you are what you think. What do you think about yourself inside your own mind? Far too often, we say negative or untrue things about ourselves and the situa-tions we face. In the same way, we often think unkind things about other people, and these thoughts – good and bad, true and untrue – end up shaping the way we behave and speak out loud.

Our thought-life can be a place of temptation, where we vent our anger, feed our anxieties, give free reign to selfishness and indulge desires that we hope no one else will ever discover. Our thoughts can also be comforting and joyful. We can experience transcendence inside our hearts in ways too profound to put into spoken words.
God hears it all.
Alongside these inner thoughts are our prayers, those invocations, supplications and adorations that we address to God. You do believe that God hears your thoughts, right? For some, that might be a scary notion, wishing that your private reflections would remain secret, but God does hear it all and we should be grateful.

David felt overwhelmed and blessed to know that God could read his thoughts, as expressed so beauti-fully in Psalm 139. “You perceive my thoughts from afar,” David wrote. “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

At times, David wanted to hide from God, to keep his thoughts from being discerned, but he knew that God always sees, always hears and always cares about us. In the end, David invited God to “test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

It’s a blessing that the Lord knows us completely and still loves us perfectly. Invite the Spirit to listen to your inner thoughts and prayers. Invite Him also to speak to you. You can hear God’s voice in your heart through remembered words of scripture and through the gratitude you feel for past prayers now answered.

Often the Spirit’s voice is the one that reminds you of those things you know to be true but struggle to accept. When your inner dialogue sounds like an argument, God’s voice is always on the side of truth, love and hope.

Learn to listen to the Spirit and quiet the other ideas and fears. Ask God to teach you how to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Invite the Spirit to rule over your heart and your mind so that what you think, feel and believe will be shaped by God’s goodness and truth. Then, what flows out of your heart through words and actions will bring honor to Jesus.

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