by Lisa VanValkenburgh
Empty has never felt so full
In the light of all that darkness can’t defeat
You fill this vessel flowing over
Till all that’s left of me is You
And empty has never felt so full
Full of unimagined beauty
Full of unlimited favor and affirmation
Full of Life that breathes and stretches time
Full of all that captures Your Divine
Drained, dragged, drowned and pulled
I am among the thick of me
Floundering, forgotten, flailed, and fallen
I taste the vile flow of my own reflection
Made of the fractured light of those around me
Seeking the high thoughts and praise of those full of void
Oh Empty – Elohim – do Empty me again
Then…empty will fill as full as the sea
Of life – and action – I’m bending my knees
Empty – oh Empty – this solemn and sulk
To the brimming and overflow of Your endless brook
Broken and humble – and standing tall
I am Emptied – Emptied
Emptied into Your Hand – and full
Full as never before…I am Emptied
And – Empty has never felt so full
~ 2011 ~
Sometimes the heart seeps with wearied weeping
The tears are the wounds that only the eyes feel
The heart has grown a callous to the beatings
And becomes hard to know what’s real
Things stack up and clutter the shelf
They hide the dust of neglect
The strength to clear it out lays beyond a hill
Steep and wearier still
Then Your Word blows in a gust
And kicks up that laden dust
And the clutter seems as so much garbage
Calling the heart to rain a cleansing deluge
Like a flood – the tears pour out
And sweeps away the clutters doubt
And reaches out for hopes refrain
And love comes calling us back again
There is no rhyme or reason to the heart or its many seasons
There’s only a Potter who shapes and molds this clay of me
There is purpose to times of dryness
Times to harden – and break and crack
Then there’s a time to be filled with sadness
Sometimes explained – sometimes not
Most always the explanation lies on a distant shore
Where the tide is always pulling towards You, Oh God
I thank You for the unexplainable – unimaginable – pull of Your will
This heart – no matter – knows its Maker
In drought or flood – cracking or filling
It will always find its way back to its harvest
The Love of a Father for His Children
A Groom for His Bride
A Shepherd for His Sheep
Calling – Calling
Come – Drink of the Living Water – it’s free!
Come – My lambs – Come back to Me!
Matthew 6:19-34. This will be the scripture we look to here in Part 5.
“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.”
It’s important to note the word wealth here means: An abundance of something that fills what is desired or needed.
The amassing of “things” is the caution. It begs to question the “buy in bulk” mentality. Though there are clear Biblical accounts of being instructed by God to “store up” years worth of grains due to coming drought and famines. Yet, in each case there was a clear indication by God to do so – this should not be a “norm”. It points up to Matthew 6:9-13, which is the prayer Yeshua (Jesus) instructed us to pray (we will cover this in detail soon 🙂 ). “Give us the food we need today.”
This subject is highly charged and gets confusing especially when one lives in a “wealthy” nation such as the USA. More than one TV verses a TV being considered “a need” at all…and so on. The words “here on earth where moths and rust destroy and things that can be “taken away” or stolen” these are usually skipped over. Why? Well, simply albeit not so welcomingly put, anything that can be worn down or moth eaten or stolen is an earthly wealth. Anything can be stolen – whether its in abundance or not, just ask anyone who has lived in a disaster zone, one loaf of bread is considered “wealth” at such times. Its therefore important to note verse 21.
“For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.”
It begs a question: So what IS wealth in heaven? This question is a heart question and invites upon asking – God – to answer. Why? Because only God would know what heavenly wealth is! Unless you “know” someone who’s been there and can ask them! Yeshua – was – and did answer. Lets listen. 🙂
Verses 22 – 30 Yeshua (Jesus) speaking – emphasis mine
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light, but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money.
Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life – what you will eat or drink; or about your body – what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are? Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?
And why be anxious about clothing? Think of the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work or spin thread, yet I tell you that not even Shlomo (Solomon) in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. If this is how God clothes grass in the field – which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven – won’t he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!”
So what is Yeshua saying here? Lets take the word slave and define it. A slave is one who services another, whatever is asked by the master the slave does. A slave is not guaranteed pay or provision – though typically “provision” is considered the “pay”. Here again the heart questions: “Am I a slave to money?” “If so, what does it ask me to do, give and be?” “Does it dictate the gifts or wealth of heaven I’ve been given?” In other words, “Do I serve it more than it serves me?”
The next section goes on into detail about food and clothing…basic “needs” right? Yet He (Yeshua) gets right to the point in verse 30 at the end. “What little trust you have!” A wealth of heaven? TRUST in God our Father! No amount of money or the lack of it will “buy” this. It can not be eaten, rusted, stolen, or taken from anyone. In others words…ANYTHING that can be bought with money is NOT a treasure of heaven! Nope not even a loaf of bread or a shirt or pants. At the same time Yeshua points out clearly all things bought with money come from God – period. If you have a job, the ability to perform it for a fee – thank your Father for that is where the heart is! If you have eaten today and paid a bill – thank your Father in Heaven because without Him the bill goes into collection and the stomach is empty. This attitude is the light spoken of in verses 22 & 23. These verses are written in the language of the heart.
Lets read on:
Verses 31 – 34
“So don’t be anxious asking, “What will we eat?”, “What will we drink?” or “How will we be clothed?” For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow – tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris (trouble) already!”
Notice where the heart gets mentioned? What is a pagan? Someone who does not include God in their thinking, living, or manner of relating. So…you may be tempted to ask; “So what if God doesn’t “provide” for clothes or food?” (Typically this question gets asked when one loses a job, or finances change with economy, or major life changes ex: divorce, injury, death of a spouse, illness) The wealth of heaven being taught here – Trust – says “Well Lord you know my needs…help me trust You!” and even thanks Him for what He has provided, based on verse 32. One must admit it takes a lot of faith/trust to live like that, and if you do – your wealth is indestructible, un-steal-able – unshakably from heaven. What does not feed the body often feeds the heart!
Chapter 7 of Matthew goes on to name a few more “wealth of heaven” elements to the heart. Read it, ask the questions – live from the heart – and find the true wealth of this life there! For this is seeking first His Kingdom and His Righteousness – the rest is negotiable!!
Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 6 ~ Coming soon 🙂
Grace and Peace in Yeshua the Messiah
Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. ~ Meister Eckhart ~
He who seeks God in some external routine will find the routine and lose God. ~ Meister Eckhart ~
How can we ever be sold short, or cheated, we who for every service have long ago been overpaid? ~ Meister Eckhart ~
O faithful conscience delicately pure, how doth a little failing wound thee sore! ~ Dante Alighieri ~
For silence is not God, nor speaking; fasting is not God, nor eating; solitude is not God, nor company; nor any other pairs of opposites. He is hidden between them and cannot be found by anything your soul does, but only by the desire of your heart. ~ Cloud of Unknowing ~
Truth is the highest thing that man may keep. ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~
Reason in man is rather like God in the world. ~ Thomas Aquinas ~
Anyone who is not burning will not be able to set anyone else on fire. ~ Peter of Rheims ~
(Christ speaks) I am concealing myself from you so that you may discover by yourself what you are without me. ~ Margaret of Cortona ~
This morning my soul is greater than the world, since it possesses you, whom heaven and earth cannot contain. ~ Margaret of Cortona ~
Love made me like the hazel trees, which blossom early in the season of darkness, and bear fruit slowly. ~ Hadewijch of Brabant ~
Every creature is a divine word because it proclaims God. ~ Bonaventure ~
Since happiness is nothing but the enjoyment of the highest good, and since the highest good is above, then no one can be happy unless he rise above himself, not by a physical ascent, but by an ascent of the heart. ~ Bonaventure ~
If you wish to know how such things come about, consult grace, not doctrine; desire, not understanding; prayerful groaning, not studious reading; the Spouse, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness, not clarity. ~ Bonaventure ~
Exalted, drawn, and absorbed into uncreated Light, I beheld that which cannot be related. ~ Angela of Foligno ~
Confession must be our own: we must expose no one except ourselves, as far as possible. ~ Ancrene Riwle ~
If you are wise you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than a canal. For a canal spreads abroad the water it receives, but a reservoir waits until it is full before overflowing, and thus shares without loss to itself its superabundance of water. ~ Bernard of Clairvaux ~
We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants: we can see more than they can, and things further off, not because we are keener-sighted or physically distinguished, but because we are being carried high, lifted up by their great size. ~ Bernard of Chartres ~
The first key to wisdom is assiduous and frequent questioning. For by doubting we come in enquiry and by enquiry we arrive at the truth. ~ Peter Abelard ~
Nobody can fight properly and boldly for the faith, if he clings to a fear of being stripped of earthly possessions. ~ Peter Damian ~
God often works more by the illiterate seeking the things that are God’s than by the learned seeking the things that are their own. ~ Anselm of Canterbury ~
O Christ, the ocean of our forgiveness, allow me to wash off in you the dirt I am clothed in, so that I may become resplendent in the raiment of your holy light. ~ John the Elder ~
The “fall” began with Satan’s jealousy of God. So if you find within you envy or jealousy brews – remember the author of these – and send them back unprinted on the pages of your heart. ~ Lisa VanValkenburgh ~
We cannot grieve except that He has, does, and did so first – so when we feel a loss that wells the soul into agony – we are in His Light…grieving more than the one simple act or incident at a time – but feel a simple small part of the Larger Whole. The grief – even this belongs to Him – flows from Him and it is an anointing! So much we are bathed in Blood. Not less the blood of the physical body – as more the Blood of the soul. There are corpses everywhere – the Holocaust is not at quits, so much more the Blood that covers us. More that, because it transfuses – breathes the life – to cover over the soul in more than second chances. ~ Lisa VanValkenburgh ~
He was the youngest of eight children, a shepherd, an unaccountable warrior (in the worlds eyes) at first, a soldier, a musician, a poet, husband, father, and a King. There are two disciples mentioned in the Word of God that were given “names” as attributes to their character at heart that I’ve always longed for. One was John – the Disciple whom Yeshua (Jesus) loved. David – the one known as – A man after Gods own heart. David is the man listed at the beginning. He was famous for his shepherding skills, warrior skills, an affair – (but more to the point his repentant heart – after), his reign as King of Israel and how God blessed him, a continuation of a promise from God in the lineage of a Messiah, and Psalms. The word, heart, is found up to 122 times in this book, more than any other book in the Word. Listen to what Adonai (the Lord) said to Samuel when he was sent to look for a king for Israel. Samuel has arrived at David’s family’s house and has requested to see Jesse’s sons. Seven have been brought out and Eliab has made an impression on Samuel.
1 Samuel 16:6 – 7
When they had come, he looked at Eli’av (Eliab) and said, “This has to be Adonai’s (the Lord’s) anointed one, here before him.” But Adonai said to Sh’mu’el (Samuel), “Don’t pay attention to how he looks or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. Adonai doesn’t see the way humans see – humans look at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks at the heart.”
Adonai then picks David :-). From Gods own mouth He chose David for his heart. God also chose David for HIS (Gods) heart! Two hearts were the key to David’s choosing – God’s and David’s. The purpose?? Our hearts. Adonai knew we’d need David – a human born from the flesh of man alone (like us) with a heart for God. Then He sent Yeshua (Jesus) – a man born of His Spirit and flesh with a heart for God ALONE.
I urge you in your own time to look up every reference to the heart in Psalms – as I can not cover them all here. Keep in mind all the “things” the heart is – listed in Part 1. If you cover all the different ways to say heart – the references in Psalms to the heart far outnumber 122 times! David knew the key to hearing God’s Voice and where the strength came from to serve that Voice – the heart.
Psalm 16:7-11 (Emphasis mine and ties in all 4 parts of this series)
I bless Adonai, my counselor; at night my inmost being instructs me. I always set Adonai before me; with him at my right hand, I can never be moved; so my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, and my body too rests in safety; for you will not abandon me to Sh’ol, you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss. You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.
You probed my heart, you visited me at night, you assayed me without finding evil thoughts that should not pass my lips.
Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults. Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins, so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in your presence, Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer.
I lift my inner being to you, Adonai.
Examine me, Adonai, test me, search my mind and my heart. (Notice the mind is not the heart)
“My heart said of you, ‘Seek my face.'” Your face, Adonai, I will seek.
Adonai is my strength and shield; in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped. Therefore my heart is fill with joy, and I will sing praises to him.
My mouth is about to speak wisdom; my heart’s deepest thoughts will give understanding.
My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.
My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.
My safety and honor rest on God. My strong rock of refuge are in God. Trust in him, people, at all times; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
O God, you are my God; I will seek you eagerly. My heart thirst for you, my body longs for you in a land parched and exhausted, where no water can be found.
my heart clings to you; your right hand supports me.
Oh yes, David knew Yeshua well before He was “born” here on earth. David’s heart is written in the pages of Gods Word so that we could SEE – that if He could be heard before He was given a “human voice box” – He can be heard after He has come, died, risen and ascended back to where He was heard before by David, Samuel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the list goes on and on. God makes every heart…
Adonai looks out from heaven; he sees every human being; from the place where he lives he watches everyone living on earth, he who fashioned the hearts of them all and understands all they do.
…He makes them for one purpose and one alone – to seek Him! To be loved, led, fed, and taught by Him and Him alone. That is the purpose for which we have been made (our function – good). He, alone, is where the heart is. We must invite Him there and seek Him.
You will build a house for the Lord your God in and of yourself. he will be the craftsman, your heart the site, your thoughts the materials. Do not take fright because of your own lack of skill; he who requires this of you is a skillful builder, and he chooses others to be builders too. ~ Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141) German-born monk and writer.
Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 5 ~ coming soon 🙂
Grace and Peace in Yeshua the Messiah