ACC 19/05/19 What is the ‘Heart’? Dudley Ward
Today God has laid on my heart to re-emphasise a very important line of truth. It is all about Bible Psychology. We should not be attempting to line up Biblical psychology with modern psychology.
Let’s look at a verse in Heb 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind and on their heart also will I write them. I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people”
We must let those living words sink deep into our heart.
Mark 7:18-24 “Do you not perceive that whatsoever from without goes into the man, it cannot defile him; because it goes not into his heart, but into his stomach, and is then eliminated? This he said, making all foods clean.” And he said, “That which proceeds out of the man, that’s what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, coveting, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness: all these evil things proceed from within, and defile the man.”
Many people feel that Jesus said some things in very bad taste. Here Jesus is speaking of the negative potential of every human heart.
Jeremiah 17:9’ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’
The human heart is mentioned about 1020 times in Scripture. (Hebrew lebhabh: 860 times; Greek, kardia: 160 times)
The word ‘heart’ designates our interior in its totality: physical, psychological, will, personality and feelings.
The term ‘heart’ is used 29 times for the purely physical heart, 257 times for the personality, character and internal life and 204 times for even intellectual activity.
John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” His words will nourish our heart.
Here is the essential challenge: To dwell in the vital importance of our spirit and our heart. The word ‘psyche’ comes from the Greek word for the soul. We have a body, a soul, a spirit, a mind and a heart. Today we shall have to limit ourselves to the Bible concept of ‘heart’.
There is very real Satanic opposition to the Bible facts concerning our make-up. Sigmond Freud said that the existence of demons is a definite certainty.
Are we fully conscious of the desires of our heart? Do I believe with all of my heart what the Word of God says? Do I believe with all my heart what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us and all of humanity? God our Father seeks to securely root His truths in our heart.
So what does the Bible mean by ‘heart’? Clearly our heart is not our human reasoning or logic, nor our intellect. Our brain synapses do not by themselves give us access to God.
Sometimes we complain that we don’t understand God’s ways. They are indeed past finding out. Jesus Christ is the life and his person and word are far beyond our understanding, but the Holy Spirit will reveal what we need to know if we ask Him.
Prov. 3:5 & 6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct; your paths.’
‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.’
In John 7:37 ‘Jesus cries out « If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, out of his innermost being (his heart) shall flow rivers of living water.
Jesus said ‘You must be born again!’ Let’s take another look at this imagery: Does the mother truly understand how the tiny baby grows in her womb? Does the newborn baby understand anything of the digestive processes, of the circulatory system and of how his lungs work? He drinks mother’s milk, he breaths, cries and he sleeps. None of this depends on his understanding of anything at all.
Why does God need to examine our heart? Because our heart is the seat of our obedience and of our will.
The Bible speaks of the heart 195 times as the literal seat of desire, commitment, decision and will.
1/ Exodus 28:30: Firstly as the physical organ and spiritual centre of our life.
“And you shall put in the breastplate of judgement the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgement of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.”
Here are some references to the very centre of our being in our physical heart:
Is 60:5 “Then you shall see and be lightened, and your heart shall tremble and be enlarged.
Job 37:1 “At this also my heart trembles, and is moved out of its place.
Psalms 55:4 ‘My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.”
Psalm 22:14 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
Jeremiah 4:19 “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart is disquieted in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.”
Jeremiah 23:9 “Concerning the prophets, my heart within me is broken, all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man and like a man whom wine has overcome; because of the LORD and because of his holy words.”
2/ Our heart and not our brain, is the actual seat of our desire and our will.
Psalms 20:4 ‘Grant your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your counsel.’
Psalms 84:2 ‘ My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God.’
Romains 10:1 ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved.’
Tell story of being led to dry cleaner manager on remote riverside and of car wheel coming off.
3/ The Seat of pride
Deuteronomy 8:17 ‘And you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand has gained me this wealth.”
4/ The seat of deception and seduction.
Deuteronomy 11:16 ‘Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them’
5/ Our Heart is the seat of hatred
Leviticus 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart:
Hebrews 4:12 ‘For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.’
6/ Our heart is the seat of disputes
James 3:14 ‘But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.’
7/ Our heart is the source of cupidity and covetousness.
2 Peter 2:14 ‘having a heart exercised in covetousness.’
8/ Our heart is the well-spring of bad thoughts
1 Kings 8:38 ‘Whatsoever prayer and supplication be made by any man, or by all your people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: 39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart you knows (for you, even you only, knows the heart of man).’
9/ Our heart is the region where true repentance repeatedly occurs.
Romans 2:5 but after your hardness and impenitent heart treasures up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God, who will render to every man according to his works:
10/ Our heart is the source and mainspring of our words.
Matthew 12:34 ‘For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
11/ The Heart: seat of spiritual awareness and intelligence and reflection
1 Kings 3:9 “Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this your great people?”
Romains 1:21 ‘…because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.’
12/ The heart is where we shape our intimate convictions.
Romains 10:10 ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock, and my redeemer.’
13/ Our heart is the seat of true love.
1 Pierre 1:22 ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently.’
14/ Our heart is the seat of integrity.
Psalms 78:72 ‘So David fed them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.’
15/ Centre of understanding and perceiving God and His ways
Acts 28:27 ‘For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should turn again, and I should heal them.’
16/ Seat of memory (power of recall in the brain)
Deut 4:39 “Know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. And you shall keep his statutes, and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you.”
17/ Seat of my disposition.
Deuteronomy 8:2 ‘And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or no.’
1 Chronicles 29:9 ‘Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD, and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.’
18/ Seat of my feelings, emotions and affections (166 times, p. ex. Jug. 18.20; 1 S. 4.13; 2 S. 14.1);
Heb 4.12 ‘For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.’
Psalms 19:14 ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock, and my redeemer.’
Romains 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart.
2 Corinthians 2:4 ‘For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be made sorry, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.’
19/ Our heart is the seat of obedience.
1 Chronicles 28:9 ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts.’
Deuteronomy 26:16 ‘This day the LORD you God commands you to do these statutes and judgements: you shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart, and with all your soul.’
May our hearts become deeply touched, enlarged, made more sensitive to His gentle, small voice. May we obey Him with greater joy, with all of our heart.
Col 3:15 ‘And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.’ Amen and so be it!
Col 4:2 ‘Devote yourselves to prayer, with an alert mind and a thankful heart.’