Jesus Changes Our Hearts & Minds

With each Holy Barre post shared, I pray you know that it’s not coming from a place of ‘having it all figured out’ but rather from ‘still trying to figure it out! Join us!’ And the timing of this week’s focus on Jesus changing our hearts and minds aligns with my personal place of brokenness and humility, not strength or expertise. But His power is made perfect in our weakness, so let’s dive in!

Before we begin to discuss our hearts and minds, we have to mutually commit to being real. It’s hard to hide the state of your physical appearance, but it’s easy to hide your mental, emotional, and relational state. We must be willing to open ourselves up, reflect from a place of humility, and be okay with being vulnerable. Authenticity is not natural nor comfortable, but true freedom and healing do not come from being ‘fine’.

There are two aspects of ‘being real’ that need to be emphasized for changed hearts and minds:

  1. We MUST be real with the Lord. He loves us, all of us, because of WHOSE we are and WHO we are, not what we do. So the pressures off! We can give Him the good, the bad, and the ugly about our days, weeks, relationships, and projects. We can cry out to Him in anger or joy! The reality is He already knows it all, just desires for us to share it. And the Lord is a really good listener. 🙂
  2. We NEED biblical community and accountability. We need a few safe people in our lives to whom we can also bring the good, the bad, and the ugly. Friends who will listen, encourage, support, and speak truth when we need to hear it the most. Also, our being real provides a safe space for others to be real, hence deepening those beautiful relationships.

Okay, so ready to get real? 🙂

  • How are you doing? What are you thinking about?
  • What brings you joy? What brings you peace?
  • What are you trying to control in your life right now? What are you holding on to?
  • What are you scared of? What fears periodically cycle through your mind?
  • Ugh, shame! How is shame impacting your thoughts and feelings? Lacking forgiveness in some area? What lies are you believing about yourself? About others? About God?

So I’m an overthinker and underfeeler. My natural responses to the questions above might center around facts about things rather than how I truly feel about them. Can anyone else relate? Go through the above questions and respond with facts. Now let’s go through the questions above but dive into our feelings.

  • How are you doing? What are you thinking about? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
  • What brings you joy? What brings you peace? WHAT FEELINGS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE ALL THAT?
  • What are you trying to control in your life right now? What are you holding on to? WHAT FEELING COMES UP WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT RELEASING CONTROL?
  • What are you scared of? What fears periodically cycle through your mind? HOW DO THOSE FEARS MAKE YOU FEEL?
  • Ugh, shame! How is shame impacting your thoughts and feelings? Lacking forgiveness in some area? What lies are you believing about yourself? About others? About God? CAN YOU ATTACH A FEELING TO EACH AREA OR PERSON? JUST TRY TO NAME A FEELING.

I’m obviously no counselor, and you might have thought this exercise to be silly. And maybe it is silly. Or maybe it feels silly because we never process our own feelings like this! I’ll analyze, plan, and process things all day long, even aligning them to His truth. I often think about other people’s feelings. So I think that makes me a feeler, right?! Nope. What gets overlooked is how I feel personally about such things. How I really feel – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And as Alisa Keeton states it, our feelings need a Friend.

So what does all this have to do with Jesus and Easter? Let’s look at John 16 and hear from Jesus Himself.

‘It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you . . .
But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is . . .
When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions. This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.

John 16:7, 13, 23-24, 33 MSG

Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the Holy Spirit is near and active and engaged in a relationship with us as believers. Jesus changes our hearts and minds as we make the choice to pursue Him and allow Him to fill us up as a Friend and Counselor and Helper and all the other terms used to describe the Holy Spirit! He dwells within us, taking our thoughts and feelings and giving us truth and joy and peace!

The struggle with our hearts and our minds has been around since the beginning. Even in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had a tough time processing their thoughts and emotions and making good decisions. The enemy convinced them that knowledge was the wisest choice, and they chose the tree of knowledge over the tree of life.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

Every day we have the choice to pursue deep roots in knowledge or deep roots in life and His love and our obedience. The world loves knowledge, but Jesus came for life! We might find a sense of comfort and control in knowledge while Jesus and His love require trust. I get it. I’ve been there and daily have to make the choice just like each of you. Oh how I want to understand things. Like ALL the things! But like Proverbs 3:5 says above, trusting the Lord with all my heart is where life is found!

So what can we do?! Lots of options! As long as the ‘what’ includes Jesus, you’re moving forward on the path to freedom! One recommend is to go back through that bulleted list of questions above, and this time, find a verse from the Bible that relates to your thoughts and feelings. Maybe it’s one like 2 Timothy 1:7 – ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ Or maybe you google ‘bible verses about fear of sickness.’ Let’s attach truth to your responses though!

We’re going to talk about worship next week, which is an awesome choice for your heart and mind. Pursing Him in praise and prayers is also a wise move. You can read more here: Jesus Changes our Prayers Praise & Meditation. And let’s not forget about gratitude – that’ll do wonders! 🙂

Yet I’d like to end with the Armor of God. As this physical representation of spiritual truths gets me fired up! (You can find lots more about this if you search on this site.) There are two pieces of armor whose jobs are specifically to protect our hearts and minds:

  1. Breastplate of Righteousness – by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, we are choosing to do what the Lord says in order to guard our hearts. Righteousness is responsive obedience to His truth and love. And when we pursue the things of the Lord, seek fiercely after Jesus, and obey His commands, our hearts are full and protected. Shame and fear can often creep in when we stray from faith. When we’re full of Jesus, there’s little room for shame and fear.
  2. Helmet of Salvation – by putting on the helmet of salvation for the very first time, we chose to make King Jesus our Lord and Savior of our life. We made Easter real and personal. By putting on the helmet of salvation each day, we are choosing to make Kin Jesus our Lord and Savior of our day, today, right now, in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Amongst the lies and pain and challenges and comfort and control and knowledge, our minds remain protected and guarded because we are full of His grace and truth, not anything that the world throws our way.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I realize I wrote A LOT. Sorry. But before you go, take some time to listen to these songs in response to Jesus changing our hearts and minds and celebrate Easter with a renewed and full perspective!

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