Christians are still humans. The reality is that sometimes our hearts are just not responding to God’s grace with the faith it deserves. Our minds wander when reading the Bible or hearing a sermon. Our emotions are dulled to songs of praise and testimonies of mercy. Our decision making reflects a love for things other than the kingdom of Christ. We can lose our resolve to obey the Lord.
A common misunderstanding is that this state of heart is not something that we can pray about. It seems disrespectful and ungrateful to acknowledge to God that our hearts are not inclined toward him. We think it’s up to us to get our spiritual act together before we pray. Many Christians live in this stuck place of a dull heart toward God.
If this is you, here are some thoughts to consider before you give up on any hope of loving God with all your heart.
First, at least you know it. Awareness of the problem is the first step toward asking for help. Remember, becoming aware of our sin and spiritual need is a work of God’s Spirit. This should give us encouragement that he is leading us to a good place.
Second, the question suggests that you want it. “What if my heart is just not into it?” is a question asked by someone who has some degree of desire to have a heart that is into it. Again, this is a work of God’s Spirit. Do something with this God-given desire, even if it is small.
Third, pray about it. In Psalm 119:36 we read this prayer, “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” Rather than being ashamed or embarrassed by his dull heart, the psalmist prays about it. He is not giving in to hopelessness. He is looking to God for the miracle of a changed heart. The fact that a person asks for a heart inclined toward God’s word means that God stirred up the heart to want it and that he intends to give it. Pray for it!
Fourth, take some steps toward it. One school of thought says our hearts have to be into something before we will actively engage in it. But, another way of thinking is that when we know something is good and true, but our hearts are not inclined toward it, we can actually engage our hearts by taking steps toward it.
If you and I are aware that loving and following Christ with our whole heart is good and right, but we find our hearts inclined in other ways, we can ask God to turn our hearts toward him, and then we can make decisions to pursue what he intends to do.
Today, pray the prayer and make a plan to have your heart inclined toward Christ and his word. He will do it. Now, go and pursue it.
We will talk more about this on Sunday. I look forward to seeing you.