Strengthening Your Heart

From Eden a river flowed to water the park, which on leaving the park branched into four streams.—Genesis 2:10 (Moffatt)”

Last blog I didn’t get as deep into “how” to strengthen your heart as I wanted, I rambled on a bit much, but let’s take a dive into what it looks like to strengthen your heart in Christ.

Since I like to disciple men or spend time with men teaching them how to deepen their walk with God, I’m tempted to write about all the studies available to us that help in the process of spiritual growth.

There is the study Every Man a Warrior, there are Blackaby’s books, and all the different YouVersion Bible app “plans” we can read through that earn us completion badges. Of course there is Men’s Fraternity, that’s a good one. Some churches even have several year long leadership programs that when completed, qualify you to be an elder!

These are all wonderful. But sometimes I feel like a man could earn a masters degree in divinity with less effort. Is deepening our relationship with God really tied up in programs? Maybe, it can’t hurt, but I think I want to address this “strengthening” concept another way.

As I’ve gotten older, and well, a little more gray, I’m sensing what God wants from us is relationship, not programs. At least when it comes to strengthening our hearts.“what greater case could be made than this: to find God, (or a relationship with Him) you must look with all your heart. To remain present to God, you must remain present to your heart. To hear his voice, you must listen with your heart. To love him, you must love with all your heart. You cannot be the person God meant you to be, and you cannot live the life he meant you to live, unless you live from the heart.”(Excerpt From Waking the Dead)

I love this paragraph, it lists out for us a few ways we can strengthen our heart as we walk with God in relationship with Him and shows how important being in tune with our hearts is. To actually hear God is a skill that needs developed and honed. It takes time and practice. 
Another way I’ve discovered to strengthen our hearts is by wading in the waters of the “Four Streams.” 

Here are a few excerpts that help explain the four streams: “In the Garden known as Eden there was a spring. Issuing from the depths of the earth, this fount became the headwaters of a mighty river, which in turn parted into four great streams. Saint Bonaventure saw in that a foreshadowing, a mythic symbol of “an ever-flowing fountain,” as he called it, “that becomes a great and living river with four channels to water the garden of the entire Church.” I think if you will look again at the ways in which Christ ransoms people, the means by which he makes a man or a woman come fully alive, you’ll find he offers his life to us through Four Streams. Those streams are Discipleship, Counseling, Healing, and Warfare.” (Waking the Dead)

“It will help to think of the streams as Walking with God, Receiving God’s Intimate Counsel, Deep Restoration, and Spiritual Warfare.”

“Long have these streams been separated. I imagine we’ve sipped from only one or two. Now is the time for them to flow together again. That is how our glory is restored, how we find the life Christ offers, how we live in his Story. To discover for yourself that the glory of God is man fully alive, you must drink deeply from the Four Streams that Christ sends to you.”

Over the years I have dabbled my toes in one or more of these streams, but never consistently or rarely together. It is tough to stay in tune with all four continuously. Sin and my flesh have a way of damming the streams up.

But there are seasons when they all flow together. Recently, my heart has been deeply strengthened by my walk with God, and the stream of Counsel from a good trusted friend. We have been dissecting some old habits and wounds I’ve taken that have brought some profound restoration in my heart.

Swimming in these four streams continually allows God to “strengthen” our hearts. I hope u jump in! The water is warm!

Over the next several blogs, I’d like to break down these four streams, one at a time. 
They are so good!

Until next time,