“Change my heart Oh God, make it ever true, change my heart Oh God may I be like You!” Becoming a Christian isn’t rocket science and doesn’t take a special degree. In fact you can’t purchase a way to God, or work hard enough to earn salvation but, instead, you must come humbly asking to receive the free gift that God has offered the entire world. Once you believe and receive, it’s time to begin the process of softening your heart.
During the days Jesus walked on the earth, men had compiled many traditions and added many of their own laws to what God had given to Moses on Mount Horeb. In fact, many of these man-made laws were born out of a desire to circumvent how God instructed us to live. These religious leaders had hearts that were not compassionate, loving or caring but instead hard and full of selfishness. They were self consumed with titles and lusted after power and authority giving little attention to the common man who really needed help.
In Matthew 15:8,9 Jesus quotes from the book of Isaiah 29:13 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Jesus went on to say “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”
I counted 870 entries under the category of “heart” in Strong’s Concordance which illustrates the importance of the condition of our hearts is to God. So let me ask you a question, what is your heart condition? Do you have a soft heart of flesh or is your heart hard and cold like a stone?
The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Again in Psalm 139:23 The psalmist cries out for correction “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” It is so important to take time to evaluate our heart condition and even more important to ask God to search our hearts, soften our hearts and help us in the task of learning how we ought to love one another.
God instructed Moses in the book of Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Then later in 15:7 God commands Moses “you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother”.
I can’t begin to list all 870 individual verses that have to deal with our hearts but one verse really caught my attention. I found it in the book of Ezekiel 36:25-26, speaking of the re-gathering of the nation of Israel “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Soft, undivided hearts is what God wants all of us to have. Putting aside childish selfishness and really reaching out to the myriad of people living all around us. All the while watching us from His perch in eternity He sees the better road for us to travel and yearns for us to walk with Him, being filled with Him and pouring out our lives into a world of parched and dry lost souls.
In the precious words of Jesus from His last night on the earth, “Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; That where I am, there you may be also.” Then as Jesus answers the beloved Thomas’ question as to the way to get to the Father Jesus replies, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
So as the season’s galas continue, trick or treat will eventually yield to a more savory Thanksgiving feast, may I suggest that we all take some time to ask God to search our hearts. Sprinkling us with clean water and putting a new spirit within, then maybe soon we will have new, soft hearts of flesh in time to celebrate with all men the wondrous gift of Christmas morning.