The Heart that is Free

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

July 13

The Heart that is Free

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 150:1-6 | I Chronicles 15:1 – 16:36 | Romans 1:18-32 |

Proverbs 19:6-7

Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Chronicles 15:1 – 16:36 (esp.15: 25-29)

“As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart” (1 Chronicles 15:29, NIV).

What a contrast! David dancing before the Lord; Michal despising and trying to take his joy. David’s heart was free to worship God. His focus was the Lord. He danced and celebrated with all his might. Unconcerned for his dignity, he celebrated before his God. The ark – the visible symbol of God’s power and presence—was back and this was time to celebrate. Michal’s heart was bound up and unable to enter into the joy of worshiping God. Not only was she unable to enter into the joy of worship, she tried to steal David’s joy. She was more concerned with “appearances” and doing things in a “dignified way.” Her heart was needy and bound up. It was in need of major renovation.

The Pharisees manifested the same attitude toward Jesus who was free to eat with tax collectors and sinners. The forms were more important to them than the substance. They spent all their time cleaning the outside of the cup, instead of cleaning the inside (Matt. 23). Their hearts needed healing (Matt. 13:13-15).

Paul dealt with a similar attitude in Galatians when the Judaizers tried to steal the freedom of the believers in the city of Galatia: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).

He warned Timothy of those who would have “a form of godliness but deny its power.” In other words, watch out for those that would hold on to the form, and lose sight of the substance.

You serve a great and awesome God, and he delights in you. Soon you will once again enter into the assembly of believers to worship him –a place where he longs to manifest his power and presence. Let’s celebrate!

Don’t let anyone steal your joy and freedom. Allow Jesus to deal with your heart issues. Open your heart to Him. Then your heart will find the freedom to celebrate like David and it will not become needy and withered like Michal’s.

Open your heart to Jesus. Enjoy your time in his presence in the solitary place. Then join together with the saints to celebrate God with all your heart and soul and strength—with all the intensity you have. Find the freedom of David—the freedom of a heart set free. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!

Almighty God, set my heart free to worship you freely and with abandon. Take away the masks and the pretending and the concerns over what others might think, and allow me to joyfully express my praise. May my abandon lead others to find the joy of a heart set free. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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