Bible Reading: James 4:1-8, Proverbs 4:23
Did it happen to you, that it seemed like your African parent was intent on aggressively correcting your bad posture? Like, if they ever caught you slouching or walking around with a hunch in your back, they would tap you hard on your shoulders or slap the back of your knees if you were found standing incorrectly.
As annoying as it always seemed having my mother police my posture, she always made sure to educate me on why it is important to maintain a proper posture: Apart from the numerous health benefits, posture helps in determining how others view us and how we also view ourselves. Posture sometimes also helps to decipher the state of mind of an individual, such as them slouching when they are hurt or disappointed, or standing upright when they feel confident.
In the same vein, posture matters when you are walking with God because it helps God to gauge the readiness (or lack thereof) of our minds when He is calling us into something greater than ourselves.
The Bible says to “guard your heart above ALL else because out of it flows the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
Why would the Bible go out of its way to tell us to guard or “police” our hearts if it doesn’t matter in becoming who God has called us to be?
The posture of our hearts always determines the posture of our lives. That’s why the Bible says “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7) because who you are on the outside is evidence of who you first are on the inside. God would first have your posture corrected in your heart before you can stand firm or strong on His promises. You cannot be said to have a strong stance without first adjusting your posture. Just as soldiers fighting a war have a battle stance, so also does the Christian who is in the Lord’s army have a stance or posture in his heart that influences his moves in the battle of life.
If you will enjoy the leading of God as He pushes you into purpose, you must maintain the right heart posture before God- a heart bowed in submission. You cannot enjoy your journey of purpose if you are competing with God for the title of “Lord”.
In our reading today, James exposes the harsh reality that having a wrong heart posture has on the world (v1-4). Perhaps this is why the Psalmist prays to God “create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10) because we must always be checking or “policing” the states of our hearts, and going to God to keep correcting and adjusting our bad heart postures. Where your heart is polluted with pride, sin and injustice, you will not be able to properly enjoy the leading of God as the result is resistance from the one person that has the power to carry you into His purpose (James 4:6).
You cannot fight for control over a life that you have surrendered. You wilfully gave up total ownership of your life when you accepted Jesus, so why are you still fighting for control? Disobedience and pride contradict the story of your life because God has already set the best path for you; all you have to do is obey and walk in it.
James 4:7-8 proffers the best way to guard or “police” your posture- humility. How amazing it is that the very first thing that James tells us to do in verses 7-8 is to “submit to God”, because positioning your heart in humility, surrender and obedience to God guarantees direction in every other area. Your heart must always be found bowed before God; then and only then would you be willing to embrace every push and destiny tension that God sends your way. Surrender leads to obedience and teachability, and these then serve as the engine that drives the car of our lives on our purpose journey with God.
Something To Pray
Pray for the Lord to point out to you and help you correct every heart posture that contradicts His Lordship over your life.
Inioluwa volunteers with the Bible Engagement Team at Sycamore