Does your heart have peace? Do you feel pain? Do you feel pleasure? Do you delight in His presence?
Solomon said, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV).
Life flows from the heart.
Leadership flows from the heart. The Bible says that David was a shepherd who led his people with the integrity of his heart (Psalm 78:72).
Love comes from the heart. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37 NKJV).
The Lord looks at the heart (Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:4).
As our physical heart plays an essential role in our life, our inner heart plays a vital role in our life, leadership, and love. The enemy of our soul attacks our heart. He wants us to have a spiritual heart attack. If our heart becomes a stony heart, it can’t receive anything good. Or if it becomes full of thorns, it chokes the seed of God’s Word. A good heart is a key to fruitfulness and fulfillment.
Jesus is our best example of living a life that’s full and pleasing to God. Jesus was busy but not burned out. He was mistreated by people, yet He wasn’t bitter. Christ's task was huge, but He lived in a constant state of rest. He shares His secret with us:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 NIV).
The secret of Jesus’ idea of “rest” wasn’t going on vacations or taking days off, although those measures are good. It’s not His being tied down to disciplined routines but it is His heart. He promises us that if we study His heart, ours will be healthy, and it will bring rest to our whole being. There are many things to learn from Jesus, but one of the most important ones is how to have a healthy heart.
To have a healthy heart, we must have a humble heart.
To have a healthy heart, we must replace a hurry with holiness.
To have a healthy heart, we must prioritize peace over pressure.
Once our heart is healthy, burnout will be replaced with holy burning.
Being in the shadow is being in the shade. Dwelling in God’s presence is living under God’s shadow. His presence provides protection. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). To live in this shadow, we have to be under God’s authority and guidance.
We are not only called to live in the shadow of God but also children are called to live in the shadow of their parents, wives in the shadow of their husbands, parishioners in the shadow of their pastor, etc. Living in someone’s shadow is seen as a negative concept, but it shouldn’t be. Moses and Aaron serve as good examples of this. God sent Moses to Egypt, but He sent Aaron to go to Moses. Moses was sent to a nation, but Aaron was sent to a man - Moses. Aaron lived in the shadow of Moses. That’s where he was safe - in that shadow. One time when Moses lingered on the mountain, Aaron took the lead position, and he didn’t do really well in that role. “Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies)” (Exodus 32:25). The pressure, the people, and the position were all too heavy for him. He pleased the people by permitting idolatry. In fact, it cost many people’s lives, including the displeasure from God.
We all have to be committed to what God called us to do, not try to climb the ladder of success to achieve visibility in the eyes of people. Many of us aren’t called to be in the spotlight, and that’s fine. All of us are called to be a light. Light doesn’t need a stage; it needs a dark space to shine.
If God called you to be in the spotlight, remember there are heat and light that comes from being in the spotlight. Develop strong mental resilience because being known, visible, and popular doesn’t come without criticism, pressure, and heavy responsibility. Make sure to spend quality time in the shadow of God and in the shadow of your mentors and pastors so that you don’t get sunburned. My reminder to you as I give it regularly to myself is not to let criticism get into your heart and not let compliments get into your head.
If God didn’t call you to be in a spotlight, don’t seek it. Be content in God. Remain complete in His love for you. Find comfort in your Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, remember your value doesn’t come from your visibility. You are not less valuable in God because you are not visible by men. Some of our body organs such as our heart, liver, and kidneys, don’t get any attention from men. They are not seen in photos or videos, but they are almost more valuable than the parts that are visible. Those organs need to be where they are placed by God. If we remove them out to the front from their original place in order to give them “attention” or “recognition,” we will render our body lifeless.
If God called you to serve him in a shadow, find shade.