Today I want to start a conversation about one of the most valuable things you and I possess: our hearts. I say start because I’m not planning on ending the conversation today, but hopefully continuing it in the near future. 🙂 Our hearts have immense value to God; and, because of that, they should be important to us, too. The Bible has a lot to say about the heart. In fact, it mentions the word “heart” over 800 times.
While there are a vast range of things we could talk about in regards to the heart, our focus in this blog is going to be on a couple of keys for maintaining a right heart before God. Just in recent weeks, due to a particular circumstance going on in my life, I’ve come to realize even more the difficulty in maintaining my heart right before Him. While it is a struggle, by God’s grace, it’s not impossible. So I want to share some things that have been helping me in this area in hopes that God will use them in your life as well. Are you ready?
1. Don’t trust your heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
No one wants to think that their heart is deceitful (above all things) and (desperately) wicked, but according to God’s Word, it’s the truth. We were all born with a sin nature and, as a result, have hearts that are wicked before God. We have to be aware of the wickedness of our own hearts; and realize that, under no circumstances, can our hearts be trusted.
Trusting your heart is a slippery slope that will only lead you to disillusionment, confusion, and hurt. The Bible makes it very clear that a person who trusts their heart is a fool.
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26.
In order to maintain a right heart before God, we first must be conscientious of the fact that our hearts are prone towards foolishness and sin. Don’t make the mistake of trusting something the Bible calls deceitful and desperately wicked.
2. Guard your heart.
A very popular mantra in today’s culture is: follow your heart. We’ve all heard it and been advised to do it. Opposite of the world’s philosophy, God advises us to keep our hearts.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word keep means:
To preserve from falling or from danger; to protect, to guard or sustain
Our job is not to follow our hearts but to guard them. Why? Because as we just talked about, they can easily be deceived by sin and the lies of Satan. Our hearts are so extremely susceptible to being infiltrated by pride, selfishness, vanity, bitterness, anger, jealousy, fear, doubt – the list could go on. In order to prevent any of these things from taking root in our heart, we have to be on vigilant guard.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8
Satan wants to destroy us and he will do all he can to attack our wellspring of life – our hearts. We have to understand that our hearts are vulnerable to his attack, and that we have the responsibility to be vigilant and guard our hearts with all diligence.
3. Make a habit of asking God to search your heart.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
If we desire to maintain a right heart before God, then we should be consistent in asking God to search our hearts. Whenever our hearts are tempted to stray, we have to go to the One who created our hearts and ask that He would search our heart and try our heart and lead us in the way everlasting.
That wraps up our talk for today! I hope these thoughts have been a help to you. Stay tuned for part 2 in the next couple of weeks.
I’d love to hear any comments you have on this subject!