Episode #161 To Search & Guard Your Heart – Significant Stories

5 Minutes Read

Rest More Resolution Podcast

From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Significant Stories Series and today's topic is To Search & Guard Your Heart.

Step 1: Simply to stand back and observe a story you believe.


Psalm 139:1-3,17,23-24; Proverbs 4:23-27

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God, please search my heart and guide me in your ways. What's a story that you want to talk with me about? And what about that story do you want me to notice?

Here's the episode transcript

Hey friends, it's Jen, and we're continuing in a series here on Good God Talks, looking at significant stories and really looking at the significance of the stories that we believe.

Today, I want to start kind of a sub-part of this series where I'm walking you through a framework that I have found helpful for many, many years now, and something that I often help walk other people through and it's a step-by-step process for recognizing and rejecting lesser stories. So sometimes we know that something is a lesser story, early on. Other times, lesser stories become so ingrained in our belief system or our day-to-day experiences that it can be hard to recognize them. And I have found this process to be super helpful in helping me and others identify and get rid of those lesser stories that can complicate and even create pain in our relationships and our lives with God. Today we're starting off with the first step.

But before we get there, I want to read some scripture to give us a little bit of context, some footing for where we're going in this process. I'm going to start with Psalm 139:1-3, it says,

“You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
And David continues in the rest of the Psalm to talk about how well he is known by God and that there's nowhere that he or we could go to escape God's spirit. That God is everywhere.

David goes on to talk about how God created him in his mother's womb and how his frame isn't hidden from God. In verse 17 it says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17). Or another translation of that is, “how amazing are your thoughts concerning me, God! How vast is the sum of them?”

And then the psalm ends circling back to the theme that we heard in the beginning, verses 23 and 24.

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

So David begins by saying, God, you have searched me and you know me. And he goes on to explain how well God knows him. And how vast and amazing are the thoughts that God has about him. And then he closes by asking God again, to search him, to know his heart, to see if there are any anxious ways in him and to lead him in the way everlasting.

As we start this process of inspecting the stories that we believe to see if they're stories that are worth us holding on to, I find this perspective so helpful because we don't have to avoid our stories. We don't have to skim over them or pretend that things that are hard aren't hard. We can come to them and genuinely explore them and experience them. And we can ask God to share his insight with us too, that he knows us better than we know ourselves. And his thoughts toward us are numerous and amazing. You can trust Him to search your heart.

The word here for “heart” is a similar root word that we see used in another passage of scripture, also talking about our heart. And that is in Proverbs 4:23-27,

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:23-27)

Both of these passages are talking about a human's heart, but that word is also translated to mean our mind, our will, our soul, our understanding. It means the way that we think or reflect, our memories, our inclinations, our determinations, our resolutions, our conscience, the seat of our appetites, our emotions, our passions, and the seat of our courage.

It's helpful to look at the stories we believe because we need to guard our hearts. We need to observe what's going into our hearts because everything we do flows from it.

1. And so our first step today is simply to stand back and observe a story we believe.

Part of why I used that first passage of scripture is the story that I think God wants to talk with me about, that I'm going to share with you guys as I'm processing it, is the story that I believe about anxiety. There's some areas in my life where I'm anxious right now. And so I'm approaching that story to talk with him about it. And you might want to talk with God about anxiety stories too, or there might be a different topic of conversation that he wants to discuss with you. No matter what story you're going to talk with him about, this is my encouragement about how to start.

You want to look at the story that you tell yourself.
What's that story? What's going on? Who's involved in that? What is that really like for you?

We all tell ourselves stories based on our experiences and our expectations. So what's one of the stories that you're telling yourself?

And I encourage you, as much as you can, try and approach the story without judgment, but with curiosity. Just step back and look at the story. What kind of story is going on in your mind or in your heart about that?
And as we do that, we're going to ask God to talk with us about it. And so here's today's question:

God, please search my heart and guide me in your ways. What's a story that you want to talk with me about? And what about that story do you want me to notice?

We'll continue on with step number two in our next episode.

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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