Well this is a little bit different from my usual blog. But this message is heavy upon my heart and I needed to share it. I hope these words encourage you in your faith journey. I pray that the truth of God’s Word brings freedom and wholeness in your life. I am reminding myself, it has always been all about the heart.
I heard some sad news in the last few days. Another well-known Christian leader confessed to being unfaithful in his marriage. My heart aches for the family and I hope that at some point they get to process this pain privately. I am not writing to condemn or even comment on the situation. I am not writing because of the high profile of this person. I am not writing to address this particular sin. I am writing because it caused me to ponder about how fragile this life is. I am writing because it highlights the desperate need we all have to guard our hearts. I am writing because it doesn’t matter who we are, or where we are, the condition of our heart, determines the course of our life (Prov 4:23 NLT).
As I thought about how the enemy seeks to destroy families, how no one is off limits to his attacks and how subtle that attack can be at times, I began praying. It caused me to pray fervently for my family. For my Husband and four children to earnestly seek the Kingdom of God first in this life. I was praying that they would each desire His Word, and that their hearts and minds would be transformed by His truth and love. I was praying for His protection over our hearts and minds. As I was praying, I began to give thanks. I was thanking God that He sees us, He knows our hearts and our innermost being. I was thanking Him for His great love, a love not based on anything we do for Him and this phrase came to mind “God is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than our hands.”
I stopped praying and wrote it down. This is not a new revelation, though it struck my spirit with new urgency. God says it very clearly in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Time and time again we can read throughout the Scriptures that the heart is what God is concerned with. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37) and “Trust the Lord with all your heart…in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) and Jesus makes it clear “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) These are just a few verses that come to mind. I could list more, but I think you get the picture.
So where did we go so wrong? When and why did we start putting so much emphasis on the outward appearance and the condition of our hands? Are we really more concerned with what we do for the Lord, rather than keeping our hearts right before Him? Wasn’t this what the Pharisees struggled with? These are questions swirling around my head. I think we can certainly get trapped in the cycle of doing for God, because that is how the world evaluates success. Our culture ties praise with performance. The more you perform, the greater the praise. The more you’re praised, the greater you’re worth…Whereas God makes it clear; He wants our presence before our performance and our worth comes purely from His word not the world!.
I do not begin to judge the heart of anyone, let alone those to whom God has given a great platform. Sin, whatever form it takes in our lives affects us all and I believe sin forms first in the heart. So, whether we are a Christian leader with a platform of thousands or our platform is found in the loungeroom and across the kitchen table, our hearts need guarding.
And that is what it comes down to. Our hearts. We can do all the right things, say all the right things, dress right, look right and appeal to the masses but if we don’t guard our heart, then we are sitting prey for the prowling enemy. As I said in the beginning, everything we do flows from our heart. Can I encourage you today my friends with the words of Jesus “Be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life…” (Luke 21:34 AMP) God is more concerned with the state of our hearts before Him than what our hands do in service for Him.
Please feel free to share your thoughts. I hope this has encouraged you and perhaps challenged you to keep your eyes on the One who gave His life for your whole heart.
Laura Jane Anslow