At the beginning of 2020, our church began to examine our hearts. Proverbs 23:7 says “for as he thinks in his heart so is he.” We began to embark on an exploration of the unattended heart. In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” A heart left unattended will be at war with God. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? 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 doing.”
Proverbs 4:20-21 “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart.” In these difficult and uncertain times that we are in- this is significant!
Recently I have heard that more Bibles have been sold in the last two weeks than have sold all year long. Some Wal-Mart and Target stores are not only selling out of toilet paper but also Bibles. Maybe it is time to pick up your Bible and begin to read and study it. The Bible is God’s revelation and vision for mankind. The words revelation and vision are synonymous. They both mean to reveal what is on the mind of God to the church for direction. When we get God’s revelation, His vision, we get direction on how to live and navigate through life; no matter what is happening around us. The words revelation and vision also mean “a prophetic, redemptive, uncovering.” When God’s word is spoken over us (prophetically) it reveals to us areas of our lives that God is calling to redeem and restore to His will, health and wholeness.
In Bible college I learned that the heart is the control center. It is the seat of our emotions, mind, imaginations, will, desires, affections, conscience and even memory. The heart encompasses our entire inner being. God says in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep (guard, shield and protect) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Psalm 107:20 “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” In Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” The word deferred means- to comply with another’s opinion. When we are in agreement with someone else’s opinion other than God’s- it will make the heart sick. God is truth and His word is true. Listening to the wrong voices or opinions other than God’s is a lie. The devil is a liar. Lies flow into your heart and contaminate the issues of your life. That can show up in the form of addiction, disease, abuse, immortality, and fornication. But Proverbs 13:21 also says “but when desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
The word desire is in reference to his will. When we are in agreement with God’s will, revelation and vision, we are in a position to fulfill His purpose and our true identity. Our true identity is what he created us to be. We are being transformed and conformed to God’s image- which he predestined to us before we were born. Now the issues that are flowing and springing from our hearts are producing the fruit of wholeness, health and well-being. The image of Christ is manifesting. Romans 8: 28-29 “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom he forknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…”
The narrative of our lives are no longer one of destruction but construction. God’s will on earth as it is in heaven is being accomplished through us.
The writer is the senior pastor at Russell Road Church, Sidney.