What is “the heart”? We hear so much about it—”have a little heart,” “heart and soul,” or “How’s your heart?” But when it comes down to it, what exactly are we talking about?
You can do something with “all of your heart” and then on the other hand you can have “a deceived heart”—a bad heart, a wicked heart, a deceptive heart, a worldly heart, a straying heart. How can we begin to make sense of it all?
Well, first of all, every human being has a physical organ called a heart. And then you have a heart that you can’t see—the heart from which flow all of your affections, emotions and values. This is your “heart of hearts,” and you can’t see that.
Man’s spiritual heart is what God checks because out of it flow the issues of life. He evaluates to see if it’s healthy, and if it’s doing what it’s supposed to, and in the right way. Because, you see, there is more to us than just a physical heart. There is a spiritual heart.
I found a wonderful example of a spiritual heart in David who was said to be “a man after God’s own heart.” It’s possible that we, too, can have a heart after God’s own heart. It’s not a physical heart, but it’s a heart in which everything functions perfectly. In fact, the Bible says, “David was someone who walked with a perfect heart before God.”
I remember reading that and thinking, Oh, Lord, is there a way to make a perfect heart? Man looks on the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart. That’s it! It’s about a good heart before God!
And then something struck me. In our nation, one of the top three killers of men and women is heart disease. And I wondered, Is there a correlation, God? I wonder if our national condition somehow correlates with our spiritual heart?
Let’s take a look at Scripture to learn some ways to strengthen our heart into perfect hearts. So, what’s the first thing God is going to say to us in developing a perfect heart?
ESTABLISH ETERNAL VALUES.
Establish values that are God’s values because they are ones that will last for all eternity. Have nothing to do with worldly values! Instead, develop and establish eternal values in your life. You see, our heart will attach itself to what we place value on, and our inner man must discern our eternal values.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also“ (Matt. 6:19-21 NIV).
DIRECT YOUR HEART TO GOD’S WAYS.
Don’t let your heart direct you; you direct your heart! When your heart starts to stray, say, “No!” and immediately re-direct your heart to God’s ways. If not, it won’t be long until you’re in deep weeds.
“Listen, my son and be wise, and direct your heart in the way” (Prov. 23:19).
Scripture tell us to “direct your heart in the way” because it understands that our hearts have a tendency to go off track. And sometimes it will go wrong. We have to reign it in, despite ourselves.
When you direct your heart according to what God values, that’s what makes a perfect heart—not a straying heart or a deceived heart—a perfect heart. That’s why God said “David is a man after My own heart.” David saw what God valued and directed his heart towards it.
Did David still make mistakes? He sure did. That’s why he said again and again, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” And we must pray the same way, as we remember to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23).
God wants us to develop perfect hearts, like David: hearts that follow His own. To do that, we must establish eternal values that align with God’s values. Once you’ve done that, direct your hearts in God’s ways. Doing daily devotions is a good way of getting to know God’s values and ensuring that you’re following His ways.
And God will say, “Now, you are a person after My own heart.” And He’ll release the blessings of heaven to you because you’ll influence your family, your community, and your generation.