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A Heart Set to Please the Lord

Nancy Taylor Tate

It was a cold, rainy morning, but I knew Jethro, our dog, still had to go out. He eagerly came to the door, ready. But when he stuck his face out and felt the cold mist, he started to back up. It always makes me laugh when I see him walking backwards. He doesn’t turn around; he just starts backing up rapidly.

Allen picked him up and took him out. As he likes to say, “Twelve pounds always loses!” Jethro came back with his tail wagging, quite happy to be done.

I used to hear my dad say, “Lord deal with me, and if I complain, don’t pay any attention.” In his heart of hearts, he wanted God’s highest and best, regardless of how he might have felt at the moment. He always let the Lord know he wanted to be dealt with according to his heart’s desire, not his reactions.

God sees our hearts and will deal with us accordingly. When we unconditionally surrender our lives to Him, though we back up sometimes, the Lord is faithful to pick us up, put us in His arms, and continue to work according to His will.

So many of us make new year’s resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Let us make a new year’s commitment! A renewed consecration, afresh and anew to the Lord Jesus Christ, as we confirm our desire for His Lordship in our lives.

When we call Jethro, he doesn’t walk, he runs to us. It always makes me smile as I see him eagerly come, his tail wagging. May we run to the Lord with open hearts, quick to respond to the Holy Spirit as He nudges us. May we prayerfully spend time in His Word, that His Word might find expression in and through our lives.

In Philippians 3:8, Paul said “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Paul’s zeal was to “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” Philippians 3:10.

Paul encourages us, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” Philippians 3:15.

Lord, this is our desire, as we “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:14.

We choose Your highest and best! At any cost…

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:12-14.

May this be our mindset! Our joy! Our focus, as we walk through this year with hearts set to please the Lord. May we value His blessing! May His approbation and favor rest on our lives.

Our little Jethro certainly has our favor! Of course we love him unconditionally. But there is something that turns our hearts when we see him watching for us, running eagerly as we call him, or that he just wants to be with us, wherever we are. He’s sitting by my feet as I write!

May that image help us better understand Proverbs 8:17, 34-35: “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.”

As we consecrate our lives to the Lord, asking for His highest and best, asking Him to work in our lives according to His will, may we also rest in His love, knowing that as He sees our hearts toward Him, His heart is moved toward us.

May the Lord bless you this year! And give you favor! As together, we continue on in our walk with Him.