“As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.” – PROVERBS 27:19 (HCSB)
There are a multitude of scriptures in the Word that discuss the heart and matters related to the heart, not neglecting to remind us of the importance of noticing and maintaining the condition of our heart! Whether it be from Genesis, even to Revelation, the heart remains the very center of our being; this is made evident all throughout scripture, bringing to our remembrance that everything we do flows from the heart and that our lives will not only reflect it, but that what comes from within us is what defiles us or purifies us.
Let me explain that last bit so that I don’t lose you in lack of context.. “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (ROMANS 6:16) We are either defiled by the sin which we give our hearts over to or perfected by the One Who is capable of restoring our hearts if we are willing to hear Him knock, and let Him in to our hearts do so (REVELATION 3:20).
He has made it more than evident to us that our lives will reflect our hearts and, if our eyes are fixed on Him in obedience, our hearts will reflect Him; therefore our lives will be a reflection of Christ, as we are told that they should, knowing that “those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” (1 JOHN 2:6) The previous statement of course depends entirely upon whether or not He is at the helm of our lives, but He has not left us lacking in word concerning this.
In one form another, in as many ways as you can imagine, the Word give us clear instruction on how to live righteous lives. Whether He is speaking through a Prophet, Christ Himself was speaking, or an Apostle He has given us more than enough instruction concerning the things of the heart and the condition of our lives.
Does that mean that it is always easy? By no means! Where we fall short is in thinking that because it isn’t easy, that must mean it isn’t possible! But He said that, “In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 PETER 5:10) We may suffer for a little while, but all suffering is only momentary, and thus the excuse that “it’s too hard,” or that “it’s too much to do,” fall short in the understanding that if we don’t “get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (GALATIANS 6:9)
It may never be easy but it is surely not impossible, because “with God everything is possible.” (MATTHEW 19:26) Speaking in terms of humanity it may seem impossible, but we are not born again after the form of humanity; rather we are “created to be like God— truly righteous and holy.” (EPHESIANS 4:24) We do not live after the flesh, nor after human concepts, but after His truth!
Obviously, if we apply ourselves to human concepts, we will be bound by human concepts. But He said that “since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” (COLOSSIANS 3:1) The reason that we fall into conflict with so many people and things, is because we are applying things to our hearts that are in conflict with our hearts! If we are born again into the image of God, truly righteous and holy, naturally we will be in conflict with unrighteous and unholy things; which, for those who may not know, is why He said “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (ROMANS 12:2)
What we give ourselves to is what will have an affect on our hearts, and what affects our hearts will reflect in our lives; whether it is carnal and ungodly, or righteous and holy! I refer again to ROMANS 6:16 which, as you read earlier in this post, says “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey— whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Surely, Christ said that it is not what goes into the man that defiles him, but what comes out, but do not lose yourself in the context of that scripture concerning the eating of physical food!
The simple truth is that what we put into our Spirit does have an affect on the condition of our spirit. If you need scriptural evidence for that statement it is plenty! “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life— comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 JOHN 2:15-16) and so because “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (ROMANS 8:7)
This truth, that “the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (GALATIANS 5:17) is key for understanding our position and that we are always at odds with the things of the flesh if are born again in the Spirit, but there is great hope because He has overcome the world!
We have a Savior Who, if we let Him in, will perfect us and enable us so that through the Spirit we can overcome the flesh! As He said, “if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (ROMANS 8:13) It is easy to pretend that it can’t be done, but that is nothing more than an excuse from people who don’t want to get it done!
The truth, His truth, is that we are “more than conquerors through Him Who loved us,” able to do “everything through Christ, who gives me strength,” because “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun,” and therefore we should “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God— truly righteous and holy.” (ROMANS 8:37, Philippians 4:13, 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17, EPHESIANS 4:22-24)
Christ told us that we would even do greater things that He, because He went to the Father and sent us Holy Spirit to enable us (JOHN 14:12). If we believe that He was capable of those things, and that He spoke only truth, then why do we so often fall back on things like this? The answer is simple. When we apply ourselves to the ways, customs, traditions, and lifestyles of the world, we are at odds with the very Spirit that lives in us and essentially quench Him; a thing that He said we should not do (1 THESSALONIANS 5:19), neglecting the power that rests within us because of His great and unfailing love for us!
Beloved I urge you to understand these things, and if you do not then to seek understanding in these things, knowing that if you give yourselves over to ungodly things you will always feel conflict within yourself; however if, like His Word says, “by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the flesh,” and align your will with His, you will find that the life you live will begin to reflect Him. This cannot happen if we fix our eyes on things of the world instead of heavenly realities, because we are no longer of this world.
It is my prayer that the overflow of your heart be righteousness and holiness, in all goodness, gentleness, meekness, kindness, and brotherly affection; that you live wisely! I will end this post with this: What you fill yourself with, is what you will overflow with; whether of righteousness and holiness, or of carnality and sin. Let your life overflow with the exceedingly abundant grace of your Father Who sustains you!
Bless you all, and thank you for reading!