We too casually speak about giving our hearts to Jesus. In reality, giving our hearts to Jesus is not a casual or easy thing: it requires everything. The scriptures say we “lose our life” in order to “gain true life.” Jesus describes it as going through the eye of a needle. You get the idea that we are going to lose whole parts of us. To gain relief from guilt, we need a willingness to surrender our whole hearts to God.
In 1 Chronicles 28:9, King David says: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.” I am convinced that we will be relieved of guilt every time we find the presence of God. King David shows us that with a whole heart and willing mind, God will make sure we find His presence.
In 2 Chronicles 15:15, we learn that all of Judah “…had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him (God) earnestly, and He let them find Him. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.” Here we see God’s grace again: He makes sure that those who give their whole hearts will find Him. When they find Him, He gives them rest. Both Jeremiah and Jesus promise that we will “…find rest for your souls.” From this, we can gather that a surrender of our whole heart to God results in rest for our soul.
Deuteronomy 6:5 reads, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” In Mark 12:30, Jesus teaches, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The phrase love the Lord your God appears 13 times in scripture. We “give our hearts” by “loving” God with everything we have.
You get the point: giving our whole heart to God requires a willing mind – but it also requires God letting us find Him. Early in this series, Jesus taught, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” (John 6:44, 6:65) God assures us in Jeremiah 29:13-14, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Elsewhere, James writes: “Come near to God, and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8)
I know of no better way – and no other place – to shed the anxiety of guilt than to seek God’s presence with our whole being. In doing so, we not only release guilt – we are filled with the Holy Spirit who has the power to melt away every impurity and shame within us. In Christ, this is possible because all things are possible. For this, we have hope and “…hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Come to God. Open your heart. Repent sincerely. Surrender your all. God will empty out the shame and guilt. Then, He will fill you with his presence…and you will find peace for your heart. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
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