I recently shared a short message at my church titled “The Heart of Man”, which I feel led to share on this blog. I pray it speaks to your hearts! (which is fitting because it’s about, well, hearts)
What is the Heart?
When we refer to the heart, we are referring to the human emotions, desires and will. The heart is what leads the soul and spirit of man to behave in a certain manner. Whatever goes into the heart is what flows out of it. Proverbs 4:23-27 advises us to guard our hearts and keep it from perversity, while remaining steadfast in the path of righteousness. John MacArthur says, “The heart is the dipository of all wisdom and source of whatever affects speech (Prov. 4: 24), sight (Prov. 4: 25), and conduct (Prov. 4: 26-27).”
We must guard our hearts from things that will contaminate it, so that only those things which the Bible refers to as holy, lovely and pure may flow out of it.
A New Heart
In Ezekiel 36:26 the Word says there are two types of hearts: the heart of stone and the heart of flesh. The heart of stone is stubborn and self-willed, but the heart of flesh is receptive and responsive to the Spirit of God. We need this new heart of flesh because the new heart signifies the regeneration by the Holy Spirit. We need to be renewed and cleansed from our sins (Ezek. 36:25). God’s purpose in renewing the human heart is that we would walk in His statues, so that He may be our God and we would be His people (Ezek. 36:27-28). He accomplishes this “heart transplant” by giving us His Spirit so that the spirit of man can worship, love and know the God of Spirit (Ezek. 36:26-27).
The New King James Version of Ezekiel 36:26 says that God will take our hearts of stone out of our flesh and give us a heart of flesh. In other words, a heart of stone does not belong in a body of flesh. It was not God’s intent nor His perfect will for His creation to have hearts of stone. In the beginning, we were perfectly created with bodies of flesh that contain a heart of flesh that fears God.
So, this new heart of flesh is one that struggles. It struggles because it fights against its sinful nature, unlike the heart of stone (similar idea in my last post, Encounters with God). The heart of flesh is not perfect in all its ways, but it is sensitive to the Spirit of God.
The Hidden Secrets of the Human Heart
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Now, while that may make the mysteries of our hearts seem forever hidden from our knowledge, the following verse reveals that there is but One who does know it! “I, the Lord, search the heart….” (Jer. 17:10). Only through God’s omniscient Spirt can we know the hidden secrets of the heart. It is man’s responsibility to guard the heart, but it is God’s responsibility to search and reveal the deep matters of the heart. That is, of course, if we are willing. How does God reveal these hidden secrets? It is those times of intimacy, meditation, reflection, prayer and reading of His word that allows us to enter into His holy presence that reveals the sinful desires of the human heart. Sometimes we carry hatred and grudges for years unaware that it is destroying our souls. But, at the very moment you receive the heart of flesh and God’s Spirit moves within you you will feel Him say, “do you see what’s within your heart? Pour it out. Forgive.” We have to allow God to cleanse and heal our hearts daily, for it is only Him who knows its depths.
It is man’s responsibility to guard the heart, but it is God’s responsibility to search and reveal the deep matters of the heart.
Characteristics of the Heart of Flesh
The Heart of Flesh…….
1. Acknowledges its sinful nature (Jeremiah 17:9)
The heart of flesh will see its wicked ways and recognize that it does not reflect God’s holiness. It will repent of its sinfulness.
2. Desires to please God (Psalm 51:10, Psalm 139: 23-24)
The heart of flesh struggles as it genuinely yearns to please God. It cries out to God, it pleads “Lord, cleanse me! Guide me in your path of righteousness!”
3. Recognizes it is weak (Psalm 73:26)
The heart of flesh knows that it is weak. It is not prideful and depends on the strength of God to overcome its sinful desires.
Joy in the Transformation
Though receiving this heart of flesh can hurt and break us, we rejoice. As David cried out in Psalm 51:8, let the bones you have crushed rejoice! When we have received God’s Spirit, it is so much our desire to walk in His ways that we rejoice in the pain. Yes, pain. Because change is painful, especially when it’s in regards to deep heart issues. BUT joy awaits us because our hearts find the utmost satisfaction in surrendering to God. Isn’t that a beautiful display of God’s transformation power?
Lord, help us seek your face always and remain sensitive to your Holy Spirit. Give us a heart of flesh that loves you, fears you and delights in your ways.
P.S. – I have some updates that I will be sharing very soon! I’ll give you a small hint, guess who’s going to Peru in about 2 weeks!?! Also, I’ve been meditating and writing about some things that I am very excited to share with you all. I usually just write my posts on the spot but this is one I want to prepare with time. But being that I’ve only been doing one post a month (not my original intention *insert crying emoji*) I’m sure no one will notice a difference haha. My desire is to share what God puts in my heart to strengthen others, so if you enjoyed reading please SHARE & FOLLOW!!
May your day be graciously adventurous,