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WHERE IS YOUR HEART?
The search that begins and ends with Jesus

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." (Psalm 84:2)"

As a child I would prepare for Valentineís Day by cutting hearts out of bright red paper, pasting on white lacy paper doilies and adding other decorative touches, and an appropriate sentiment.

In actuality, "love" didnít mean a whole lot to me for a long time. I did have the love of parents and sisters, though not overtly expressed. And when I "fell in love" and married my long term "pen pal", it was nice, as were the wonderful children who followed. Love flowed and grew in a natural sort of way.

When it came to fulfilling the Old Testament admonition, to (Deuteronomy 6:5), I didnít really know what that meant. Who was this "God" I was to love? What was this "heart" I was to love Him with? So, I set those musings aside for yet another time.

The "other time" never came until I began to search. The search brought me to Jesus, the One I was to know and love. It was then I discovered my yearning, empty heart.

"I just want to open my heart for Jesus to come in," the words had just tumbled out of the deepest part of me as I stood before a small congregation in the Chapel in Yosemite Valley, California, that Easter Sunday morning. I wasn't sure what my words meant. I just knew I had to make a public statement that had followed my recently-confessed "sinnerís prayer" where I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. With a child-like faith, I didnít really know the full impact of what I was saying.

The Lord knew my heart, though, as He began to lead me. I yearned to know more, more and even more! I began to write psalms to the Lord, psalms of adoration and seeking. I read peopleís accounts of being born again and going on to discovering the Holy Spirit in their lives. In desperation I called out, "How do you get the Holy Spirit?" Nothing would satisfy until I could find out for myself.

It was then that I read the words of Jesus. He had been talking with His disciples, preparing them for His departure. "If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:15-17)

When I read the final words of Jesus to His disciples, telling them to wait for the "Promise of the Father" I understood Him to talk to me also, "...for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now...you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me..." (Acts 1:5, 8)

Everyone knows what happened to those 120 disciples gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem at Pentecost! (Acts 2:1-4) I knew I needed a personal Pentecost for myself. It was several months of constantly "asking, seeking and knocking", clinging to the Fatherís promise to "give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." (Luke 11:9-13)

At the appointed time I, too, received. There, at last, was the filling my heart had been searching for!

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© Constance Vanides