Over the past few years this verse has been a transforming one for me. In it Jesus speaks to us of our "innermost being".. other translations of this verse use the word "heart". I have written much here about the heart and sometimes have created a bit of confusion because many have a different perspective about the word heart and it's theological interpretations.. so today I want to focus on this idea of living from our innermost being.
I'd like to first reflect on two companion passages of scripture.. one in the Old Testament and one in the New.. one written by a king (Solomon) and one by an apostle (Paul):
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)It has always perplexed me how one can "ask in faith without any doubting".. until I began to better understand the inner life and how trusting God is all about living from my innermost being. When we live from this place.. this place within us where the Holy Spirit lives.. we live in a place of trust. I think that it is a good indication that we are leaning on and living from our own understanding when begin to doubt.. when fear captures our lives.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)
I think that we "acknowledge Him" when we live from our innermost being and not from our own understanding. Really.. when we following our own understanding we sadly only acknowledge ourselves. In a sense, this idea of acknowledging Him is best exemplified by Jesus when He says "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water." When life flows from within we begin to acknowledge God.
I am reminded of that time almost six years ago, when I was faced with the trauma of dealing with a crisis on the high seas, when my wife became paralyzed from the waist down after we boarded a cruise ship. I vividly remember the crisis and how God spoke to me about letting go.. He whispered these words to me:
"You cannot project manage your way out of this. You need to flow with Me in this and give up control".Interesting how the Holy spirit spoke to me of flowing.. it was like He was speaking of my need to stop leaning on my own understanding and trust Him to flow from deep within me.
I guess control is the real issue.. isn't it? Several times the writers of the New Testament speak to the idea of quenching the Spirit. Does it amaze you that the Holy Spirit.. the third person of the Godhead.. can be stifled or quenched in our lives? I think that this idea is best exemplified in this passage:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)This passage captures the heart of of what it means to live from our innermost being. It speaks to the idea of receiving the Holy Spirit, being taught by Him, letting Him flow out of us in speech and discernment. It also speaks to how this stuff seems foolish when we live out of our own "natural" understanding.
I guess I need to end by saying that I am really a learner in all of this. I feel that I am only a few steps into this journey of living from my innermost being. My wife's illness and disability stretches me a little more each day.. it causes me to let go of my own limited understanding of life a bit more each day.. and I am enveloped in a peace and contentment that I didn't believe possible.. but not all of the time :)