Having a heart for God requires a correct understanding of what the heart is. Too many are like little Jason on the first day of school.
The class was asked to stand, place their right hand over their heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The teacher, Mrs. Jones, watched the children as they began, “I pledge allegiance to the flag….” when she noticed Jason had his right hand over his left ear. She stopped and said, “Jason, put your hand over your heart.”
Jason replied, “It is over my heart!”
After repeated attempts failed to get Jason to put his hand over his heart, Mrs. Jones asked, “Why do you think that is your heart?”
“Because when my Granny visits,” said Jason, “she picks me up and pats me here and says, “Bless your little heart.” And then he added with conviction, “And my Granny doesn’t lie!”
A lot of people today are like Jason regarding spiritual matters. I hear folks talk about “heartfelt religion.” Or say “I feel it right down here in my heart.” Or “I just follow my heart.” And as Vince Gill and Reba McIntyre sang, “The heart don’t lie!”
The Bible uses the word heart in 4 specific ways.
#1 The heart involves intellect. Thinking. Reasoning. Understanding. Prov. 23:7 says, “As he thinks in his heart so he is.”
#2 The heart includes emotion. Feeling. Fervor. The Bible speaks of the heart being…
…Broken (Ps. 34:18).
…Joyful (Eccl. 5:20).
…Bitter (Ezek. 27:31).
…Glad (Deut 28:47).
…Grieved (1 Sam. 1:8).
…Fearful (Jn. 14:27)
…Courageous (Ps. 31:24).
#3 The heart includes our conscience. Our moral governor. The inner sense of “ought.” That which convicts, condemns, excuses, or accuses us (I Jn. 3:20-21). Those “pricked in their hearts” (Ax. 2:37) on Pentecost by the gospel message were convicted by their conscience of their sinfulness.
#4 The heart includes the will. Volition. Purpose. Determination. Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to defile himself. We’re commanded to give as we’ve “purposed” in our heart (2 Cor. 9:6). And faithful discipleship demands “purpose of heart” (Ax. 11:23).
Bravery often combines all four aspects of the heart. When David faced the giant Goliath. He saw and heard his insulting taunts and understood this was an affront to Israel and the Lord. He was both intellectually and emotionally stirred by the reward offered to the one who killed Goliath. His conscience compelled him to act. He had killed both a lion and bear defending his father’s sheep. He was motivated to step forward. Finally, the decision was made and David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him” (1 Sam. 17).
And the rest is history. David, the brave heart, emerged from the shadows of shepherding sheep to become a national hero.
In an age of political correctness, fear of ridicule by the “woke” crowd, and censure by those with position and power, we need men and women to stand strong for the Lord. Be brave in your beliefs. Be courageous in your Christian walk. Be uncompromising in your convictions. Be fearless in your faith. Be daring in your discipleship.
These Bible admonitions challenge us to greater courage.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. (1 Cor. 16:13).
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”
Bravery is not only seen in the momentous challenges of life, but also in the everyday life issues. It requires a brave heart to…
…Say, “no” when everyone else is saying “yes” to the lusts of the flesh.
…Resist Satan’s schemes.
…Stand against doctrinal error.
….Be strong when others around you are weak.
…Show love when others spew hate.
..Speak the truth when others are spouting political correctness platitudes.
…Start over when you’ve failed. Again.
…Be vulnerable when so many put on a facade.
…Say “I have sinned,” and not make excuses.
…Forgive when people deeply wound us with their words or deeds.
…Live by faith when so many are imprisoned by their fears.
…Keep hope alive when the situation seems hopeless.
Be a person after God’s own heart.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman