There is one thing that God is interested in capturing in your life, and that one thing is your heart. When I mention the word “heart,” I am not talking about the physical pump in your chest. The Hebrew word that is translated “heart” is defined as intellect, awareness, mind, inner person, inner feelings, deepest thoughts, inner self. By this definition, that would fit into both the spirit and soul of an individual. Some scriptures that talk about the heart seem to point to the spirit man, while others seem to point to the soul of a person. We are a spirit being, we possess a soul (mind, will, and emotions), and we live in a physical body. The reason that the word “heart” seems to imply the spirit and soul of an individual is because they are closely connected. In fact, when you pass away from this earth, your spirit and soul live on. This is proven in the Bible with the account of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). After they died, they still had emotions, remembrance of their life on earth, and a free will.
God desires for us as Christians to have an undivided heart. Jesus put it this way in Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. If God is the first priority in your heart, He will be the first priority in your life. Our actions and words are simply an outward manifestation of what is in our heart. I want to give you some Scriptures that talk about the heart; specifically, characteristics of the heart and the importance of maintaining a pure heart as a Christian. I want to encourage you to look up and study these Scriptures on your own.
According to Mark 11:23, Romans 10:8-10, and Acts 8:35-38, faith and doubt are both of the heart. They both originate in the heart of man. Sin is conceived in the heart of man. According to Matthew 5:28, Jesus said the sin of adultery can be committed in your heart even before doing the physical act. Everything in the New Testament deals with the heart of man. If your heart is pure, your motives, words, and actions will be pure. The Word of God says in Psalms 19:14 and Psalms 77:6 that we consider things in, meditate in, and commune with ourselves in our heart. When you are thinking about something, and silently talking to yourself on the inside, that is taking place in your heart. Meditation of the Word of God takes place in your heart. I want to challenge you to make an on purpose, conscious effort to meditate on the Word of God and the things of God as much as possible on a daily basis. If you will faithfully put that into practice, it will revolutionalize your spiritual life. According to Mark 7:6-7, the difference between pure worship and vain or meaningless worship is based on the condition of your heart. When your heart is disconnected from God and you engage in worship, that is vain or meaningless in the sight of God. Why? Because God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24); God wants us to connect with Him Spirit to spirit, heart to heart; not just lip service.
In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus compares our heart to a tree. Jesus tells us that a tree is known by its fruit. According to that passage, Jesus is telling us that we can determine the condition of our heart and the heart of others by two things; a person’s actions and the words that come out of their mouth. Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We are not to judge people in the sense of condemning and saying there is no hope for them; or to have an opinion of someone without seeing the fruit of that person’s life. We are called however, to be fruit inspectors. How else are we to determine whether we should pursue a friendship or close relationship with a person? The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 to avoid unequally yoked relationships because they will eventually put your spiritual fire out. This whole subject of judging has really become twisted from the true Biblical definition. A backslidden believer that has some noticeable sin in their life will say, “Don’t judge me” when they are confronted about it. What they are really saying is, “Don’t expose my sin, I like it too much; don’t hold me accountable to the Word of God.” I heard a Christian comedian once say, “If you hear a person say, I go to a church where no one judges me. I can be who I want to be.” The comedian continued to say, “You’re not in a church, you’re in bar.” There are many churches that are operating like a bar. They are not preaching the Word of God, but rather tolerating and accommodating sin in the lives of many. We as Christians are not walking in love when we allow people to stay comfortable in their sin. If you are truly a Christian, a child of God, you will hate sin just as much as your Heavenly Father does, and you will try to help others come out of it with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I want to encourage every Christian to keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Hide God’s Word in your heart and guard it diligently. The fact is this; your destiny, quality of life, and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is totally dependant upon the condition of your heart.
James Brandt Ministries
P.O. Box 71217
Rochester Hills, MI 48307