We know our heart is deceitful, and though we don’t want it to have mastery over us, we can’t forget that the first and foremost command is to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
This command was first given to Moses and God’s people at Mt. Sinai in Deuteronomy 6:5, and reinforced again by Jesus thousands of years later in Matthew, Mark and Luke. It’s the heart that’s mentioned first in the list of soul, and might, and mind, and strength. The heart is just that important.
Our heart is central to who we are. It forms the core of our being. Our mind chooses actions, but it’s the split second reactions that reveal what’s really inside of us. Reactions spring from our heart, not our minds. We can rationally choose to acknowledge or reject a belief, but empathy, rage, compassion, revolt, are all given life from our hearts, and it’s that zeal that proves our belief. Loving God with all our heart does start with a rational choice, but that choice needs to take root in the core of our being and come alive and not remain just a mental concept that we agree to. When our deceitful hearts are conquered and mastered by the Spirit of God, we then become new creations.
The Bible says that our heart has eyes. The core of our being judges everything by those eyes: God, the world, ourselves. It’s much like a video camera that has to be calibrated to perfectly determine the color white. Only then can it process all other colors of the spectrum correctly. Without being adjusted to the correct visual parameters, all of it’s recordings come out distorted. The eyes of our heart do the same for us. If those eyes are calibrated according to the limitations and standards of this world, everything we view – including the Word of God – becomes distorted. We read about miracles, hear testimonies, listen to sermons and walk away frustrated and confused. We may even attempt to practice a form of faith, but unless the eyes of our hearts open, even a little, we can easily give up and decide that it doesn’t work.
Cheryl was a nurse and had been infected with a sickness by one of her patients. She decided to participate in special healing services, to believe in an impossible cure. She’d been raised agnostic and knew nothing of the Bible or God and was hungry to learn in order to get healed. She joined in everything we did in church, always with the goal of getting her answer, as if God were waiting for a perfect combination of good deeds to release a miracle. She wanted her blessing but wasn’t developing a real relationship with God. She didn’t view Him as a real person who loved her deeply, who wanted to rescue her from not just the sickness, but from all the trauma of her past and make her new. She said she believed, but her reactions showed otherwise. The eyes of her heart were calibrated to her abusive childhood: that her worth was measured only in the good that she could produce in school and on her job.
As much as we prayed, and as faithful as Cheryl was in coming to church, her complete answer wasn’t happening. She felt fine, had no pain or outward symptoms but all her tests ran positive for that sickness. She began to doubt whether God really did answer prayers. Instead of drawing closer to God, she decided that He was rejecting her – a pattern she was used to in relationships. After two years of trying God, she gave up. Within months, her sickness rapidly developed and she was in the hospital. To make a long story short, Cheryl finally did get her healing, but it had to begin within her heart, to confront the lies she had been listening to her whole life and to recalibrate her perspective of who God really is. She became hungry to know Him just to know Him. To obey Him because she loved Him with a passion. To believe beyond hope because she knew that He is trustworthy and doesn’t break promises. To trust Him with her emotional pain so she could be healed both inwardly and outwardly. She credits that painful time as the instrument God used to open the eyes of her heart.
What are the eyes of your heart seeing? Are they distorted? Calibrated to the wrong settings? God has so much for your heart to see if you let Him enlighten you. If you’ve chosen to believe that He is the way the truth and the life, then allow His Spirit to permeate your heart, to see the beauty and reality of the supernatural world and to base everything you do and think, on that truth. Once the eyes of your heart are opened, you’ll never want to see the world in any other way.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. (Ephesians 1:18-19 NASB)