Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Heart Abandoned

Some of you may know the song The Stand by Hillsong. "So I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the one who gave it all. I'll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered. All I am is Yours."
This song entered my headphones as I wrestled with some complicated issues today. I wanted to know the real meaning of abandoning my heart, because, as we can all relate to, our hearts are always trying to do a lot.

Our hearts are the sources of our desires, our fears, our pain, our will, and we hold so many secrets in our hearts. Everyone has one of the above they don't share with people, out of fear at that, because of what other people might think. Other people won't understand. Unfortunately, this fear is very rational, as people never seem to do a good job of understanding.
Our hearts point us in all sorts of directions and rarely do we have the fortune of our hearts giving us one direction at a time. And often times, these directions are to places where we know we don't want to be.
But our hearts also love passionately. When we fall in love with something, nothing can take it away. What we love is the most important thing in our lives. Our love can lead us on noble and selfless ventures.

I asked myself this: How often does my heart really seek after God?
Somewhere between my love of music, fear of loneliness, pain of broken dreams, and my will to get what I set my eyes on, God gets shoved into a category infamously titled my "heart for God."
I desire so much for myself. I place boundaries on what I want to "honor" God, but is that what God wants for us? Are we doomed to live in a world of boundaries?
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of abandoning my heart is to forget about all the things my heart wants so it doesn't get in the way of my relationship with God.
I don't know about you, but I don't typically give things to people by locking them up somewhere we both can't get to. I don't think abandoning our hearts means hiding them.

Lets look at this from a different perspective.
God calls David a man after His own heart. That sentence seems to suggest that God has a heart of His own. If David's heart is like God's, lets look at David's heart.
David is clearly a very emotional character. In Psalm 22, David laments the agony and pain of being abandoned and lonely. In Psalm 109, David cries out to God to retaliate against his enemies. He begs to see justice served. The Psalms are full of David's emotions and desires, even when they desire vengeful, hurtful, and selfish things.
There is also a passage in Psalms that says "Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Some people think that means if you follow God, you will get what you want.
I would suggest otherwise. I would suggest that David is saying that God will give you specific desires when delighting in Him. That God's desires become your desires.
Wouldn't that mean abandoning our old desires? Wouldn't that mean that my heart's desires, because they can't co-exist with God's desires, need to be abandoned?
Wouldn't that mean that I need to abandon my heart so God can give me a heart that delights in Him?
Maybe I'm alone in this, but that doesn't seem possible. How can I delight so much in God that my desires all change, or are abandoned, so my desire for Him can be given to me? I don't want to stop loving some of the things of this world. Who really does? We all want things in this life.
Clearly, my desires are not things I have control over. But God does. And when I think about it, to desire what God wants for me sounds a lot better than what I want, even though I can't imagine anything better than what I want. I believe it though, so I pray that my desires be God's desires as I wait for God to help me abandon my heart to let Him transform me.
I hope this gave you something to think about, thanks for reading.


  1. I really liked your post Josh. Your thoughts are challenging and inspiring so fanks :)

    Wanted to comment on some thoughts i've developed over the years on Psalm 37 (Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desire's of Your heart...) That whole psalm has been an influencing point in my life throughout the years. I think its very true what you said about many well-meaning people kind of warping the meaning into saying whatever you desire must be good and you should get it. And I don't agree with that, and I DO believe that, that stance takes out the first part of the verse that says when you delight in the Lord, and that seems to suggest that when you are focusing on the lord your desires will probably form to His desires and then they will be granted.

    but. my problem with people leaving it there, is to say that we have to change ALL of our desires, abandon all of us. I don't think thats necessarily true, or what God wants. I think we need to be completely open and transparent to His desires and willing to change, but I think some desires that can seem "earthly" are there for a specific purpose.

    One of my favorite authors, Erwin McManus said in one of his books that " when you are passionate about God, you can trust your passions." Meaning, if you are passionate about music, about art, about science, about whatever, if you are also and first passionate about God than you can trust your passions. I think too many people miss the point, when they wait and wait on trying to figure out and change their desires to be Gods, when sometimes, if you are passionate about God, maybe he just wants you to choose. He can use you, in your brokenness or talent. If you pursue a specific career or not. And he's given us passions, gifts, and the ability to choose. And so i think sometimes our desires are good. They make us unique. They help us move forward, instead of not doing anything trying to figure out how to completely empty ourselves and be in his "will", we learn to be passionate about our God, and trust our passions, ad DO something.

    just thoughts. don't know if i went off the deep end or not haha, have a tendency to write too much. thanks for writing :)

  2. Thank you Josh for sharing your view on 'my heart abandoned'. I agree with you. And the more I grow in my relationship with God, the less I need to abandon.