Our bodies are similar in that we have skin, bone, muscle, hair, intestines, etc. Our bodies differ when it comes to the shade of brown that colors our skin, our eyes, our biological gender, and other features. But there is one part of the body that is completely unique to all yet has a purpose beyond our understanding, our hearts. The heart is the muscle which moves the blood throughout our entire body which gives us life. That is the biological work of the heart. The heart is also connected to our mind in a spiritual sense that affects our physical being. When we feel negative things (anger, sadness, anxiety), our heart speeds up and causes everything to go out of sorts. When we have positive thoughts and feelings, our heart functions normal and gives us exactly what we need when and where we need it. All of this goes even deeper and we find that our heart reaction also dictates not just this life but the next as well. Let’s explore what the Bible has to say about the condition of the human heart. We Have…….
A Deceitful Heart by Nature
If our hearts truly controlled our actions then the choices made which caused Original Sin were the effect of the deceit which poisoned Eve then Adam. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? I, Adonai, search the heart; I test inner motivations; in order to give to everyone what his actions and conduct deserve.” (Jer. 17:9-10) In other words, the absence of God in our hearts allows deceit to enter and separated us from His Glory. Evil intentions are in our hearts and we must fight them so our motivations turn more good so that when tested we are found to at least have tried to fight what evil lies within. But….
An Honest Heart Receives God’s Word
But what fell in rich soil — these are the ones who, when they hear the message, hold onto it with a good, receptive heart; and by persevering, they bring forth a harvest. (Luke 8:15)
If we are ready and willing to listen, follow, and conduct ourselves according to His Word, we receive His Grace generously. This causes us to be able to reach out to others and share His Word giving others a chance to do the same… But our humanisms still get in the way sometimes which causes….
A Double Heart in Hypocrisy
David saw the fault in man and knew that there were almost no more truly righteous people in the world. Help, Adonai! For no one godly is left; the faithful have vanished from humankind. They all tell lies to each other, flattering with their lips, but speaking from divided hearts. (Psalm 12:2-3) The Israelites and others around them still had been doing what they felt was right in their own eyes and therefore their tongues were forked due to the inability to understand the need for following God alone and not the ways of man. Just like today where we have many who go to church on Sunday and then fall short the rest of the week. Everyone does it because no one is perfect but there are some that are much worse than others.
An Opened Heart Yields to God’s Hand
What happens when God is invited in…..One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in fine purple cloth. She was already a “God-fearer,” and the Lord opened up her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. After she and the members of her household had been immersed, she gave us this invitation: “If you consider me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she insisted till we went. (Acts 16:14-15) Lydia knew of God and but did not know God until her heart was opened by the saving Grace and Mercy of Jesus was spoken of through Paul. She became an instrument of God as she yielded her life completely to Him. This happens when we accept Jesus into our life, our hearts open to the filling of His Word and we can feel the hand of God guiding our every move. But without the knowledge of God in our hearts we are still deceived.
A Deceived Heart through Ignorance
Such people know nothing, understand nothing. Their eyes are sealed shut, so that they can’t see; their hearts too, so they can’t understand. Not one thinks to himself or has the knowledge or the discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire, baked bread on its coals, roasted meat and ate it. Should I now make the rest an abomination? Should I prostrate myself to a tree trunk?” He is relying on ashes! A deceived heart has led him astray; so that now he won’t save himself, just won’t say, “This thing in my hand is a fraud!” (Isaiah 44: 18-20) Items of the world and people who are put above all else are not as reliable for saving our eternal souls as God is. This world is full of deception and many fall victim. I myself have been deceived but I came back because I realized that God was there all along and would not allow me to fall further. Some are so deeply deceived that every time God steps in, they step away in total fear and return to the false idol that gives only a temporary comfort. But….
A Believing Heart Welcomes God’s Righteousness
It is all about trust. The respectful fear that we have of our Lord God is a part of understanding that if we put our full faith and trust in God and believe 100% that Jesus saved us through His sacrifice, we are forgiven and will live eternal in His loving arms. “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance. (Romans 10:8-10) We must willingly openly confess our faith in Jesus that He will stand in for us at the Judgement. We must willingly confess that Jesus Christ is Our Lord and Savior. But some of us still do not get it.
A Hardened Heart through Unbelief
There are some out there that just cannot accept that there is a higher power that created all things, controls all things, has infinite wisdom and it was through that enlightened that brought us into existence. The Word is our source of nourishment. But, aware of this, he said, “Why are you talking with each other about having no bread? Don’t you see or understand yet? Have your hearts been made like stone? (Mark (8:17). The Disciples still did not understand at this point that the bread Jesus spoke of was and is the Word that gives us life. They still were in a point of unbelief. They still thought Jesus was a great teacher and would rule over them physically. They had no idea what was to come. Jesus eventually broke the stones away from their and made way for the Helper, the Holy Spirit to enter in.
A Glad Heart Rejoices in His Salvation
You have filled my heart with more joy than all their grain and new wine (Psalm 4:7). Having been blessed by God and meditating on His Word while it flows in our blood to renew our body with the Spirit. How we use this gift of life is really up to us but understand that God really does not want to give up on us even though we may think that way sometimes. When we keep the Word in our hearts, stay in conversation with Him through prayer, and live the way God desires of us then we can fully rejoice in the knowledge that we are saved.
I know the world gets us down and tries to knock us away from God with every distraction possible but we have to maintain our focus on God because He has a plan for each and every one of us that may challenge us to do things we would not normally do. He may completely turn your life upside down only to redirect and give you a new purpose which was His intent all along. What do I say to that?? Go with it. Enjoy and endure the struggle but go with it because the fullness of the Glad Heart will bring peace and contentment.
Love God with All of Yourself giving nothing to the world and everything to Him. Your heart will thank you .