"Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control."
Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)
When we know a person’s heart we know the person and the heart's condition is often a prevailing factor in the quality of someone's life (Proverbs 27:19). Not to say that every bad thing that happens to a person is their fault as someone else’s heart could be in a bad state. But how we respond -the state of our heart afterwards – can change our world too.
The human hearts is significant
God is very interested in our hearts and He appoints leaders according to their hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). God searches our hearts (Proverbs 20:27), He knows the secrets of our hearts (Psalm 44:21) and He tests the heart (Proverbs 17:3) because He knows that the condition of our heart will affect our whole being (Proverbs 14:30 & 15:13). This is because to talk about the heart of a believer is not to talk about their mind or emotions but about their spirit. Our hearts are spiritual: where you and God connect. When you give your heart to Jesus, He transforms it and comes to live in it. If you don’t know that you have given your heart to Jesus for certain, then you probably haven’t yet.
Channel the Flow
Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else guard your heart it is the wellspring of life (NIV) …out of it spring the issues of life (NKJV) …out of it flow the springs of life (AMP) …where life starts” (MSG).
Everything flows from the heart – our emotions, attitudes, motives, ambitions, desires, dreams, our will, intentions, purpose etc. Each of these can be constructive or destructive. From our heart flows all our thinking, words and actions (Luke 6:43-45). Romans 10:9-10 tells us that the state of our heart even effects our eternal destiny.
So, we must take personal responsibility for the state of our hearts, guarding what goes in and out. We must regularly do heart checks to examine and deal with the things that are negative, sinful or destructive in our hearts. Take time out to sit quietly with God and ask Him to examine your heart and show you where you need to choose to repent. You are not alone in changing your heart (Jesus lives in there) but the decision to work on it is yours. Ask yourself where are you stuck? What hasn’t changed [that you want to change]? Sometimes a counselling session is helpful to highlight these things.
God Transform Hearts
God can bring freedom and transformation into our hearts. He can heal a broken heart, bring peace to an anxious heart, can strengthen a weak heart and soften a hard heart. God can exchange bad for good (Isaiah 61:3,7). Because He lives in us, it’s an inside job. God has access to information and influence that others will never see. When we choose to repent or shift our heart, it’s a spiritual act and God can shift other things in mysterious ways in our world around us. Don’t assume that because you are in church every week that your heart is always fine. Take time regularly to check your heart and let God work with you to change it.
Something to talk about:
- Have you ever experienced spiritual consequences to a “change of heart”?
- Are there any useful tools that you can share with the group about how to “check your heart”?
- Has this message illuminated your next step to grow in your relationship with God?
- Is there someone in your world that needs to turn their heart towards God and forgiveness? Take some time to pray for them and for chances to share God’s transforming power with them.