|A New Heart|
The Bible speaks much about the heart. We can say with confidence that the heart—our hearts—are the heart of the matter with God.
Of course, when the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not referring simply to the organ that pumps blood through our bodies. It is, rather, that innermost part of us—the person you and I are in the depth of our beings—not who we pretend to be but who we really are, our true feelings, true motives, true desires.
That is what is most important to God—the real you, the real me. And that is where God’s work is focused—that is what Jesus died to change.
The Pharisees and Sadducees, and for that matter, all the religions of the world all focus on the outward actions of people. But not God. He is focused on our hearts, where the real person doing the actions lives.
What we all long for, truth be told, is for our hearts to be changed—for who we act like on the outside or who we would like to act like on the outside to be who we really are on the inside. And that is exactly what God wants and what He has promised to give us—a new heart—the one Adam lost in the garden when he sinned against God. God found our lost heart in Christ Jesus His Son. It was broken on the Cross and spilled out for all mankind—for you and for me.
Now the Holy Spirit comes to each one who calls on the name of Jesus to be saved from him or herself. He masterfully performs heart surgery on us, taking out our old hearts of rebellion to God and replacing it with a new heart—the heart of Jesus. A pure, clean, kind, gentle, loving heart—like we always really wanted.
We must realize this though: once we have received our new heart, we must be trained by it on how we are to act and react. In other words, we must learn how to be a new person. That is the importance of reading the Word, prayer, faithfulness to a good church, and godly relationships. These are far more than Christian duties; they are the Christian disciplines that the Holy Spirit uses to teach us how to live from our new heart.
One of the greatest deceptions of the enemy is to get us to minimize the importance of these disciplines in our daily lives. He gets us to focus solely on the temporal things of our lives and ignore the eternal. In that way the new heart we have inside us hardly ever lives through us. We live more by learned instincts than by the life of God in us. When we live like that we are closer to a monkey than to God. Instead of learning to live from our new heart, given to us by God, we live from the instincts that have been learned by our flesh from all the hurts, betrayals, pains, weaknesses, and such of our flesh. We are walking (living) by our flesh and not by our spirit (heart). So we are Christians who are still plagued by the old life with all its fears, bondages, hurts, and all the other garbage that life poured into it. We should and could be living a glorious new life—one filled with and demonstrated by love, joy, peace, happiness, and so much more. But it remains locked up on the inside of us, longing to be lived, yet held captive.
The life we wish we had is on the inside of us, yet we do not even realize it. So we wish for it, pray for it, or even try to pretend we have it—but the flesh cannot produce it. Some even give up and say, “It isn’t real, at least for me.” And they walk away because they never discovered the treasure waiting on the inside of them.
Child of God, never forget that when Jesus came into your life He brought a new heart, and you are not the same. But you must discover it. I have been a Christian since June 1971 (wow, that is a long time ago), and I am still discovering the new life given to me by God in the new birth. And it is wonderful!
This is a message we must get to a lost and dying world—a world in chaos. The message of this new heart—this new life—brings hope in the midst of hopelessness, peace in the midst of turmoil and an anchor in a sea of despair. Jesus wants to reveal Himself to all people everywhere. Let’s let Him do it through each of us.