Heart Matter

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Thursday, November 21, 2019

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

The word “heart” is used in the Bible primarily to refer to the ruling center of the whole person, the spring of all desires. The heart is understood as the seat of the will, intellect, and feelings. From a biblical perspective, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity but of all the operations of human life.

Because the heart is the center of spiritual activity, our relationship with God always begins and maintained by the heart. Indeed, since God is a Spirit, our experience of him and our relationship with him is always heart-based. Thus, we are told in Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Salvation, therefore, is always a matter of the heart. Consequently, to live a Holy Spirit-filled and Christ-led life, one has to surrender his or her heart to Christ and allow him to live therein. It is only when Christ takes up residence in our hearts that our minds can be renewed, and our lives can be transformed.

In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” The point here is that all evil thoughts and deeds originate in the heart. Our minds can only process what is already in our hearts. Godly thought can only come out of a spiritually cleaned heart.

Proverbs 4:23 is providing the essential step for living a godly life, and for bearing spiritual fruits. We have to guard our hearts, above all else. Our spiritual enemy attacks our hearts first. When the heart has been corrupted, he can establish a stronghold in our minds. The only way to tear down the stronghold in our minds is by cleaning our hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In Ezekiel 36:26, God told the children of Israel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” That was the only way they could live in a covenantal relationship with a Holy God. He told them, “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” The idea here is that sin hardens our heart and causes wickedness to flow out of it. When we walk in obedience to the will of God, our heart becomes sensitized to the Holy Spirit, causing our minds to be renewed. Then we can think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” in Philippians 4:8.

A renewed mind is conditioned for godliness because it resides in a pure heart. Our faith in God is a matter of the heart. Many Christians struggle in their spiritual journey because they have head knowledge instead of heart transformation. The accurate measure of our spiritual maturity is not how much we know, but it is the depth of our faith. Faith is not intellectual. It is transformational because it is conceived in the laboratory of the heart.

To the degree that we are to study the word of God to show ourselves approved, we have to be all the more intentional about guarding our hearts against the wickedness of this world. Knowing much scripture or becoming a biblical scholar does not necessarily lead to a relationship of loving union with God. If that were so, Lucifer would still be in heaven. No other being knows as much scripture as he does. He even quoted scripture to Jesus when he tempted the Lord three times. However, because he has a wicked and demonic heart, all his scripture knowledge is obsolete as they are being used to mislead the children of God and lead them into a life of sinful disobedience to their creator.

Prayer- Father, create in us a clean heart, oh God, and renew the right spirit within us so we can be more effective in the work of ministry.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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