Heart matters

Your heart determines the direction of your life more than your head. It’s the rudder that steers the flow of your life. It determines why you do what you do.  The condition of your heart is a far greater influence on what you believe than logic and reason.

This is a continuation from where I left off last time where we looked at this verse:

For God still has ordained a day for us to enter into called “Today.” For it was long afterwards that God repeated it in David’s words,

“If only today you would listen to his voice
and do not harden your hearts!” (Heb.4:7 TPT)

We already saw that God has ordained a day called “Today” for us to live in. In fact, it’s the only reality available to us.

Now, we’re ready to look at the second admonition here:

“…and do not harden your hearts!”

First, we need to define what the Bible means by “heart.” The heart is the seat of our desires and affections. It’s the fountainhead of a person’s life.

This may surprise you but the truth is, the heart always comes before the head. This is because it’s with the heart we believe what we choose to believe.

10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom.10:10 NKJV*)

Which is why the popular saying that we need to get things from our head to our heart is actually backwards. It’s a pervasive Enlightenment myth. The reason we don’t receive revelation has more to do with the condition of our heart than reason or logic. Our mind can only authentically explain and proclaim what the heart already believes. To attempt to proclaim otherwise makes us double-minded and unstable.

Sales people know that we make decisions based on emotion and rationalize our decision afterward with logic. We can prove this by how indebted we’ve become and why we own so much stuff we don’t really need.

But it can also be behind the reason we may think owning things is wrong.

This is why it’s always amusing to me when people say they’re guided strictly by intellectual logic and reason and look down on “emotional” people. The honest truth is, they’re just as guided by deeply embedded heart issues. They may be more emotionally detached and in denial of the true condition of their heart….or perhaps oblivious to the insidious demands of their ego. Either way, it’s a heart issue.

As C.S. Lewis said in The Abolition of Man:

“We appear to be saying something very important about something: and actually we are only saying something about our own feelings.”

So, how do we harden our hearts?

The heart is a fickle thing. We can harden our heart without even knowing it. It could happen through anger, disappointment, disillusionment, distractions, and many other things. These can be good things as well as bad things.

These heart issues can come from distortions and lies our heart believes, or because our heart has becomes wounded. They’re illusions, counterfeit affections we may be running after because we see everyone else chasing after them, We may feel like we’re missing out.

All these perceptions are illusions of the heart, not necessarily reality.

A classic example of hardening our heart would be turning away from God, because the condition of our heart especially affects how we see Him, believe in Him…or choose not to believe in Him.

Again, one may wish to argue the point, but any journey away from God began with the heart. We may have wanted relief from religious pressures we assumed God required; we may have wanted to stop living in fear (which is ironic and sad considering God’s intent is to replace all our fear with His love). Or, we were disappointed, even angry that God didn’t come through for us in some way. It could simply be the prospect of living free from moral restraints and wanting to be our own “god.”

Of course, there could be many other circumstantial factors, but the only fact that matters is that our heart is what led us astray. We looked for justification after the fact. And, in this condition, any argument against God will do. And we have Google to help us research every apostate idea ever created in order to justify it in our mind. 🙂

The sad thing is, we demand evidence while being oblivious to the plain evidence of our heart. It’s astonishing to me how human beings can live with such cognitive dissonance and logical incoherence but, again, this is explained, not by logic, but by the condition of our heart.

I used the example of our faith in God here, but it applies to all our relationships or any other decision we may make. It explains the life journey we’re on right now, what we will do tomorrow. How we will respond to this post.

Again, you may wish to argue the point, but if you were to stop and be truly honest with yourself, you would admit that this is true.

In the final analysis, we will choose to see or ignore, believe or not believe, precisely what our heart dictates. And all of this is why God tells us to guard our hearts above all else….

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it. (Prov.4:23 NIV*)

Your heart is the gatekeeper to your life. It can both unlock God’s promises to you or lock them away from you. Your heart can help you see what God is trying to show you, or make you totally miss what He’s doing. It determines the course your life will take.

Beloved, know the true condition of your heart. Guard it well. It matters.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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4 Responses to Heart matters

  1. Yessss, amen! Well done, Mel. I get cranky sometimes with a prevalent Christian message, “feelings are evil, the heart is wicked above all else, and never follow your heart.” There can be some truth in some of that, I mean it’s not all bad, it’s just that declaring war on the emotional and intuitive reminds me a bit of the Screwtape Letters and just killing off the patient. How do we fix our heart problems? By not having one? Sheesh.

    The only thing I’d add perhaps, is that it’s often painful stuff. Keeping your heart soft is probably going to hurt. I once suggested that the reason why God hardened pharaoh’s heart was actually an act of mercy. That makes sense to me in a way. Hubby and I have been married for a long time now so we can communicate without saying much because our hearts are soft towards one another. It’s the same in our relationship with the Lord, when our heart is soft, we can hear Him so much better. Bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, anything that hardens our heart is going to create distance and separation in our relationships.

    I really like how you pointed out, “Of course, there could be many other circumstantial factors, but the only fact that matters is that our heart is what led us astray. We looked for justification after the fact.” Somebody smart once coined the phrase, “rational lies.”

    • Mel Wild says:

      “How do we fix our heart problems? By not having one? Sheesh.”

      LOL! Amen, IB! I, too, get tired of the Jeremiah verse (17:9) get taken out of context all the time. And besides, God has given us a new heart. Welcome to the New Covenant! And I would need to ask, how has relying on your head been working out for you? Yes, it’s the “rational lies” we believe. 🙂

      And, yes, it can be painful opening our heart to others, but as I’ve said in the past, no one can break our heart if God is holding it. In other words, my love for you cannot be broken by what you do because you’re not holding my heart, nor are you my source of love, He is!

      I mean, think of how Jesus loves us in spite of what we did to Him!

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