Heart Intention

Journal Entry // May 27, 2022

Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Acts 8:22 ESV

These past few weeks have been difficult for me in a variety of ways. I feel the weight of the burden I am carrying on my shoulders still. The guilt and shame of the past comes upon me at times and I just drift into this state of listlessness. I allow this burden to weigh me down and affect every area of my life. I allow it to suck all the joy and happiness from my life. I allow it’s tentacles to invade both my mind and my heart. I see it happening and I feel helpless to fight it at times. I know the truth. I know that I can lay this burden down before Christ. He will replace my heavy burden with his burden that is light and easy. Yet, I find this difficult to do in practice. I find that as much as I may want to lay my burden down and put on Christ, that my heart struggles still. The intent of my heart is isolation, selfishness, and pride.

I find this verse to be a difficult one. In a lot of ways, I am just like Simon here. The intent of his heart, the desire for the ability to give the Holy Spirit to others, was motivated purely by pride. I am not that different than Simon. I can hear the Lord whispering to me the same phrase that he asked Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry?” And I am angry. I think anger is the lurking sin in my heart that I have not really dealt with. It is the wickedness I harbor that I have not explored. I’m not sure what the intent of my heart is with this anger. To be honest, it scares me too much to think about it most of the time.

I push it down deep inside my heart and I shunt it away from the forefront of my mind. Yet, it keeps bubbling up to the surface. It keeps invading my everyday life. I can see it’s taint on my thoughts, my words, my actions, and my desires. I fear to deal with it properly because I know that it is deeply set. It is far too ugly to expose. It brings shame to the surface. It causes me to shy away. To run away. To hide from the presence of the Lord.

And that is what I have been doing. I have been hiding. Once again I reverted back to hiding and ignoring the obvious. Trying to put on the illusion that all is well. Telling myself that I am battling it in a quiet way, but I know that’s not true. I know that I was just trying to make peace with this anger. Trying to lock it away so it could do no harm, but that is not how it all works. I can’t just lock it away and ignore it. It will always creep back in and spoil everything.

No. I need to deal with this intention of my heart. I need to know that however ugly and shameful it is, that Jesus has taken it to the cross. This burden is no longer mine to carry. This anger that is trying to strangle me is powerless. In my weakness, I come to Christ and lay my anger before him. I lay that burden down before him in humility. I let the tears flow. I let Jesus wipe away these tears and pull me close. I once again come into the presence of Jesus and simply rest. I rest from all my fears and worries and strivings. I give myself to him and I focus my intention on loving him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

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