Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Catch up to Scripture

Catch Up to Scripture


A friend recently shared a tender prayer request, then closed our conversation by saying, “I just want my heart to catch up to what Scripture tells me.”


That conversation occurred two months ago, but her statement has stuck with me.

“I just want my heart to catch up to what Scripture tells me.”

Read that again and take a moment to let it sink into your spirit.

Ever feel that way? I have . . . more often than I’d care to admit. I know what the Bible says. And I know what the Bible says is true. But when life happens, my heart can lag behind what Scripture tells me.

My faith and trust can lag. But interestingly enough, I don’t have to work hard to lag behind when it comes to giving in to fear, worry, and anxiousness. And I also don’t have to work hard to lag behind when it comes to feeling frustrated or angry at circumstances beyond my control.

Remember what the apostle Paul wrote? “For I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15 NASB). Ugh!

Yup, that’s me. Can you relate?

I so want my heart to catch up to what Scripture tells me. To respond instinctively in faith. To trust without allowing my thoughts to drift into “What if?” territory before I pull them back. And to remember from the first moment that when circumstances are beyond my control, they’re never beyond my heavenly Father’s control.

It’s not that I don’t have faith. And it’s not that I don’t trust the Lord. But my heart’s desire is to respond with faith and trust initially, rather than after impulsive reactions take me in a different direction. I’m getting better, but I’m not where I want to be . . . yet.

Thankfully, even when I feel like giving up, the Lord doesn’t give up on me.

My favorite verse in the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” is:

“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

This verse is not my favorite because of the tender beauty of the words. No, it’s my favorite because of the way it echoes my heart’s cry. The words expose my deepest need and my greatest desire. And they acknowledge that my intimacy with the Lord is a gift He provides as I surrender to Him minute by minute and day by day.

Here’s my heart, Lord. Take it and seal it so it might catch up to all the precious truths in Your Word.

What about you? Has your heart caught up?


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  1. FlowerLady

    This really speaks to my heart this morning. I’ve been worried, anxious and depressed more than usual. I’m a positive person, but since God called my husband home almost 8 years ago, life changed and I’m not the same person I was when he was here. I know the Bible verses that are so encouraging and uplifting but… the evil one knows how to attack our faith. God is faithful though and he forgives, loves, comforts and rescues me every single day.

    This was really an encouraging piece Ava and I thank you for taking the time to write and post.

    God’s continued blessings on you ~ Rainey ~ a.k.a. FlowerLady

  2. Ava Pennington

    I’m so glad you found it encouraging, Rainey. Yes, this year has been especially difficult, even on top of our usual trials!

  3. Anne

    Oh Ava! That’s one of my all time favorite hymn verses! For the very same reasons you like it. Love “ I just want my heart to catch up with what Scripture tells me”!

  4. Karen Friday

    Wow, Ava! What a powerful reflection to read over and over and really ponder. The Apostle Paul new all too well, didn’t he? Oh, how I also want me heart to catch up to what Scripture tells me. Help us, Lord, give us whole hearts for You!

  5. Gretchen Dewey

    Beautiful message. That hymn is a favorite of mine too!

  6. Jessica Brodie

    I have been here too. Sometimes my “head” knows something but it hasn’t yet hit my heart. That’s when trying to step forward in faith is the best course, I believe.

  7. Yvonne Morgan

    Thanks Ava for the great encouragement. I struggle with my first reaction not being God when something happens so this quote really inspired me. Like you, I think I will ponder it for some time.

  8. Melissa Henderson

    As I read your message, I began thinking the words, “Your will be done. Not mine.” My thoughts sometimes go faster than they should. When I pause and relax and lean on God, I am reminded of His love and His Word.

  9. Candice Brown

    I have been overwhelmed with chronic pain and a friend posted about “his yoke is easy, his burden is light.” I confess, my heart has not yet caught up to that verse. But I must keep reading, keep trusting, keep believing his truths because they are truer than the pain or even this life itself. Love this blog; thank you for sharing.

  10. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Ava, you and I are two peas from the same pod. This lag time between my emotions and my alignment with the Scriptures is always such a discouragement to me. Yet, “when life happens, my heart can lag behind what Scripture tells me,” is also my struggle. That battle of not questioning with the “what if” and instead to immediately apply the Scriptures I know so well to be true and right and what I would hope would be my AUTOMATIC response. Yet, as you shared from Romans 7, we are sinners, and we will often be doing the very thing we did not want to do, or we’re NOT doing the very thing we SHOULD be doing. Thankfully, our God is merciful and kind and aware that we are broken and in need of a Savior, so aware that he came down here to redeem us. Thanks be to God! Thank you for sharing so transparently. We’re all the same.

  11. Ava Pennington

    Thank you for your encouragement, Melinda. Yes, we’re all on this journey together!

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