In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us about the heart. How our hearts intentions sometimes manifest themselves by way of action. Jesus teaches us that the evil roots within our hearts can blind us to why we are fasting or praying. Satan has the power to trick us into thinking: I am serving God because I am praying, or I am serving God because I am fasting.
The idea in this article can be a bit abstruse, in that it involves a self examination of some fast acting processes that happen within us: desires or wants that very quickly develop into a plan of action. A person’s mind can easily get all wrapped up in what other people think about them. For example, a desire for a woman could be to get a good reputation within the church. Once she pinpoints this desire she may very quickly begin planning on how to look and act holy in order for others to think highly of her. This is not a bad thing.
What, though, would be a truly good thing for her to desire is Jesus’ notice of her good thoughts, and her good intentions, which would in turn produce a lot of the very same actions as the previous example of gaining reputation among people. Again it is not a bad thing to want a good reputation. It is a bad thing to gain reputation on your own accord through acting holy without the constant invitation of Jesus’ will. You would end up hurting others and yourself that way.
Wanting Jesus to notice you, and following through with that plan is easier to accomplish if you privately and whole heartedly fumble your life from your control to His, inviting Him to do His will in your life. It is very scary, but it is worth it. Yashua is telling us that if we find ourselves fasting and praying, it is a good idea to do a heart check to make sure it is not in vain. The goal is to get closer to Him. If the provenance of action is for self than it is not pure, and it could end up hurting instead of helping, even though the intention seems harmless.
The path from desire to action can be illustrated in the growth of a plant. This is very important because it is in this path that Satan tricks us into doing what we think is for Jesus, when it is really for us. The seed is the desire, not yet placed in the heart. The root, once the seed has died, is the desire nestled into a man or woman’s heart. The ground swelling is the plan of action developed within the mind or brain as thoughts. The plant and it’s fruit represent the actions and the bad and good consequences those actions produce. You see, If the seed’s name is “my reputation”, than the roots name also might be “my reputation”; But, by the time the ground breaks and the stem pops up it’s name begins to change from “my reputation” to “piety”. When the tree is full grown it’s name is “serving God”. The problem with this is that the latter two names are false names. They are a costume that “my reputation” is putting on. Even the wearer of the costume is often mislead into thinking they are truly being holy due to the consuming nature of desire and thought. The heart is deceitful above all things. ALL THINGS. Who can know it? No man is capable of knowing the heart. If you put your heart squarely in the hands of The Savior, you will be guided into truth and love one day at a time. Some Davidic Psalm esque experiences are in tap for you. Are you looking for some more rock solid faith to stand on in the midst of trial? give your heart to God. Sit down and imagine a bowl that you spent hours cleaning and polishing for the king, then put your heart in that bowl and send it up to Yashua.
Those who pray to be seen by men have their reward; but you, lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
The world teaches us to suffer now through school, work and debt, so that we can earn and save. Then we and our families can be comfortable later in life. That idea is widely accepted here on earth and respectable people do it because it works. I am telling you, have faith in this very same process by suffering and saving for spiritual things during this entire life, so that you can be a provider in heaven. Use this life for what it is: a pre-requisite to show God you trust Him. When you fast, do so secretly. When you give alms, secretly. When you pray, secretly. When you decide you want to do a thing, when you begin planning to do a thing: Pause. Ask yourself: am I doing this for me? How can I spend time instead, doing something for Him? Serving Him ultimately brings you closer to Him. You know He loves you. Be determined and steadfast in your faith.