Identifying the Position of Your Heart Toward God Reveals the Posture of Your Heart (Episode 65)

In this episode, Erin Olson discusses how the position of our heart toward God reveals the posture of our heart toward God. If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not good and 10 being great), how would you rate your relationship with God right now? God desires a positional relationship with each one of us. This episode elaborates on the physical positions of our hearts and how it affects our relationship with God and others. Like sunflowers who track east to west when young (heliotropism), we often get to a place where we feel spiritually mature and stay facing east and fail to track toward God continually day in and day out throughout season to season.

Scriptures refererenced:

Genesis 4:24, "After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 4:16, "Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Genesis 13:11, "So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other."

Ezekiel 17:10, "Even if it is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it - wither away in the plot where it grew?"

Transcripts of this episode are available at

Erin’s website information:

For more resources and to sign up to receive Erin’s weekly ministry newsletter, visit Erin Olson’s ministry website, Sandalfeet Ministries, at

Social media links:

                        Facebook: @sandalfeet

                        Instagram: @erin.olson

                        Twitter: @sandal_feet

Subscribe to The Depot Podcast with Erin Olson:

Libsyn RSS:
Google Play:

Erin Olson

Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the depot podcast. I'm your host, Erin Olson. And I'm so grateful you're joining me today. Last week, I recorded an entire episode on the podcast. And when I went to publish it, something strange happened, it was mixing all the words and all kinds of stuff. So, I'm not sure exactly what happened. But it is a message that for now won't go out. I didn't re-record it, I thought maybe it wasn't meant to be recorded, or perhaps there's a deeper meaning. So, I'm going to sit with that for a minute. And so, this week, I have something different to talk to you about. I know I've talked to you before on this podcast that I'm going to be doing a series on the prophets. And that will be coming up perhaps in the fall after we get back from family vacations, I will dig into that. But for right now, I just want to talk to a moment about the spiritual condition of your heart, and perhaps the spiritual condition of the hearts of the people around you. Because I think one, we need to look within ourselves to see kind of where our hearts are with God. Are we ourselves? Okay? We need to look at that. Because if we continually look at others as the problem, we often become part of the problem, or sometimes in some cases, bigger than the current problem. So, I want to ask you at the onset of this podcast, as we start our time together today, I want to ask you a question on a scale of one to 10. One being not really good. 10 being great. Where would you say you are with your relationship with God right now? If God showed up on your doorstep today, and gave you a rating on your heart condition toward him? What number do you think he would give you? And then ask yourself, why? If you have a 10, if you have a seven, if you have an eight, that's great. That means, you know, you're spending time with the Lord, you're doing what he's asking you to do. And all of these things, perhaps your life is going great. And that's why things are going well. Or maybe you're actually in a valley moment. And you're clinging to him so desperately that this is the reason why you're at a 789 10 Because you're clinging to him and you're close to him. However, if you find yourself perhaps spiritually dry right now, questioning God, questioning your call, questioning your position, whatever it might be, or in a very difficult time, maybe you're down at like a one or two. And it doesn't have to be that way. That God gives us so many great ways to stay close to Him in all seasons throughout all time. And it is up to you and I to do that. And oftentimes, when we have things going on in our lives, we are being used either as a vessel or a light, or our testimony could be used years from now, as to how we respond to God in that hard moment. Or even in that easy season of life. Did you forget about God because things aren't going so well. If things aren't going well for you, when was the last time you spent time with the Lord? No, sometimes personally, for me that when things are going really great, I can get really busy or just become complacent and not spend time with the Lord as deeply as I do in hard seasons when I really meet him or want to hear from him. Sometimes when you're really not wanting to hear from him, because he's not saying things to you that you want to hear, you kind of push that relationship aside. And so today, I like I said, I just want to spend a few moments just talking about how the spiritual conditions of our heart can be revealed by the position we are in. So, I don't do this often on this show. But I want to start in just a moment of prayer. Because I think when we're talking about our hearts, and our positional relationship with the Lord, it really means a movement of the Holy Spirit. Now, the Holy Spirit speaks all the time through scripture. But these are tender moments. And sometimes these are convicting moments. And sometimes these are encouraging moments where God is saying you are doing a great job, my daughter, or my son, or you need some, we need to do some work together. So, I want to pray for just a moment and then I will dig into kind of what the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me recently. Holy Spirit, you are here with us because you live in us. And we ask you right now to search our hearts. Not that we grade ourselves on the condition of our hearts, but that you reveal to each one of us the conditions of our heart, not because you want to judge us or shame us, but because you want the best for us. So, Lord, opened our eyes and our ears, and especially our hearts to hear from you today. Help us do a work in us and through us. Lord, I just pray for this time together. And I ask that you be ever present ever teaching and that we have teachable spirits in this moment. And it's in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. Now, this message came to me because I have this garden. It's an indoor hydroponic garden. And I recently put in a pod that was for some flowers, and I had actually forgotten that I even put it in there. Honestly, I have lots of other things growing in there, kale, and jalapenos, green peppers, some different things, lavender, some herbs, and things like that. But I had actually forgotten, like I said that I put the sunflower in there. And I went downstairs one day, and haven't been tending the garden very well, honestly. And that's another topic for another day. But I went down there, and all of a sudden, this beautiful sunflower was in the garden. Huge, just huge, just out of nowhere, just group. And it just really made me think yellow is my favorite color. I have yellow, three yellow lights that actually hang over my kitchen island. And you'll see lots of yellow accents throughout my house and sunflowers. They're my favorite flower, because I just think they're so just so pretty and purposeful and big and strong. And they produce things right. Not only are they a flower, but they produce seeds and seeds that we can eat and nourish us and nourish the animals and things like that. And so, I've always been drawn to sunflowers. And when I was thinking about the sunflower, how I was remembering you know that people say that sunflowers follow the direction of the sun. They start out in the East. And as the day tracks, they move to the west when they're in growth mode, and it's a scientific term, and we're not going to get into all the science of it. But they do move from east to west. However, they don't do this throughout their entire life. They actually get to a point where they're mature, and they stop tracking. So that means that they continually face east. And that East facing attitude. being spiritually mature is something that really just struck a chord with me. I was thinking how many of us feel like we are spiritually mature, and we're stuck facing east. Now East in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament was a posture that represented rebellion against God. And it starts very, very early on in the Bible. And it says that after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis three, it says in verse 24, after he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. So, we see that the first time the man and woman sinned, God placed the people East. And as we see, as sin began to become rampant, people continually moved east. We also see that after Cain committed sin in Genesis 416, it says, Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod East of Eden. We also see later in Genesis 13, so Lot chose for himself the valley of the Jordan and Lot journeyed eastward, thus they separated from each other. This was after Lot and Abraham settled and split up. And so, we see this continually over and over that the farther that people got away from God, the more east in position, this is physical position, as we see, we even see that after the flood when Noah and his sons came back to land and they were sent out to populate the world, his sons continued to move east as well. And so, as the people moved east farther and farther away from the Garden of Eden, they were physically moving away from the presence of God. But the physical movement away from God also represented a spiritual movement away from the presence of God. And we see this kind of reestablished as we know when they built the temple, that the east gate was where they entered from. And as they moved westward, they began to get closer and closer and closer to the presence of God. And so, this eastward movement of God's people reflected a spiritual movement away from God. And I would think that the same is true for us. We're not very good with directions. And I noticed this yesterday, I was driving with my oldest son in the car, and we were in an area of town that he is been to plenty of times before with me. But he was turned around for some reason. I don't know why. And he's like, I have no idea where I'm at. And I'm like, you totally know where you are. And we've been here before. And he's like, No, I think we're going the opposite direction. I'm like, No, we're going going in the right direction. And so, you pulled up his phone, and sure enough, I was going in the right direction. But he was all turned around. And it's because you know, this generation, this Gen Z is very reliant upon Google Maps and Mapquest and Waze and all of these things, and so they don't learn how to navigate without a map system. And I grew up in a time when, you know, you got directions, directions from people. And they were like, you go right at the light left at the light, there's a blue house turned left there, you know. And so we learned that directional ability to get around without maps. I mean, we didn't even have, I mean, you had roadmaps, but you didn't really use those unless you were taking a huge trip out of town, and then you mapped your way. And then when the internet started, you would print off your Yahoo Maps and keep them in the seat next to you if you didn't want to take that big roadmap, because it would tell you exactly which road to turn on and go right and things like that, oh, nowadays, I think that's kind of what has happened at Scripture is that people have forgotten that Scripture is the original roadmap to show us the direction to God. And we rely on other means to fill that space. And to get us there. And sometimes, if we're not using one of those things, and if we're not using the Bible, we're actually lost directionally and specifically lost spiritually in like, not last forever, but just lost our way in the moment. And that is not a good place to be, because we will find ourselves wandering, and perhaps dabbling in things that we're not supposed to be dabbling in. And so, God was very specific in in the book of Ezekiel, he's talking to Ezekiel, obviously, and he's giving him words to tell the exiles, those His chosen people whom he had allowed, or Babylon to invade those people, and because of their sin, and he had dragged them off to Babylon, the king had and drag them off, and they were there. And there were some people who were left in the land. But God was very specific about the fact that those people continually turn their hearts from him, instead of toward him. And because of that, they were sinning, and they weren't being faithful, and they were doing all these things, and God was bringing destruction on them. And he said, God said in verse 10, of chapter 17, he said, even if it is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east winds strikes it wither away in the plot where it grew. So, God is saying this east wind is hard, when you're far from me, The East Wind is difficult, being far from the presence of God is difficult, the best place he wants you to be. The Bible says to draw close to me, Abide in me, dwell in me. And if we are spiritually east of God, are from him, not in his presence, not near his presence, and I know that God lives in us. But even though the Holy Spirit lives in us, we can be so far away spiritually. And it's the same as with a relationship with a husband and wife, you can be physically living in the same home, but completely and utterly, far from each other. And that's kind of the picture that those who are struggling spiritually are, you're in this East place, far from the presence of God, because he has placed you there or because something has placed you there. And you see, when we're talking about Adam and Eve, God didn't just wake up one morning and say, Oh, I'm done with Adam and Eve, I'm going to placed them east of me. Now, Adam and Eve did something that God said not to do. And it was a result of their sin, their consequence, that God had to place them out. because they were no longer pure enough to be living in the Garden of Eden in the presence of God, because they now knew what they shouldn't have known or done what they shouldn't have done. And as we see, in the Old Testament, people continued to sin. And they moved eastward, eastward, God would exile them eastward, when the temple was built, if you were East outside, you weren't as close to the presence of God, and only certain people were allowed in the holiest of holies. But perhaps there were people who weren't even showing up to the temple because they felt they weren't pure enough to come to the temple, or they were ashamed or whatever, people wouldn't let them be there. And so, they were erased, when God just wants you to draw close to Him, because He can forgive your sins. It's not up to any person, any human, to judge your sins. It's not up to anyone else to tell you that your sins are separating you from God, it really is something between you and God. And we learn that individually. God told people, even in the Old Testament, that there will be a day when the sins of your fathers will no longer be on new. And this was a new word for them. Because what they were experiencing, or what they thought they were experiencing, and a part of combination of what they were experiencing was the XO was occurring, because they, their fathers had sinned. But what they didn't realize is that their hearts were so hardened, or their hearts were so far from God because of their fathers, and perhaps, that they weren't understanding that it was the continual habituation of sin. That forced the exile. Right? So, God was telling the people, he said in Jeremiah, and he said, Ezekiel, I'm going to do a new thing, from at one point, each individual is going to be responsible for their own sins, and no longer will you be held accountable for the sins of your father. But what I am going to hold you accountable is for the sin of yourself. And it's an individual choice. And he said that there wouldn't be a way of escape, right, we would have Jesus, it was kind of a foretelling of the Messiah coming, that the Messiah would be the one who would bear the weight of the mankind's unrighteousness. And sins, bear that weight, and whoever believes in Him, it's the gospel, whoever believes in Him, will be forgiven up there since right, so this whole thought of, of I can't change, or I grew up like this, this is all I know, like, my family's cursed. All of this stuff. That's not true. There's no such thing as a generational curse. There's only a thing, such a thing as a generational excuse. If you want to use the excuse of your parents, the excuse of your circumstances, excuse of your geography, the excuse of your religion, the excuse of whatever that's on you, that's not on anybody else. Because you have the ability to change it, you have the ability to stop it, you have the ability to go in and do the hard work of cleaning up your vineyard, if you will, the disaster, the weeds and the bristles and everything else that grows in your vineyard, you have the ability alone to do that with God. Because he is not putting that weight on you that curse on you. But you have to some of you will have to physically, emotionally, spiritually fight your way out of that mess. And it's it's sometimes maddening, right? You're just angry, and you're mad that you're like, Why did I have to be born into this position? How did I find myself in this position? You know, why am I why did I go through a divorce? I mean, I'm every family member my family's divorce? Why did that happen to me? Sometimes we have to look inward at our own hearts and see are we allowing this to happen? Are we jumping ship? Because it's hard? Because that's what we've seen modeled? Or do we not know how to have healthy relationships, God can help with all of that. And also the spiritual direction of our hearts. We can never be so spiritually mature that we always faced East. We need to pursue God daily, and track west into His presence every single day. And just like with them young sunflower, it tracks from east to west, all throughout the day. At night, it goes back in in the morning, it's back east and then it goes back. And that's going to needs to be there. rhythm of our life. Also, you know, we have sleep patterns, we have a cycle. things in nature have a cycle are built that way. But when we get either spiritually mature or spiritually dead, we face east. And we have to make a concerted effort to draw into His presence. And that's the way we make it through. And that's the work that we have to do. We don't work our way into heaven. But the daily work that we do to pursue God gives us new life, if it works our heart muscle, if you will, and allows us to be spiritually close to him so that we can hear from him so that we can draw nearer to him, because he wants to do that for us. So, I hope this episode of the depot podcast has blessed who in some way has challenged you in some way. And I look forward to being with you again. Thank you for listening to the depot podcast. If you liked what you heard today. Don't forget to subscribe to the depot podcast on iTunes CPN, or any place you listen to podcasts. Please also visit my ministry website, sandal for books, blogs, and other biblical resources. You can also follow me on Facebook at sandal feet ministries on Instagram at Erin.Olson. I look forward to gathering with you next time.