When the unexpected happens, what happens to our expectancy of God? When life takes a detour, even if just for the day, how does it rattle you? In those moments, does it shake you enough to throw you off course? Or even more common, does it shake you just enough each day to eventually throw you to the edge?
It hasn’t been until the recent years that I’ve become starkly aware of the disconnect that has happened between myself and my grasp on the nature of God’s promises. On a personal level, this type of growing disconnect to God’s heart was birthed from a place of constant storm in my life. Most often, I have found that this is the place that disconnect and burn out is birthed from.
The trouble is that the problem of disconnect, if not blatant during the stormy seasons, will eventually become blatant in the little things. There is a weariness that comes with the territory of a constant going uphill motion in our lives. It hides itself behind demand. The demand of routine, the demand of moving forward and on, and most commonly, the false demand of our strength to take on what should be given to the authority of God.
This was my experience with my growing disconnect. The demand and hurt of life drove me to control outcomes to the point where I began allowing myself to play God in the role of His promises. Eventually, my understanding of His promises and authority gave way to the authority that I gave myself.
Without knowing it, I couldn’t trust His promises anymore. I talked myself into believing that this feeling of distrust stemmed from a place of impatience instead of its true place: losing sight of Him. Losing sight of His heart that is both for me and placed over me.
In the recent months of trying to unravel any and all disconnect to God’s promises in my life, I have found that my understanding of His promises can only go as far as my understanding of His heart. His promises, designed by Him, are received through Him and His word. We are often in such an urgency to grasp the result of His promises without their birthrights, this being the Father’s heart. Our understanding and ability to hold onto His promises will fall through holes without God’s heart serving as the grounds on which His promises stem from.
This being said, we have been sent on a journey to know the Father’s heart.
As we are daily active participants in His promises, so we are also invited to be active participants in uncovering Him. The access we have been granted to intimacy with the heart of God is foundational in walking in His promise.
•God has designed His heart to be known.
Him sending His son to die on the cross for us was the ultimate revealing of His heart. One of my favorite scriptures that exemplifies this is that of the veil being torn when Jesus claimed the work of the cross finished.
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Matthew 27:50-53
The tearing of the veil is a beautiful depiction of the separation between man and God that was laid to rest for eternity. This is God’s heart: bridging the gap between heaven and earth. No more separation.
•God is light. There is no darkness or flaw in His nature.
This means that both His heart and character cannot be compromised. There are no holes nor conditions to the love that He extends.
“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exalt with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you will never fear evil again. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:14-17
•God has created a constant outpouring flow of love extended to us.
His constant outpouring of love is a direct result of His presence. He promises to show His love to us.
“ I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you all alone. I will come back to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. You will live because I live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me and that I am in you. Whoever knows and obeys my commandments is the person who loves me. Those who love me will have my Father’s love, and I, too, will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:16-21
Coming to know the Father’s heart is a journey that lasts a lifetime. My prayer is that God’s love is seen for all that it is in our lives. May it not be a version conditioned by our hearts but His. I pray that His freedom reigns as our frontrunner, unraveling all that has been placed into bondage throughout different seasons in our lives. May He come like a fresh rain and reveal Himself, Him and all of His heart to you. May He take you on a journey to first know Him, so that you can trust Him. May you lean into His presence in a new way and walk in His joy.
Anna Lise (Newton) Lillard, Co-Visionary of Exhale Women, calls Austin, Texas home with her husband and they are expecting their first baby in July. Her passion is to help her generation connect with the generations ahead and the ones behind, as well as cross lines of impossibilities with others through the power of prayer and HIS presence. She desires to help women connect to the heart of God. You can connect with her on Instagram @annaliselillard