Sluice Box Adventures

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End Of Age Messages

A heart after God would be striving to be a pure heart, since He is pure and holy (read I Peter 1:13-16).

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The Heart After God

Robin St.James  

Old Paths Baptist Mission ©  2007

For WomenAs I prayed about what to say tonight, two subjects kept coming to mind. They are two areas where I seem to frequently fail and have to go to the Lord for forgiveness. I sometimes feel so disgusted with myself that I wonder why the Lord hasn’t given up on me by now. I know it’s no excuse but I’m not the only one. I once heard an elderly preacher say, “Nobody has a permanent victory. Start by committing the day to God. Pray something like this "Lord, I’m a helpless fool and if you don’t help me today, I’ll PROVE IT to everybody!” I can relate to that! I know from experience that the Christian walk can’t be done in the flesh. Along that line, I read something in I Kings that started me puzzling and then searching. I feel the Lord is answering my prayer in a way that has strengthened my understanding of how to walk the Christian walk victoriously.

King Solomon is holder of the enviable and undisputed title of the wisest man ever to live. We’re told he loved God. The Lord even appeared to him… twice. Solomon’s request for wisdom and discernment pleased the Lord so much, He added riches and fame when he answered it. Solomon became famous the world over and later supervised the building of the magnificent temple. At the dedication, he prayed again and the Lord personally delivered the answer, which, by the way, was yes again.

Up till that point, I was always a little jealous of Solomon. But as the preacher said, “Nobody has a permanent victory”, and Solomon sure didn’t. He ended his life being chastened by the Lord. This and other examples in I Kings caused me to wonder why people with so many advantages, such as godly parents, godly teaching, warnings, blessings, gifts and promises from the Lord, could make so many mistakes and end up on the “shelf” unusable, a “has-been” in the Lord’s service. The common thread seemed to be that success or failure depended on keeping their heart right with God. Remember, nobody has a permanent victory.

However, I was still having a hard time deciding between that and another subject. Proverbs 4:23 kept popping into my mind. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The issues of life … sounds very important, even if I don’t understand all of what that includes. But I also have a battle keeping my tongue under control sometimes and I know that words themselves are so very powerful. (Read Proverbs 15:1, 2, 4). I felt that studying the tongue would help me as well as others. It’s kind of a “one-size-fits-all” subject.

Well, I had to start somewhere, so I began studying about the heart, not yet sure what the Lord wanted me to say. To my surprise, I found that Proverbs 15:7 and quite a few other verses on the heart also mentioned the tongue. (read 15:7 & 14) But it really became clear when I read Luke 6:45,46. Here Jesus seems to directly connect the heart, the mouth and doing those things that He commands.

Then I knew why I hadn’t been able to settle on either of them. The two seemed to be inseparable and I came to the conclusion that the tongue is directly connected to the heart. I wasn’t too happy to see it, though. It was one of those “Jeremiah 17:9” moments! You know, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Now maybe you’ve already seen the heart-mouth connection in the Bible, but I’m one of those that the Lord has to be very blunt with, so please bear with me while I share what I’ve discovered.

King David backslid in a big way and paid dearly for it, yet the Lord gives a good testimony of him in Acts 13:22. He was a man after God’s own heart, which fulfilled the Lord’s will. In the light of Jeremiah 17:9, I will cautiously say that I want a heart that is after God and to do His will. When you think about it, everything else fades in importance and much of what we do is just vanity. How can you and I have a heart after God? Using David as an example, I decided to search for an answer. Now the will of God is a very broad subject, I think, so we won’t find all those examples in one sitting. But I’d like to review a couple verses that speak of the heart and mouth.

A heart after God would be striving to be a pure heart, since He is pure and holy (read I Peter 1:13-16). The opposite of pure would be defiled, so let’s look at Matthew 15:17-20, where Jesus talks about what defiles a person. There again we see that the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. Our words defile our whole body. (read James 3:6).

I can speak from experience that I feel anything but pure after I have let my mouth run out of control. He goes on to tell us that no man can tame the tongue. A few verses later in 11 and 12, James talks about water. He gives the example that in nature sweet and bitter or salt and fresh water coming from the same fountain would be impossible. Along about this time, I feel pretty humble when I’m reading this chapter. But I have a note in my Bible that says God can tame my tongue. The power to tame it is the Holy Spirit living in us. (I Cor. 6:19)

A heart that strives after God would be praising (Psalm 34:1). There again is something we would do with our mouths. David said that he would continually praise God. If our minds and our tongue are on praising, we will have better success in keeping the tongue under control. When talking about being victorious and filled with the Spirit, Paul was led to tell us in Ephesians 5:19 to use our mouths to sing, and speak to ourselves with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We are to make melody in our hearts.

Remember what is in our hearts will come out. I wouldn’t have to worry about what came out of my mouth if I were always thinking or humming praises to God. If this doesn’t come easy, put on the right kind of music and sing along! (additional verses for your consideration Psalms 61:8 and 63:3-5)

A heart that strives after God would be praying for others with supplications.(read II Samuel 24:17) David made intercession for others when his sin caused their suffering. Though these times were not David’s best moments, he humbled himself and then prayed for others. If my heart were always in a spirit of prayer for others’ faults, would there be time for criticism, for gossip, for exaggerating or even lying about them? If I were praying for my own many faults, I would stay too busy for those sins of the tongue, wouldn’t I?

A heart that strives after God would desire to let others know about Him. We could call it a proclaiming heart. (Psalm 96:3, 10). I Peter 3:9 tells us that “The Lord is …not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Aren’t you glad that someone told you the good news?

A heart that desires to be after God would be a pardoning heart. A heart which does not pardon (forgive) will become bitter. We are warned in Hebrews 12:15 that allowing bitterness to take root will trouble us and defile others. (Also see Matthew 18:21-22)

A heart that strives after God would be protecting itself diligently. (read Proverbs 4:23). We should soberly guard against those things that dull our love for God. Just because we can afford something, does it make it right? Maybe we should decide which activities to participate in by whether it is going to make us more like the Lord Jesus Christ or whether it will count for eternity. Maybe the things we put in our homes should have to pass a high standard. For example, in Psalm 101:3, we read "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes."

In conclusion, the world tells us there are some failures in our lives that we just have to accept and live with. (i.e. family traits or a tendency to have a hot temper) but the world has not the Lord to overcome the flesh. Please be encouraged. You and I CAN overcome the world, our flesh, and the devil. We CAN live victoriously. We CAN have a pure, praising, praying, proclaiming, pardoning and protected heart for Him. He certainly deserves our best, which will only be possible through His Holy Spirit. Will you read I John 4:4?

The LORD'S Messenger

A Message To The People

“Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.” Haggai 1:13