Yesterday, my kids and I went to Bath and Body Works to buy a fall candle. Candle buying is a family affair for us. My kids spend way too much time, smelling Every… Single… Candle.
At the entrance of the store, there was a sign posted that stated the store had an occupancy limit of 31. Over the past year, I’ve seen these signs more visible than before. The occupancy limit usually depends on the size of the store.
I read a scripture this week that has been a real game changer for my week. Have you ever read a passage in the Bible that jumped off of the page and into your heart and mind? I know I’ve read it before but I’ve never noticed it.
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.”
Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NIV
The last line of this verse is what I noticed. “God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” I’ve been asking God all week to occupy my heart with gladness. To occupy means to keep busy or filled.
Too many people allow their hearts to be occupied with the wrong things: fear, doubt, news, social media, worry, and the list go on. And it becomes evident in their conversation. I have become very intentional about what I allow to reach my eyes and my heart.
Jesus said this: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34 ) So I’ve been asking God to occupy my heart with gladness this week. I’ve been focusing on his goodness. I’ve been focusing on the blessings he’s put in my life.
When a building reaches its occupancy limit, it means there is no room for anyone else to come inside. When we allow God to occupy our hearts with gladness, there is no room for fear or negativity to occupy it.
I encourage you to pray this prayer this week and ask God to fill your heart: “Lord, I ask that you would occupy my heart with gladness. I refuse to allow negativity, fear, doubt, worry, stress or anything that doesn’t come from you to take residency in my heart. My heart belongs to you and thank you for filling it.”