Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Heart

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7)

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick – who can understand it. I, the Lord, examine the mind, I test the heart.” (Jeremiah 18:9-10)

“For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:19)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

I have to confess that I have never really understood this whole heart thing. It isn’t for lack of trying, but it seems to be something “ungraspable.” Reach out your hand and grab some air. How did it go? You can try it with water, too, but the results are still pretty much the same. That’s a little of what it is like trying to comprehend the human heart.

The human heart, not the physical one in your chest, but that part of our being which we call “heart” is capable both of sublime nobility and putrid depravity. We really have difficulty even defining it. We don’t much understand it even in ourselves, and trying to understand it in someone else is a genuine impossibility. We can never be certain what is in someone else’s heart. The closest we come is by observing someone’s actions. Behavior is often an expression of the heart, and yet, even with that, there could be subtle sub-surface workings that defy our comprehension.

What is impossible for us, however, is fully possible for God. God does not stop at the visible as we do. He is capable of seeing through all subterfuge. God can unmask the heart. He tests the heart. He tests the will. Most importantly, God is capable of guarding our hearts by surrounding them with His “shalom,” His peace. His peace, which passes all understanding, shields our hearts when we bring our lives, our hopes, our dreams, and our prayers to Him.

Lord, We give You our hearts. May our hearts conform to Your heart. Amen.

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