1996-10-18 - Hearts
Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can know it?  I, the Lord, search the heart and the mind, even to each man according to his ways, according to his deeds.
There was a time when I would have said that there were things that I would never do. How could you even suggest such a thing? THAT would never even cross my mind! Then the Lord, in His patience with me, showed me just exactly what my old heart was made of, and what I was capable of doing. I now know how totally dependent I am on Jesus for my every move and breath. Pride goeth before falling flat on your face.
Proverbs 4:23 - Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life (lit. outgoings of life - spiritual vitality)
The regenerated heart that God places in us must be guarded. When our hearts are `in tune' with God, we are fully connected to the source of our spiritual resources. When we let our hearts grow cold, the flow is not as good. Not because God is not doing His part, but that we are not being obedient and taking the good things He has to give to us.
James 1:26 - If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless.
We can play the game, act out the part, wear the clothes and even try to walk the walk and talk the talk. But regardless of who we may fool, even ourselves, the truth does not change. God knows our hearts, and He is the one who will make the final determination as to our motives. Lingo does not cut it with God. He offers us His heart and life in exchange for our own. If we do not take it on His terms, and we try to pass a counterfeit, who do we think we are fooling?
Psalm 44:20 - If we had forgotten the name of our God, or extended our hands to a strange god;  would God not find this out? For He knows the secrets of our heart.
God knows. He does not have to ponder deeply, connect all the facts; He knows. He is the final, omniscient, all-knowing source of truth. Jesus said, "I am the truth …". We can not hide our hearts, which contain our motives, from God. And if we think we are pulling the shell game on God, he will correct us. Sometimes gently, always firmly, but for our good. He has our very best interests at heart at all times, in His perfect heart.
We can fool our boss, our friends, our families, our spouses, and even ourselves -- but never the Lord. Those whom He loves, He chastens. He corrects us, and molds our hearts a little more into the conformity of His image and likeness. We who know Jesus Christ as Savior have two hearts to deal with daily. The old heart, which is so wicked and faithless that it can not be trusted. And we have the new heart, which God has promised to replace the old heart. As the old man reels and struggles against the death which is as real as the love of Christ, that old heart continues to hear the call of the world and its devices poised against us. The new heart that God has provided for His children, is tender and pliable. It must be guarded by prayer and the praises of the Lord of Hosts.
Jesus constantly reminded the disciples, as He does us, "Let not your hearts be troubled …". If our hearts are protected from the onslaught of the world, the old man and the enemy, they will not be troubled. You can be in the midst of a battlefield, and have the peace of God in your heart. Let Jesus rule and reign in your hearts each day, and He will keep your heart and mind in perfect peace.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have corrected my pride in thinking that I was special and immune somehow to the temptations of this world. You have shown me that I am nothing and totally dependent on You for my peace, my joy, my abilities, and my very next breath. Guard my heart, and help me to remain free from the fetters of this world. Then, and only then, peace can fill my heart and light the beacon that draws all men to You. Amen.