Worry is the number-one rest-robber. And it has some ugly relatives—anxiety, uneasiness, apprehension, dread. Fear lives in the same neighborhood.

All of those scoundrels troubled me before I came to the Lord pleading, “Teach me to rest!”

Our worry usually involves other people, and it mostly concerns the present and the future…what’s going on today…what might happen tomorrow.

Change is what we’re after. We pour out words…and more words. Passionately. Desperately.

I remember a relationship where God literally shut my mouth. I’d start to speak, explaining to the Lord, “I need to say…” He’d respond, “You already said that.” This happened over and over. Finally, he said, “As long as they hear your voice, they cannot hear mine.”

Once I acknowledged circumstances—today and tomorrow—are beyond my control, the Lord opened my eyes to see how creative he is intervening in complicated, often hopeless, circumstances.

The Lord opened my eyes to see how creative he is intervening in complicated, often hopeless,… Click To Tweet

I began keeping a folder labeled “God stirs the heart.” As I studied his Word, I’d file Scriptures stating God stirs the spirit or turns the heart. Here are a few notes (italics mine).

God moved hearts to bring about deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

“The Lord made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes, whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants” (Psalm 105:24-25 NIV).

 “The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded by Pharaohs officials and by the people” (Exodus 11:3 NIV).

 “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 10:1-2 NIV).

“The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for, so they plundered the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:35-36 NIV).

God moved the heart of Cyrus, King of Persia, to make a proclamation.

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:1-4).

God moved the hearts of family heads to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.

“Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:5).

God moved the heart of the king of Assyria to finish the house of the Lord.

“For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the King of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:22 NIV).

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way” (Ezra 7:27 NIV).

Haman had gallows built to hang Mordecai, but something (God?) disturbed King Zerxes during the night.

That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes” (Esther 6:1-2 NIV).

God moved an official of the king’s court to show favor to Daniel.

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel” (Daniel 1:8-9 NIV).

This barely begins my study, but here’s what I’m learning. God stirs hearts to achieve his purposes. Are you convinced yet? This settled the issue for me.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).

I love this! “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).

“God stirs the heart” is an ongoing study, and my folder is bulging. Conclusion: my words will not bring change, but my prayers can—because God is the One who turns hearts.

My words will not bring change, but my prayers can—because God is the One who turns hearts. Click To Tweet

“There is no persuasion will do if God openeth not the eyes” (Pilgrim’s Progress).

“We may…use today the weapons of prayer to control our circumstances. Whether it is a national, family, church or personal affair, we may govern it by prayer” (Watchman Nee, The Lord My Portion Oct. 19).

If God can open a donkey’s eyes to see the angel of the Lord and open his mouth to speak to the prophet Balaam (read that story in Numbers 22), surely he can stir the heart of the person I love.

Why should I let worry rob my rest?

Would you tell me what our mighty God is teaching you about worry? And please share this with your friends!

(Scriptures from KJV unless noted.)

© Dianne Barker 2019

Please follow and like us: