(First posted on March 31, 2013)
Heart of Doubt
I am continuing to search scripture in order to understand my heart and how to fully allow God into my heart so his work can be done. I closed my last post dealing with doubt and fear in my heart. Today I begin my search with thoughts about how the heart is connected to our thoughts. Doubt and Trouble come from our thoughts, and I found scripture on this in Mark 2:6,8. Verse 6 reads, “And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,” followed up in verse 8 “But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?” The scribes were full of pride, remember that for later, and in their hearts they reasoned that when Jesus healed other it was sinful. In Matthew 9:4 Jesus even says on the same occasion, “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?”. Evil comes from the heart into our thoughts, but there is good news! Psalm 19:14 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” We can ensure that our thoughts are good and acceptable to Go, but we must focus our heart toward good and God.
Looking back at the prideful scribes who allowed their pride to plant sin in their hearts and cloud their judgement on Jesus. Pride evokes fear in me and my heart as it should after reading Proverbs 16:5 which reads “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.” That is a powerful verse that makes you stop in your tracks. How many times have we been overcome with pride. How often do we want things our way and fail to consider everything because of our pride. How often do we want to be praised for what we do instead of serving for the Lord and him alone. Pride an abomination to the Lord brings silence to me right now. I wait for God to move. Leviticus 19:17 mentions hate in the heart, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.” God commanded his people not to have hate in their heart.
Hope vs Wickedness
I tremble before the Lord as I read these verses because I know that God can withdraw himself from my heart if I do not keep my focus on him just as he did with Pharaoh first stating in Exodus 4:21 “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand, But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” God allows hardening of the heart when he is not living in your heart. When God is living in our hearts we have purpose. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says ” So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” We have purpose we give from the heart which leads to rejoicing from the heart. Acts 2:26 tells us ” Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.” These verses give me hope that the wickedness of my heart will not win out over the Lord living in my heart.
Loving with the Heart
I hold several verses close to my heart and want to share. Earlier I mentioned that God does not like hate in our heart and commanded it of his people. Jesus brought a new commandment found in Mark 12: 30-31,33. In verse 30 -31 Jesus says, ” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” This is finalized in verse 33 showing Jesus as the one true sacrifice where we can find such love in ourselves and our hearts. Verse 33 reads, ” And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” These commandments and the love I want to hold for the Lord and others in my heart are summed up in Matthew 6: 19-21. My focus is really on verse 21 but I feel the verses as a whole really shows me that I need to focus on the Lord so my heart is lead to my treasures. Otherwise my treasures will be evil and sinful and of this world. Beginning in verse 19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where the moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Closing Verse: Matthew 6: 21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Challenge: Commit your heart to the Lord and your store treasures in heaven. I pray God will help you and me focus on a new heart.