The Heart Of Man

This week, I want to talk to you about your heart, and specifically its posture and position to receive all that God has. Throughout the Bible, we see that God cares about our hearts more than anything else. Luke 10:27 tells us the greatest commandment is,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Our heart is our spiritual decision-maker. It’s the place Jesus makes His home when we accept Him by faith. Let’s look at a few key scriptures about our hearts:

“…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love…” (Ephesians 3:17)

“As in water face reflects face, so, the heart of man reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

“For the LORD sees not as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Our heart is our spiritual center. We’re told to “guard our hearts diligently because from them flow all the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Guarding our hearts doesn’t mean we lock ourselves away but that we ensure our hearts are postured and positioned correctly.

The Bible tells us that our hearts can be lifted up in pride (Deuteronomy 8:14) or humbled (Deuteronomy 11:16); turned toward God ((2 Kings 23:25). or away from Him (1 Kings 11:9-10); unfeeling (Psalms 119:70) or tender (2 Chronicles 34:26); stubborn (Deuteronomy 10:16) or receptive; broken (Psalm 34:18) or healed (Isaiah 61:1); full of truth (Psalm 119:11) or sick and deceived (Isaiah 44:20).

So, I want to ask you, how is your heart?

A frequently quoted portion of scripture in the church is 2 Chronicles 7:14, in which God says,

“…If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

That verse is part of God’s reply to Solomon’s prayer when he dedicated the temple. He prayed,

“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.” (2 Chronicles 6:28-30)

Solomon understood that God looks at men’s hearts! Read that again. He said, “You and You only know the hearts of men.” God doesn’t care about religious service without true repentance and dedication. God makes this clear in Joel 2:12-13 which says,

“Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”

The tragedy of Solomon’s story is that though he understood this at one time, he allowed his heart to be turned away at the end of his life. By loving foreign women, his dedication shifted, and he forgot the God he served. 1 Kings 11:9-10 says,

“The LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded.”

We see this contrasted in one of my favorite stories in the Bible, in which God actually keeps His promise to Solomon. He told Solomon “If my people will humble themselves, repent, and call on me, I’ll answer.” King Josiah is the perfect picture of this. There had been generations of kings who had not served the Lord and their destruction had been prophesied. However, when King Josiah found the Book of the Law, he was brokenhearted. He read it to all the people, reinstituted Passover, removed the foreign gods from the land, and cried out to the God of his Fathers and he was heard.

2 Chronicles 34:26-27 says,

“Regarding the words that you have heard: Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.”

The Bible tells us that as long as King Josiah reigned the people “did not turn away from following the LORD, the God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:33).

It only took one man for the promise of 2 Chronicles 7 to come to pass in Josiah’s time. It took one man turning his heart fully to God to change the course of the nation. He was the king, but is our prayer any less powerful when we pray in agreement with the Holy Spirit standing in the covenant ratified by the blood of Jesus? Are we not kings and priests before our Father? We have the King of kings dwelling in our hearts through faith. That’s whose authority we stand in when we pray for our nation with the promise that He will heal our land. God heard one man. How much more will He hear His church when we cry out to Him together, in accordance with His word?

Of Josiah, the Bible says that there was “no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might.” (2 Kings 23:25).

Don’t you want God to say that about you in your generation? Solomon’s heart was turned away because of the decisions he made. Josiah changed the course of the nation because he humbled his heart before God and turned fully toward him. God will keep every promise of His word, and He wants to keep them in your life! Is your heart fully turned to Him? Is it postured to receive His promises? God didn’t give a little, expecting a little in return. Our God gave everything He had, the most precious sacrifice, so that we could give it all. We will seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts! (Jeremiah 29:13)

1 Comment

Danny - September 27th, 2023 at 11:40am

Yes and amen! I have been pondering heart attitude and position a lot lately in my meditation on the Lord. Great devotion. Lord I choose humility and to allow You to have Your rightful place as Lord of my heart!