Capture Their Hearts

As I was praying for a loved one, I prayed for God to arrest their soul and then I thought how odd that sounds. But it is not off-base. Paul wrote and corrected the Corinthians that we must break down every stronghold of reasoning a person has to not believe in God. We don’t do it by pounding them with arguments or force, but by sound teaching. We give them convincing truths that show the doctrine of their life is led by deception and we do so in love. We show them the fallacies in their choices when the opportunity arises, but always in meekness and love.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Many times people get caught up in causes or ideas that consume them and keep them from the purpose of life in general, which is knowing Christ. If they don’t have a personal relationship with him, then the cares of this world, no matter how worthy, can distract them from seeking out God. I have even seen Christians sacrifice time fellowshipping with God to work on a cause they’re passionate about. The problem with this, is without communion or time spent with God and guidance from the Holy Spirit, they eventually burn out. There is nothing in this world that can satisfy us more than our relationship with our Heavenly Father and communing with Him.

Colossians 2:8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

So when I prayed for God to arrest their soul, what I meant was I wanted him to gain their full attention, so that they would see their need for Him and a relationship. But until they believe in him and receive him, they may not pay attention to our words. This is where our prayers are more powerful than a loved one’s words to them, because God is able to use others to open their hearts. Once that seed is planted, it will grow and eventually blossom. I pray he captures the hearts of those who don’t believe or who have turned their backs on God. I pray that he might send someone who with a simple phrase or action that might open their minds and hearts to Him.

Song of Songs 4:9 You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.

In the verse from Song of Songs, if the church as a whole is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom, then we must remember we already have captured his heart. With one glance towards him, a cry out to him, or one tear – one ‘jewel’ he is there for us.

Think of how even the disciples, who intimately knew Jesus, did not recognize him as he walked down the road with them, after his death on the cross. He appeared to them as a stranger because they were still caught up in their grief. What are we caught up in that we might not recognize his presence in our lives now? Their hope was gone and they had given up. Yet later, they realized he was alive and sought him out and found him with the other disciples breaking bread! It can be that way for every lost person!!

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

May their hearts come alive to the word of God, may he capture their hearts.

What’s Inside That Package?

My husband and I don’t watch much TV but the few shows we watch are, Jeopardy, Master Chef, and occasionally The Voice. What I like about The Voice, (a show where people try to win a singing competition) is that when people audition for the first time, none of the judges see the contestants. They are basing their perceptions of whether to choose that person solely on their vocal abilities. It has nothing to do with the way they look, what size they are, the way they act, the way they style their hair, how much makeup they wear, or what clothes they wear. It comes down to vocal talent. I like that concept and I know that even as open-minded as I think I am, I have found myself being surprised by people who try out at times. Once I was in the kitchen cooking, weeks after they had eliminated contestants and they were down to about six candidates and I heard one of them singing. Because I couldn’t see them, I didn’t recognize which one it was and I had my favorites. I was listening and trying to decide who was singing, but I couldn’t determine which one of ‘my favorites’ it was. I was enjoying this pure voice, but I couldn’t put a face to it. I had to walk into the living room and see who it was. I was shocked because I heard from this person, without seeing them, something I had never heard before, a quality I had never heard before. She was at the bottom of my top three and that night, she moved to my number one! (Incidentally, she went on to win the competition.) I thought right then. Wow! I had a preconceived notion about her. I was judging her based on her age and not her talent. I was letting my mind play tricks on me and not listening to what this gal has to offer! It wasn’t her looks, it wasn’t the way she dressed, it was her age! It made me wonder how many times have I done that with other people based on other things? Maybe it was something else about them that I let get in the way and I didn’t “listen” to what they had to offer. Maybe they had something amazing to share with me and some preconceived notion of mine blocked a tremendous blessing! I was saddened at myself and my reaction.

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Later I reflected on Jesus and how he was rejected in his home town. He was also rejected because he was a Jew. We can think of all kinds of things to reject people for. Sometimes we don’t receive from people because they are talented or because they aren’t talented. We can make up all kinds of excuses not to listen. There are many people who will listen to a person because they have so many degrees, like a doctorate or a master’s but I’ve met people with many degrees who don’t have a lick of common sense. Then there are people who have very little education but have all the wisdom in the world. While we do need to be careful who we receive from, we need to be equally careful who we reject. We may be rejecting the greatest treasure on earth.

I’m sure you’ve heard of people who have tossed out what they thought was garbage only to be found by another who found something of great value? When I had my first job at the age of nineteen, I rented a small two bedroom house off the college campus where I worked in Tulsa. The woman who owned the house, had left it, thirty years before, belongings and all, when her husband died because she couldn’t bear to stay with all the memories. It was quite a mess to clean up, but the structure was sound and the furnishings were very nice. It was like stepping into a time capsule of someone’s life. Imagine all the dust and grime that collected over those years! The vacuum’s electric cord had disintegrated into the carpet. When I went to move it, the cord just crumbled! She said to do whatever we wanted with everything in the house. There was a rather dull wall-hanging, in a plain off-white etched wooden frame, that I tossed into the open trash can. My mother came by as I was cleaning and saw it and asked if she could have it. Naturally, I said yes, wondering why she would want it. A couple of weeks later, I was in my mother’s house and there was a beautiful art piece hanging on her wall. I asked where she found that amazing ocean scene. She said, “Don’t you recognize it? It was in your trash can!” She had cleaned it and antiqued the frame to bring out the gold tones of the sun glistening on the water. It was a seascape of ocean waves crashing on the shore, spraying radiant droplets of water up, with reflections of a golden sunrise, but the dirt I saw had obscured the scene and the bland frame had muted the colors. Her skillful refurbishing had brought out what the original artist had seen and depicted. She asked if I wanted it back and I told her “No Mom, you deserve to have it, because you saw what I could not see, you brought it to life.” Over the years, every time I saw that painting, I admired it and reminded myself to look beneath the dirt and grime and see the potential, because I might be missing something of great beauty.

But isn’t that how life is? There is potential everywhere we look. There is potential in everyone, there is great beauty in everyone. God sees it, but sometimes we fail to see it. God sings over each of us, but we don’t all have the ears to hear his song. And God can use each one of us and speak through each of us. If he can speak through donkeys, he can speak through people. We just have to quit shutting our ears to the people around us and rejecting the packages. You never know when you might be missing a beautiful song or tossing out a beautiful art piece. Will you start receiving the packages God sends to you, no matter how they’re wrapped?

See these verses:

Luke 4:14-30 (Jesus rejection in Nazareth)

Numbers 22:28 (donkey speaking)

Zephaniah 3:17 (Lord sings over us!)

Prayer: Father I pray that today you will help us each to receive the messages you send to us, no matter how they are wrapped. Help us to look beyond the package to the message. Help us all to realize that you are the message and it is you we are seeking. Help us to look for content and not be judgemental. Help us to see with your vision to the heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Many times since my husband and I have been married I have heard comments from friends that I seem contented or happy. They are attributing my happiness to my marriage. I am not saying that my marriage doesn’t make me happy; because being in a loving relationship with a person who shows respect and honors you, does make life easier. The point that I’m trying to make is that I went into our relationship happy and contented. I went into our marriage a whole person. I wasn’t looking for someone to complete me… I already had that.

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Most of the people who make these comments knew me when I was going through some very difficult times. They knew me when I was in one of the worst relationships of my life. But I’m not writing to talk about that period of time except to say, if I had been in a place where I should have been, I probably would have never been involved with that person, nor would I have married them. You see, when we are fully committed to God, when we are betrothed to Jesus as our Savior, we are complete. We don’t get into such precarious situations that lead us into miserable relationships. I know that I wasn’t fully committed to God before my last marriage. I also know that there were red flags that I chose to ignore. Unfortunately, it took almost eight years to get out and I wasn’t the one that ended it. I was seeking God’s guidance and they ended it, but it was best for me. It didn’t feel like it at that time in some ways and it felt like a relief in other ways.

Over the course of the three years following that time, I grew in my relationship with God and I knew that I would be fine if I never married again. I wasn’t looking for someone to fill a void, because there wasn’t a void to fill. God had filled it. I had become complete in Christ. Yes, I had been a Christian most of my life, but I had never fully surrendered my life to Christ. Earlier in my Christian life, I was not in a relationship with God that was so intimate that I was certain when God spoke to me without second guessing whether I had heard from him. Many times there were doubts. But during those three years and since, I have become so close to him that I get an idea and realize it isn’t my idea, but it is an idea that my Heavenly Father has given me. You know the verse that says “He will give you the desires of your heart?” (Psalm 37:4) Well, the desires of my heart are his desires, the two have become so interlaced that my ideas are his. That is how it should be… We should be so caught up in what our Heavenly Father wants that we see with his vision and we hear with his ears. We should be able to love with his love. Everywhere we go and everything we do, we should do with the Father’s heart, so that our hearts beat as one. This is when we are fully complete. Do I do this all the time? Certainly not! Just ask my husband. But I do it now more than ever before. Sometimes I am brought to tears by what I see in stores and on the street. People who need love, people who do things to get attention, or people who are so poor either physically, emotionally, or spiritually, pull at me and at times brings me to tears. I was never that way before. Many times I’m drawn to do things for people or at least to engage in conversation with them and I pray for people that I never had the boldness to pray for before.

People who have met me more recently, have asked me to pray for them to “find a mate” who is sold out to God. They say I seem so happy and they have been looking for a while and they thought I must have some luck or power. ?!? Usually, these are “Christian” women, sometimes men ask also, though! This was a request that shocked me! I told them that I wouldn’t pray that for them, and they didn’t like what I said. Yet, if these people themselves were “sold out to God” wouldn’t they know God’s will for their lives? Wouldn’t they recognize his path for them? Why would they “need” a mate to complete them? I asked them how much time they spent with God, how much time they spent reading their Bible, and if God was first in their lives. I received various answers to those questions. I told them they had to be completely sold out to God and completely his before I would pray for them to have a mate. I told them I, myself, had given up on marriage before I met my husband vowing never to marry again at first and then I had told God that IF I was to marry again that he was going to have to show me. I was happy just having God as the “man” in my life. Well, obviously, God had another plan. What I am saying, is that we cannot go into a relationship expecting the other person to make us happy or to complete us. Only God can do that. We have to be fully committed to God. We have to find ourselves complete in Him. If we go into a relationship unhappy or incomplete, we will only take that unhappiness or incompleteness with us and we will not be any happier or whole in a marriage. Our partner cannot provide our happiness or wholeness, they can only supplement what we already have. God must be our first love, even after we marry, or maybe I should say, especially after we marry. But all kidding aside, to be fully committed and whole in any relationship, we must be fully committed to and complete in God first. 

Now you’re probably wondering how you fully commit to God. Well, just as you would in any relationship, you spend time with him. You have to get to know him intimately. This starts by reading the Word daily. As you read the Bible, ask God to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the scripture to you, he has promised to do that for us in his Word: 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 As you grow in the Word, the path that God has for you will become clearer and you will begin to know what direction he has for you. I expect your compassion to grow and your focus to become more peripheral, instead of self-centered. When you look in the mirror, your visage will change, you will start to see the Christ in you, because the more Christlike you become, the less of yourself you’ll see. I challenge you to read your Bible every day but start by asking him to reveal at least one truth to you each day. After reading daily for a month, see if you start to feel less empty and more complete. At the end of that month, continue reading daily. I hope during these readings that you are also talking to God. Find a quiet place if you can and talk to him, just as you would talk to anyone. This is a time just to communicate with him and also to Thank him for all that he has done in your life. Start with the small things. If you tend to be a pessimist, start by thanking him with the fact that you’re alive. You have to start somewhere. 😉 Ask questions about things you don’t understand. You may not get the answer right then, but you will get an answer, maybe through another person or a minister. Also, find a good church, ask God about that too. We need fellowship and the strength of other believers. This is your road to becoming complete, and everyone’s journey is different, don’t compare it to anyone else’s. The map that has been charted for you will not look anything like your friend’s, neighbor’s or anyone else’s in your family, so don’t expect to move at the same pace or on the same path as others. Just trust God that he is taking you down the right path for you. 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverb 3:5-6 (The Message)

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:19 (NLT – my emphasis)

Prayer: Father, today I pray for anyone who reads this; if there is a void in their life, if there is anything lacking I pray that you would fill it. In Jesus’ name. Amen