Looks like I’m writing another blog that could be seen as controversial. I guess Father has decided to stretch me in this area. This topic is quite fitting since this week is Valentine’s Day!
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?” BUT Ezekiel 36 tells us “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you.” AGAIN, which is it? I am by no means a bible scholar. I can sometimes be easily intimidated by anyone that would want to “debate” scripture. But I do cringe when I hear pastors tell their congregation that they can’t trust their hearts. I believe if we are a new creation in Christ that we have been given a new heart. This will take us to the question, “How do we define heart? As I check verses in the bible that use the word heart and check my Strong’s concordance I see many definitions for heart. They are: inner man, mind, will, understanding, knowledge, reflection, memory, seat of emotions and passions. So let me be clear in sharing what I believe with all of my heart. No pun intended! 🙂
Before you comment with scriptures to refute my thoughts, I know there are verses that talk about checking or changing your heart . Again, it depends on how we define heart. Words can have several meanings. Take the word love. I don’t love red velvet cake like I love my husband. There’s definitely a difference there! But the same word is used. I’ve heard it taught that the heart is the window between the soul and the spirit. One side in the spirit (which is pure and holy) and one side in the soul which is capable of sinning. I’m not smart enough to figure out exactly what it is or where it is but I’m happy with the belief I have regarding my heart.
I truly believe we are made up of body, soul and spirit. (I Thessalonians 5:23) I believe the spirit is who we are in the innermost part of our being. Our identity comes from our spirit and this is where Jesus resides. Our soul is our personality with our mind, will and emotions. And our body is our earth suit. The flesh is how we have learned to cope in life independent of God. The power of indwelling sin (Romans 7) is in our body and works hand in hand with the flesh to deceive us and tempt us to make choices that are not consistent with who we really are. I believe once I accepted Christ as my Savior that I became a brand new creation with a new spirit and a new heart. I WANT to live out of my spirit and my heart. (Galatians 5:17 )
I do not define my heart as my mind or my emotions. I would not tell an unbeliever that he or she can trust their heart. I would, however, tell a believer that understands their identity in Christ that they CAN trust their heart. I believe that God leads me through the DEEP DESIRES in my heart. He places HIS desires in my heart and one way I know which direction I should go when approaching a fork in the road is by looking at what I WANT. (If you want you can certainly ask God to confirm the direction you are choosing.)
I believe God is big enough to wave a red flag or tap me on the shoulder by the Holy Spirit when I am being deceived by the enemy and walking after the flesh (the programming of my old SELF where Rebekah meets her own needs her own way independent of God). Can we be real for a few minutes? Don’t we honestly know, most of the time, when we are doing something out of selfish flesh instead of our true hearts? As I come before God with a decision to make I will ask myself, “What do I want?” If I believe my heart is capable of being evil; I will be unstable and insecure in trusting any of my decisions. But when I believe my heart resides in my spirit where Jesus lives; I can move in confidence. And one more thing! The outcome is not proof that I made the right decision or the wrong decision. God may BLESS me through my decision or REFINE me through my decision. The bible is clear that we do have a battle and yes I am capable of being tricked. But my battle is between flesh and spirit not between a good heart and bad heart. Galatians 5:17 says the flesh and the spirit are in opposition to one another so that you will not do the things that you please. In other words, the real you WANTS to walk consistently with who you are in Christ! Rest in this truth and ask your Heavenly Father to convince you of who you are and to guide you through HIS desires in you.
From my heart to yours!