The Heart of the Matter
For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
Too often we ask God to fix the problems around us when what He really wants to do is solve the problem within us. I did that myself for years where my weight was concerned. I prayed and prayed for God to help me lose weight. Yet I experienced repeated failure. I lost literally hundreds of pounds, only to gain them right back again.
Finally one day, I made a firm decision. I told God, "I am not going one step further until I find out what to do about this!" Then I went on a fast, shut myself away from everyone, and determined to hear from God.
During that fast the Lord revealed the real source of my problem. He showed me that I wanted to lose weight, but I didn't want to permanently change my eating habits. I was like an alcoholic who wants to be able to drink constantly and not be affected by it. I wanted to eat nine times a day and still weigh 166 pounds!
Suddenly I realized God wasn't content simply to rid me of the extra pounds on the outside of me. He wanted to rid me of the sin of gluttony on the inside of me. So I repented of that sin right then and there. (It was then that I realized just how hard it is for a man who drinks to face the fact that he's an alcoholic. It hurts to admit something like that.) Then, instead of asking God for deliverance from my weight problem, I asked Him for deliverance from my food problem.
Sure enough, He did it.
If your prayers don't seem to be changing the problems around you, maybe it's time to take a look inside. Maybe it's time to ask God to go to work on the heart of the matter.
Psalm 139:1-10, 23-24
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