Incline My Heart

  • Feb. 25, 2013
  • #8041

So often we can become distracted from what is truly important. We need to take ask God to control our hearts to be obedient to what he has called us to.

Incline My Heart

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and you’ll identify with this.

I had wheeled up to my desk with every intention of spending some time in my Bible. Before I had a chance to open the Word, my eyes glanced to a couple of clothing catalogs which had arrived in the mail that morning. You know, a brightly colored blouse on the cover of one just had to grab my attention. And so, I quickly prayed, “Lord, I'll get to the Bible in a minute, but I just want to check out the price on that blouse.” Twenty minutes later, I still had my nose in the catalog. I'm ashamed to say, the Bible had been pushed aside. Yikes!

This is why I have learned to pray Psalm 119, verse 36 where it says, "Lord, incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." My heart – and I just bet your heart, too – always needs to be inclined. I need God to give my heart “the want to,” the impetus, the forward motion, as it were, because there are days when I don't even want to pick up the Bible. But I know if I succumb to a ho-hum attitude toward the Word of God, I know my spirit is going to shrivel, my faith will shrink, and my hope will become dull. So I am just one of those kinds of people who has to be constantly pleading: "Lord, don't let me get away with this! Put the 'want-to' in my heart; persuade it; bring it around; predispose it; please, incline my heart to your Word and don't let me covet anything in its place!" Then you know what I do after I ask God to help me like that? I start reading -- don’t put it off --just start doing it!

Another prayer I often turn to is from Psalm 86, verse 11, where is says, “give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Look! I’ll confess my heart is fragmented and often I find it going every which way – I know you understand what I'm talking about. Sometimes I'll get all prepared to read the Bible and I have to literally push out of my thoughts everything else that is clutter – it’s all clutter. I'm thinking about laundry to pick up, a project to finish for Sunday school, a birthday card that needs to put in the mail, a 'warning' light on my dashboard that needs to get checked out. So many things vie for my heart's undivided attention. So I have to ask God to gather the fragments, and get my heart together.

And the last thing I like to pray when it comes to my heart and getting it ready to read God's Word is that marvelous verse from Ephesians chapter 1 which says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and the incomparably great power which is his.” So friend there you have it. Ask God to incline your heart, unite your heart, and open the eyes of your heart. Then, you and I are going to discover great things from His Word.

I’d love to hear from you on this subject – so when you have a moment, go over to my radio page at joniandfriends.org and tell me the way you pray when it comes to reading the Bible. And while you’re there, ask for my brand new booklet “Gaining a Hopeful Spirit.” It’s a great resource to give someone whose heart is heavy or lacking hope. It’s nicely laminated and opens into a 14-page fold-out, just the perfect size to tuck in a Bible. So take time to go on-line and visit joniandfriends.org and ask for “Gaining a Hopeful Spirit.” Finally, when it comes to your heart, ask God to be the Lord of it. Give Him full rein to rule it. Invite Him to sit on the throne of your heart. After all, Jesus Christ is the King of Hearts.

© Joni and Friends 

 

 

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