Restart Your Heart

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

It's Time


There is a medical procedure used by heart surgeons worldwide called cardioversion. Cardioversion uses electricity or chemicals to activate the heart and return it to its normal rhythm. Total cardioversion involves stopping the heart and then restarting it.


     An irregular heartbeat can cause great damage to internal organs, even death. Cardioversion restarts the heart, allowing it to regain its ability to do what it was designed to do, which is to supply life-giving blood to the rest of the body, in just the right measure and at the intervals required to sustain life. This amazing procedure saves thousands of lives every year.


     Unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, offense, hurt and injustice can have irregular and damaging effects on our spirits. These effects disrupt our spiritual health and can harm our physical health as well. Many times, this devastation cannot be solved through usual means; the hurt is too deep. When pain is this entrenched, there is only one way back to renewed health and strength for the assignment God has for your life: You need to restart your heart.


We have to learn to love like we’ve never been hurt. . . . As you read these words, you may be picturing the face of the person who has caused you pain. . . . Whatever [or whoever] it is, you have loved hard and were wounded. This someone has cut off your love supply. And you are not living fully, the way God intended, because you do not know how, or if it is even possible, to love like you’ve never been hurt.


     It’s amazing that our minds want to dwell on the past, the film reels of our failures—those who have hurt us or rejected us, and the injustices we have experienced. I used to play those experiences over and over in my mind thinking about what I wish I had said, the things I wish I had done differently and the injustice of it all. We do this, partly, because we can’t make sense of it, and our computer-like minds look for logical conclusions. But because we can’t reason our way to the justice we long for, the offenses are never resolved.


     And that is just where the problem lies in these endless imaginations: We try to reason through the pain, but injustice and hurt are not usually based in truth or logic or any kind of reasoning.




The Point of Attack


In my thirty-plus years of experience in ministry I have learned a profound set of truths.


1. When a problem makes no sense on a physical level, then there is something spiritual going on.


     As you spend hour after hour racking your brain for answers or trying to reason things through with someone, even with God, you find you are stuck in an endless loop that leads you back to the beginning. That’s not your fault. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It means that you aren’t dealing with reasonable people. It means that the hurt you suffered is not something you deserved, and there is no human logic that will help you rationalize it. It means that the rejection you suffered was not because of anything you did, but because some selfish soul chose to delete you from his or her life. You will never make sense of this in your mind because it is only spiritually discerned.


     Let go. Shift your focus. Forgive and move on. Leave that person to the Lord to deal with, and trust that God has you, will always have you, and that His justice is on His timetable and not yours.


2. Spiritual issues will not be solved by normal means (logic, reason, justice) and must be dealt with on a spiritual level.


     When pain or hurt cannot be solved through physical means, step back and take action in the spiritual realm. Pray. Forgive. Love and bless anyway. Allow the Lord to give you a greater obsession. Trust with extraordinary faith for your extraordinary situation.


     This one is hard to grasp because, being human, we always want someone to blame. We want to put a face on our hurt so we can know where to direct our anger. But the fact is that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Only prayer and faith will help you with these kinds of offenses and hurts. 3. No amount of thought or planning or worry will solve a spiritual issue or a spiritual attack.We replay the bad memories again and again. We talk about them repeatedly to anyone who will listen. We think of ways we can exact revenge. We poke and prod at our gaping wounds. In the process, we become bitter. Hardened. And, often, we withhold our love from those who need it most.




Restart Your Heart


You can spend your life looking back, and many do, or you can trust God with that face you see and trust God with that injustice you have suffered, knowing that your God is not blind. You can’t fix this. But God can fix you. God can create a new heart in you . . . His heart in you. And He will give you His eyes to see what He sees, His ears to hear what He hears and His heart to feel what He feels. His ways are higher, as are His thoughts, but He will give you His thoughts and His ways if you will ask for them.


     But before He can give you His thoughts and His ways, you have to be willing to let go of the hurt, the offense, the injustice. Let those things fall to the ground. Empty hands are required in order to receive the new thing. The old and the new cannot coexist in the same hands.


     This is a lot to take in on Day 1, but if you will give yourself as an offering before God during these 21 days, He will do a work in you. You will finish as a changed person with a heart that has experienced a restart.


[God] wants to give us a new beginning. A new story. A fresh start. He wants to heal what has been broken. He wants to reconcile what has been torn apart. . . .


     It is never wrong to love. It is never out of order to love. You do not compromise when you love. You never lower your standards when you love.




Prayer


Lord Jesus, as I embark on this 5-day journey, help me to take every step, not with fear, but with great expectation for all You are about to do. Speak, Lord. Heal, Lord. And teach me Your timeless truths.




Based off the book Restart Your Heart by Jentezen Franklin used by permission of Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2018.