Out of Thy Heart
I remember the day that the Lord visited me in my room. I was twenty years old, in my college dorm room and I was fearful and alone. This was my first private encounter with the Lord and within moments, I felt God’s loving Hand wrap me in His love. I felt His presence surround me so gently that there was an overwhelming peace and joy that rested in my heart. I called on Him and I invited Him into my heart. I felt Him has a Friend and I wanted Him to be my King, the Lord of my life. I was making an alliance with Him and joining forces with Christ to be an advocate for His Kingdom and His work. He changed my life, in an instance. I invited Him into my heart. I wanted Him in my heart because I knew that my heart would direct the choices of my life. I knew that my heart held my dreams and aspirations for my life. My heart held my experiences, my hurts, my pains and shaped my words and speech. My heart would lead me to love or it would lead me to hate and destroy; others and even myself. I recognized that when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart, I really needed a transplant of His heart in me because mine was wicked and full of deception; deception that I had lived with for many years. I needed the Lord to begin a work in my heart before I could fully surrender my life to Him.
It didn’t take long for me to think back to the many times that my closest friend often called me “a ball of hate” because I was quick to get angry about something or get angry at someone and not be ashamed to express my discontentment. I knew that my journey with the Lord would surely require an entirely new heart, because mine was filthy! “The heart is more deceitful than all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Matthew 15:19).
Perhaps this is why Christ urges us to “be vigilant” for our enemy roams, seeking whom he may devour, (1 Peter 5:7); But not in our physical bodies, in our hearts. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [flow the springs of life], for out of the heart is the wellspring of life,” (emphasis and repetition mine) (Proverbs 4:23). “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart,” (emphasis mine, Matthew 13:19).
The heart is the center of the physical, mental and spiritual life of humans. As the center of physical life, the heart has come to stand for the person as a whole; it is the focus for all vital functions of the body. The heart is connected with one’s intellect and spiritual life. You have heard people say, to “ponder something in their heart”, is to consider it carefully, or to “set your heart on something”, is to give much attention to or worry about something.
The heart is the field where seed (The Word of God) is sown (Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:15). The heart is a place of renewal. God gave Saul a new heart, before he became king (1 Samuel 10:9). Paul tells us that we must believe in our hearts that we are saved (Roman 10:10). And the heart is the dwelling place of God. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:17, expressing the desire for us to be strengthened by the Spirit, by His dwelling in our hearts, by faith. “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,” (Ephesians 2:22). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
May our dwelling place allow for Christ to abide. May the words of our lips be “pleasant…like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” (Proverbs 16:24), because we have allowed God’s Spirit to renew our hearts. And may we persevere when our example is not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. There is a big difference between accepting Christ as your Saviour and continuing to grow in Christ, to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. This requires perseverance and determination, with the word of the Lord hid in our hearts (Psalm 119:11)
Let our hearts be set on fire again, for the Lord. Let the soil of our hearts be cultivated again, by the Holy Spirit in the renewing of our minds and actions. Let the Work and the Will of the Lord be written on our hearts, again, so that we might stop sinning against the mighty name of Jesus! May the soil of our hearts allow for a seed of Truth to blossom into a forest of blessing and not cursing.
“Keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart,” (emphasis mine, Proverbs 7:3).
Patricia M Velasquez, PTA, BS, CWCA