Issues of the Heart Pt. 1: How God Enlarges & Expands Our Hearts for Kingdom, Purpose & Love

(Mismanaging Your Heart Can Cost You!)

We think we are ready for love but the truth be told, our hearts are not ready to handle the weight of authentic partnership.  We are not emotionally and spiritually mature to have the capacity required to sustain and maintain the level of sacrifice, understanding, compassion and forgiveness that a real relationship requires.  Love is not a mere feeling.  It is not tingly feelings, longings, desires, sexual attraction and arousal.  People say that “Love is not blind”.  Not so! Real love is very aware and full of light and knowledge.  Why? Because God is love and the last time I checked, God is not blind!  This means that love is not illogical, nonsensical, all over the place and characterized by unstable feelings and emotions.  Love is intentional, logical, wise, knowledgeable and sacrificial in nature.

To love the way God loves requires a fundamental transformation of the human heart.  In order for our hearts to be prepared for and ready to receive, give, retain and sustain true, authentic Kingdom Love, the Lord does three things with our hearts.  First, He enlarges our hearts.  Secondly, he elevates our hearts and thirdly, He establishes His Kingdom in our hearts.  In this post, I we will only address the expansion of our hearts and in the next post, I will address how he elevates our hearts and establishes His Kingdom in our hearts.

Enlarge: make or become bigger or more extensive; to make larger, increase in extent, bulk, to increase the capacity or expand the scope of; extend, grow, expand, amplify, augment, magnify, build up, supplement

Scriptures:

Psalm 119:32 – I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.

Various translations of the above scripture, indicate that an enlarged heart is a willing, understanding and free heart.  It is heart set free, renewed and inclined towards God, the things of God and serving Him.  A heart like this is willing to obey God and has the capacity to function and flow in love and be very fruitful.  A heart like this is large, has depth, scope, capacity to fully receive from God and others as well as give.  A heart like this is fruitful and productive. The issues of life that flow from a heart like this always lead to righteousness, peace and joy. A heart like this can handle a bigger flow of anointing, power and grace to do mighty things.  A heart like this mirrors the heart of God — the heart of Christ.

To better understand what it means for God to enlarge our hearts, we must first understand what it means when the heart is small.

A small heart is the condition of the human heart when it is broken.  I would also say that a heart like this lacks the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, but I would be wrong.  Why? Because there are a lot of people who have experienced the grace of God and are believers, yet their hearts remain small and hard.  Heart enlargement is a choice and a process.  A person must be willing to go through and grow through the enlargement process.

A small heart is hard and diminished because of the effect of sin such as pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger, numbness, strife, grief, unrighteousness and so on.  If my heart is small and diminished, then very little love, grace, and power can flow through.  The Kingdom of God cannot be established in a tiny, small and hardened heart!  A heart like this can have a small amount of it, but because the heart is not enlarged enough due to unresolved pain, sin and issues crowding it up, it cannot receive.  A person with a heart like this cannot handle the weight of the full mantle of God’s original intent and purpose for their lives.  A heart like this is more likely to attract unhealthy, toxic or dead-end relationships and repel healthy relationships.  A heart like this is predisposed to deception and becoming further entangled and ensnared by sin.

Hearts become hard and small when we “mismanage moments” (a term I learned from Dr. Matthew Stevenson) over a long period of time that it becomes a mentality or a stronghold.  Mismanaged moments occur when we fail to develop self-awareness, check in with God and allow our hearts to go unchecked for extended periods of time by staying busy and overwhelmed.  In times like these, it is very easy to live in a state of distraction and heart mismanagement where we are totally unaware and unconscious of what is going on in the inside.  When this occurs we,

  1. Allow hurts & offences to fester
  2. Being easily offended & sensitive when under stress
  3. Numb/Run/Check Out (TV, social media, busyness, recreation, work, drugs, sex, etc.)
  4. Fail to discipline our thoughts. (where mind goes, mouth & body follows)

Every mismanaged moment builds up over time and leads to a mismanaged heart that is shrinking and diminishing instead of growing and expanding.

So how does God work in our lives to enlarge our hearts?  Heart enlargement involves the process of preparing our heart for more of God’s love so that we can be prepared to not only have healthy relationships but to fulfill His call, His plan and His purposes in the earth.  Heart issues must be exposed, purged and the heart healed in order for expansion to occur.  When these issues are exposed and worked thru, by healing, deliverance, prayer, confession, counseling then the heart becomes enlarged.   The debris and scars and dead tissue has bene removed making space for grace and space for God’s love.

Heart enlargement or expansion is NECESSARY, why?

  • For you to flow in purpose and flow in love. GOD IS LOVE.
  • For you to be fruitful & multiply (Gen 1:28), be fruit that remains (John 15:16) and occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13).
  • To be like Him – John 3:16 for God so loved that He gave. To have a big, large heart like His.
  • To love others that you are called to serve and be in relationship with — marriage, family, friends and connected to. (we want to be married but our hearts are small and full of junk that would run a potential partner away or we would attract another person with a similar heart situation)
  • To receive greater degrees of insight, wisdom & understanding necessary for life and for kingdom advancement. Wise hearts are expanded hearts.
    • The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Prov. 16:21
    • Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

If you really want to be ready for love, then you must be willing to go thru the process of heart expansion!  If you want a fruitful life that is one of significance to the Kingdom of God – a life of purpose then you must submit to the process of heart expansion. It’s not always pretty and can be painful.  But very necessary and produces fruit.

Two Ways God Uses to expand your heart for Love and for Your Purpose

The process of heart expansion is also the process of sanctification, healing and deliverance.  Our hearts are daily expanded every time we are intentional to:

  • Grow from Spiritual disciplines – prayer, Bible study, fasting, being in fellowship with other believers.
  • Grow from Tests and temptations, people, situations and circumstances that God allows for you to see what is in your heart. The only way to grow through these things is to be intentional to collect the wisdom and lesson in each experience.  Without reflection and self-awareness of what is going on inside, the same patterns, problems and cycles will keep showing up.

So, when you pray for love, for marriage, for the call, for your dream — EXPECT to be EXPANDED!!!!  Don’t run from the process!

Failure to submit to the process of expanding your heart will cause you to:

  • Greatly diminish or sometimes forfeit and not even walk in your purpose.
  • Miss out on opportunities because of unprocessed pain and heart issues.
  • Miss out on real love by self-sabotaging or staying in dead-end relationships because an unhealthy heart will always attract another unhealthy heart.
  • Spiritual death

Take your heart management very seriously. Don’t go long periods without checking in with self and God on the condition of heart.  It’s very easy to ignore, dumb, numb, pretend, over spiritualize without really being honest with what is going on inside. We must tend to our hearts daily by asking God to create in us clean hearts and renew a right spirit (Ps 51:10) knowing that God doesn’t look at our outside, but the inside – our motives, intents, thoughts, purposes. When we do this, we are well underway in our process of heart expansion and will see positive changes, freedom and healing over time.  Don’t give up.  Keep moving forward!  Stay tuned for Elevation and Establishment next.

TB