Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Growth Opportunities: Heart Conditions

The state of the human heart shows itself through every walk of life, every word spoken, every deed accomplished for every person, whether saved or unsaved.  Jeremiah 17:9 and 10 says:

9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
10 - I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

Contrary to what society would like to feed us, the human heart is not inherently good.  It is "desperately wicked" and deceitful above all things.  Through the Fall of Man, sin entered into the hearts of men and separated us from God.  Every decision and choice we make prior to redemption is made through a heart of sin.  Our hearts are referred to as "stone" prior to redemption.  God told Israel in Ezekiel 36:26-28:

26 - "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 - "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
28 - "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people and I will be your God."

In the sinful state of our hearts, we are unable to follow the commandments of Christ.  As we saw on Monday, the flesh is "enmity" (or an enemy) against God.  Our flesh fights and struggles against the Will of God.  Once God removes our hearts of stone upon salvation, He places a new heart and a new Spirit...His Spirit...within us.  Once He places the new heart and the new Spirit within us, we will be able to walk in His statutes and will keep AND DO them.  Keeping His commandments and doing them is just not possible in our fleshly state with a stony heart. 

Proverbs 27:19 - As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals him.

We can't hide our heart condition.  Our heart will reflect the type of person we are.  Play actors and the religious Pharisees of our day attempt to do so. 

Proverbs 26:23 - Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

Quaint words with a stony heart are worthless.  They may look and sound good, but ultimately have no value.  Our hearts will lead us astray and deceive us.

Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

We cannot trust our hearts to help us make the right decision.  We must look to the One who gives us a new heart and a new Spirit.  Only then are we able to make decisions based on the Will of the Father and His commandments. 

Proverbs 4:23 - Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

We must guard our new hearts to ensure that nothing invades them that is not of Christ. We must be careful what we listen to, what we hear, what we read, what movies we watch.  What we allow into our hearts and spirits will reveal themselves in the way we conduct ourselves.  Those things will determine what actions we take in our lives, what deeds we perform, how we conduct our businesses, how we work for our employers. do we guard our hearts in such a manner?

We put on our breastplate of righteousness everyday.  We turn to the Word of God and learn how to live in the world He has placed us in.  We pray without ceasing every day to be the light and the salt of the earth.  We keep the Sword of the Spirit in our hands so we may deflect the fiery darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6).  And we remember that everything we do is a reflection of the One who died for us. 

Colossians 3:23-25

23 - And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24 - knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ
25 - But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

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