My Heart: A Palette of Color

Painters Palette

Our hearts are speaking to us; we must listen to hear what they say. The heart tell our stories—who we are, what we struggle with and why. And even though the heart is desperately wicked, it still holds our palette of colors, the ones in which we paint our world. Our Master Painter God has chosen for us many of our paints, and through resistance to our story, we have mixed those colors into indistinguishable browns. Opposition to God’s order always muddies the water and makes drab what could be beautiful.

Living from My Heart

Living from My Heart
I used to foolishly think that I could avoid deeply listening to my heart. I’d give it a cursory pat to show I wasn’t completely unaware. But to deeply listen, feel and experience the full impact of that which hurt me…not so much. I believed that I could just live within the lines I drew for my self and create my story. “Can’t I just live a sterile life and not dirty things up with that messy heart?” Nope!

Our hearts reveal to us our God-given life assignments, and the areas where Christ wishes to reveal His amazing victories. To avoid the heart is to avoid His choice of where He wants to show Himself strong. Imagine that, He wants to prove Himself in the place of my primal, core-level struggles. To avoid the life He’s given me, by refusing to feel how it impacts my heart, is to avoid His victory in overcoming it. This makes our desire to clean ourselves up before coming to Jesus seem so foolish.

Sterilizing My Heart

Sterilizing My Heart
Remember those days before being saved when some of us thought we had to fix our mess and make ourselves presentable before we came to Christ? It’s a crafty trick of the enemy. Get busy failing to resolve what only His life has the power to solve. It’s a merry-go-round of endless spinning. From trying to fix my mess so He will accept me, to the shame of failing to do it again, and then right back around to more trying.

In the 90’s, a friend of mine had a vision of me on a carousel reaching out for that brass ring. In her vision, I was extended in an inhuman parallel stretch to get that ring. She knew that it spoke of my level of desire. Later Martha had a word for me from the Lord: “Come off the merry-go-round.”  I had worked so hard to fix my mess, to no avail.

Face to Face with the Heart

Face to Face with the Heart
Coming to Christ is to approach Him in the humility of acceptance. Yep, facing that horrible mess we’ve all made. It’s receiving our stories and listening to our hearts with all the wounds, the pains, the hopes and the dreams. Within my heart is the mystery of “me.” The me that Christ called, died for, and for whom He purchased His victory. To avoid listening to and living out of my heart is to disconnect myself from the person Christ saved. Evading the heart is to elude the Source of Life. And in actuality, it’s impossible to be shepherded by The Shepherd without living from your heart.

Many of Jesus’ disciples lived from their heart. One of which was Nathanael in whom Christ called “a man without guile.” This man lived in the honesty of his heart, and in that transparent honesty he would see the heavens opened.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is not guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity! Then He said to him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you all, you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man!
John 1:47,51 AMP

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    14 Comments

    • sue

      i needed to hear this again……..you shared it so perfectly.

      • Annalie du Toit

        Me too, Sue.

        I thought about the Lord saying that we cannot even fix the least of things, and are therefore commanded not to worry about them.

        Thank You, John. The post was like a soft shower of rain to me.

    • Irene

      I love how the Holy Spirit teaches us through our daily encounters. You have shared about your art classes John, and this is a wonderful lesson you are being taught as you take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. Thank you for sharing these precious insights into our hearts.

    • tammy

      Profound…from beginning to end, simply profound.
      Being witness to the healing transformation of ones own heart leaves no question about a Soverign Savior.
      Bless you John for being so real and honest. And for allowing us a look at your most vulnerable place.
      You bless me.

      • shulamite

        We are big on the sovereignty of God right now. Thank you for hearing the Spirit. Thank you for your encouragement and love you Tammy!

    • Rachel

      Because of our SELF righteous trying to make our hearts holy, pictures of hearts should be colored with a jumble of festering colors (like John said) that give revolting evidence of our inability to be holy in our own power…isn’t it interesting that most heart shapes are completely (and appropriately) red? Blood red! May HE take my mussed up, human trying and failing heart and clean it and cover it in HIS red BLOOD each and every day, minute, and second!

      I love the part where you said: “To avoid the heart is to avoid His choice of where He wants to show Himself strong.”
      Well, He can have it because I can’t do a thing with it! 🙂

      • shulamite

        Deal, we will all turn it over to Him, none of us can do anything with ourselves. Bless you Rachel! Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Douglas

      John, what a profound, yet practical, insight. I’m grateful for this, thank you. Sam said it well commenting in the linked post 3 years ago–“you can only enter this order of Him by releasing the pain of you to Him.” And not just releasing, but receiving His full sovereignty as well. Again,grateful to His Shulamite vessels.

      • shulamite

        That is it, we have to have both. Thank you Douglas! Love you and am grateful for you too!!

    • Seth

      When this series first came out on the heart for some reason I didn’t connect and honestly wasn’t interested. It didn’t seem like it was for me at the time. However, over the past couple of weeks some stripping, humbling and more has been going on. I am more hungry, more aware of my need than I was then. As I read I am finding this is exactly what I needed to hear. It is exactly where I am and what I need to be focusing on and not running from. Truth is truth and may God make me/us ever more ready to receive it. I am on to the rest of the series. Thanks John.

      • shulamite

        So pleased Seth, that it is ministering to you. Love how God orchestrates and aligns our hearts and lives to meet Him. Hope the rest speaks to you as well! Love you man!

    • Anna

      This so speaks to me right where I am this morning. Thanks, dear friend. Yes and amen!

    • Helen

      “To avoid the heart is to avoid His choice of where He wants to show Himself strong.” “He wants to prove Himself in the place of my primal, core-level struggles.” Down in that inner place of my heart, there were hurts in which I decided ‘I lacked so I would supply’. It touched how I looked at what supply was, what it was for, & more.. HE is the Only Supply of ALL. Core issues are found smack-dab in the middle of God’s sovereignty. Martha used the word ‘supply’ (Rule & Reign..#82) & my heart started talking. I can’t surrender what hurt me when I’m unwilling to feel & experience the impact & it’s effect. Surrender removes the grip that skews the view. Martha said, “God was to supply us daily for every situation. The need to know what to do & how to do it, what to think & how to feel, flows from God’s brilliance.” A deep supply for our very real need. A heart can live there! That word ‘supply’ uncovered depths in me, that God wanted to pour into! Amen to this wonderfully clear & important message John!

    • Sandy

      It’s very hard to ask Jesus to come into the mud of who I am… I would far more easily convince myself that such an invite is shameful and that I should just hide myself…and stay there…

      It is impossible to ignore the math! Love exists and grows inside a relationship! There’s too much effort by the Lie to make us doubt that very thing and keep us away…

      I am eternally thankful that it was Love that first chose me because I am stupid enough to run away, even after tasting how good Love is!

      …His goodness and mercy truly have no end!❤

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