The heart is the most common anthropological term in Scripture, no wonder I find myself musing on it so often. I believe it plays an essential role in the condition of our lives and the condition of our world. What then is this ‘heart’ that we so commonly know yet so oblivious to its vices. In Hebrew, the heart is described as not only the center of our emotions, but also the center of our thoughts and spiritual life. The heart and soul are not synonymous. The core of the ‘inner person’, the hidden, innermost, deepest part of a person with its thoughts, emotions and will is the heart whereas the soul is the breath of God, the living being.
And Jesus says that the heart’s secrets are betrayed by the mouth, even as a tree’s fruit discloses its nature (Matthew 12:33). The fountain of our hearts often flows with things that are not aligned with God’s heart. According to Genesis 8:21, “the heart is naturally wicked”. So then, we are born with an unregenerate heart: full of iniquity, evil loving and malicious, impenitent, hard, proud, worldly, covetous, foolish, wayward, blind, hypocritical and duplicitous. This heart needs renewal … ¡Ayúdanos Dios!
“I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26. Notice that it is God who performs this renewal of heart, however, we are responsible to guard it. Our renewed heart should attest to faith, trust, love, fidelity, fear of God, zeal, joy, sincerity, repentance, compassion, purity and tenderness.
“I could not have thought that I was half so bad. I am afraid there cannot have been a work of grace in my heart, or else I should not have so many corrupt imaginations, filthy desires, hard thoughts of God; so much pride, so much selfishness and self-will. I am afraid I am none of His.
Now, that is the very reason why you are one of His, that you are able to say that: for God’s people pass through the night. They have their nights of sorrow. I love to hear a man talk like that. I would not have him do so always. He ought at times to enter into “the liberty wherewith Christ hath made him free.” – Charles Spurgeon
We are always wanting something, always desiring a yet-beyond. Our hearts are constantly yearning and looking to attach itself to some ‘thing’. In this way, the heart leads us on the path of our lives. Because we live in a world of distractions deluxe, we might have a difficult time watching over our hearts with all diligence.
“Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth, put away from you a misleading mouth and put devious lips far from you; avoid careless banter, white lies and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead toward the path of moral courage; ignore all sideshow distractions, let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you toward the path of integrity. Watch your step, consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left where evil may lurk; leave evil in the dust.” – Proverbs 4:24 – 27
Lest we do not guard our hearts, pride, selfish needs and desires, and any other misguided alignment to God’s heart will seep in and eventually become deeply rooted thus affecting the course of our lives. The meditations of our hearts will either cause us to flourish or contaminate our character. We need to be vigilant and soberly aware of the deviousness of our hearts. Pray that your wits never dull to its vices. The heart needs guarding because it too is under spiritual attack. We do not naturally think like God. We are like sheep and are prone to wonder away from Him. Isaiah 53 shows us that we want to live independently and control our own lives apart from God.
What works best for me is to surrender to God, continually. It’s not a once-off practice. My love for Him is more than emotion; it is a conscious commitment. He gives me rest from the things that break my heart or harden my heart. The wonderful thing about a relationship with Jesus is that we are never alone; we have a Helper just as He has promised. The Holy Spirit aligns our life with God when we surrender our heart and will to His.
God hears our prayers and is the One who works in our lives. The hearts of all who come to Him, by faith in Christ Jesus, are cleansed by the power of the Holy Spirit. And remember, that He who began that cleansing work in you will continue to do so until it is completed. So keep on surrendering to Him and continually offering your whole heart to Him.
Un beso y suerte!