Does your heart or actions drive your love?

A few weeks ago my music minister said something about love and worship that continues to echo in my ears. It had been at least three weeks since I’d been in choir because of a terrible bout of bronchitis and common cold. I was starting to feel stronger, but still had a cough and was ready to go back to bed by 3 or 4 each afternoon. All day I debated whether or not to go to that evening’s choir practice. I had an eye doctor appointment that afternoon, so I kept going when I got tired. By the time that was done and errands run, it was nearly time for choir. I figured I’d just go and see if I could sing without coughing. Boy, I’m glad I did! Our pastor’s new sermon series is on the glory of God as revealed through the overarching story of the Bible. That means much of the music we’re singing in choir dealt with grace and God’s glory. My favorite is below. Choir practice that week was a time of worship as well as rehearsal. Then our music minister began his devotional thought for the week and it hit me between the eyes. Here is what he said.
“Sometimes the heart leads our actions, but sometimes our actions can lead our hearts.”
He was talking about worship. Sometimes we come to church on Sundays ready and longing to worship the King of kings. Sometimes, it’s a struggle and we go with sour attitudes, simply because we know we should. But, oh, what happens next! Even in those begrudging times of worship, the Father reveals Himself to us in powerful ways. Like with me and choir. I didn’t want to go that day. I went with a sour attitude. But God met me there and spoke to me through my music minister. Praise the Lord! I got to thinking later that this principle applies to more than just church. It applies to all of life. We don’t always want to do what we need to do. Sometimes we want to show love and serve the Father. Let’s be honest. It’s much easier to show love when we feel love. But that’s not good enough. We must also show love when we don’t feel like it. In those instances, we need to walk in obedience and trust God to bring our heart and will in alignment with His. The times we don’t feel it, but still demonstrate love to our family, friends, church, Savior, and people around us, those are the times I think God blesses us the most. Because we were obedient. Because we looked beyond our selfish heart. Because we demonstrated the value of others over our own desires. These are the times we should look for great blessing from the Father. As Valentine’s Day approaches, look for ways to show love to others, even if you don’t feel it. Let your actions guide your heart to show love for others. Trust God to change your heart to match your obedient actions.

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