Overcoming Unhealthy Habits with Susan Ryan

heart matters susan ryan Oct 10, 2019


Overcoming Unhealthy Habits- Episode 10

When the Lord looks at our hearts, what do you think He sees?

According to Psychology Today, breaking unhealthy habits requires identifying behavioral patterns and developing a plan for success.
How many people, after a difficult day, head for the refrigerator, or to happy hour, instead of going for a walk, listening to good music or doing some deep breathing?
Our behaviors can quickly develop into habits. To come up with a solution for change requires some investigation and digging, mostly into the depth of our hearts, to see the bigger picture.
The unhealthy habit I want to talk about today is not taking time to carefully examine our hearts with the Lord. If our heart is full of gunk, we are likely to make many poor decisions. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23 
Who can truly know the human heart, but the One Who created it! "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9
When the Lord looks at our hearts, what do you think He sees? Not limited like a physician, God sees the beginning from the end and everything in between. I sang on a worship team for many years and oftentimes I would look out into the congregation and wonder what it would look like if I could actually see the hearts of the people sitting in the sanctuary.
I imagined there would be those with physical wounds, bypass operations, every possible heart attitude and emotion, dead spots, and other places shining like diamonds. What about those things we yearn for in the future, and those things we grieve from the past?
"Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
If the human heart was a piece of prime real estate and I wanted to build a new home on this property, I would get a professional to see what I am able to do. A survey crew is sent out first to research the property and confirm the exact boundary lines. Next, a geotechnical engineer is brought in to study and identify the soil.
In Oregon, where I worked for a civil engineer, there were over 30 types of soil. The environmental consultant then identifies any species of plant or animal, or waterway, that needs protection or mitigation. Each of these professionals provided a eeport to the civil engineer who then began house placement and design.
Some of the most amazing things can be found in a piece of land. On one particular piece of property, let’s say they discovered a fish bearing stream in the northern part of our parcel, a protected species to the south, an abandoned gas tank to the west, and an ancient burial ground to the east. And a neighboring property encroaching on our boundary lines!
It sounds so much like the human heart! In order to pinpoint things on the property, it took devoted and dedicated time and effort surveying and examining. Let’s look a little deeper into our heart and do some self- examination, for our heart is far more valuable than any piece of land.
Are there physical wounds or a bypass operation? Is there something we are protecting? Does it still need protecting? Is it time to stop self-preservation? Is there something left abandoned in our heart that has contaminated the soil?
It will have to be removed and the soil replaced. Is someone encroaching on our boundary lines? Is there someone we need to forgive? What type of soil is in your heart? Is it rich and fertile, or rocky, dry and shallow. Do you have an ancient burial ground in your heart? Are there dead things that need to be removed?Are we grieving something that perhaps we should have been done with long ago?
" I considered my ways; I turned my feet to [obey] Your testimonies." Psalm 119:59
Maybe you are someone who appears to have it all together, successful, professional, but deep inside you know you need the Lord to help you with some things, in your heart, that are weighing you down.
" But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7
Take time, my friends, to sit at the Lord’s feet. Ask Him to survey your heart and graciously point out the things we need to address. We can be so busy, that we forget to take the time to have Him cleanse and heal us from things we thought were long gone.
I recently found myself grieving something I should have done 30 years ago. I hope you will take time to address the matters on your heart with the Lord. They matter to Him.
Susan Ryan


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