When the Bible speaks about being pure in heart, we tend to think about getting rid of dirty minds. In biblical terms, however, a pure heart requires far more than clean thinking. In scripture, your heart is the control center of your life; the place where you make your decisions and turn your purposes into actions. That means a pure heart denotes the control center of a life that is not riddled and twisted with conflicting purposes and contradictory priorities. It is best described in Ezekiel 11:19. “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart.” God desires a steadfast heart, an undivided heart, a personal situation room where he sits at the head of the table.
When you understand the meaning of a pure heart, it’s easier to grasp why spiritual warfare is so real and so painful. We tend to imagine that kind of conflict as being waged by angels in the heavenlies, or by invisible forces. But in fact, the most commonplace form of spiritual warfare is the skirmish for control of the steel reinforced door to your heart, your control center. It’s the only place Jesus Christ can really be Lord, but it’s the hardest place in life to surrender. We can manage a few habits, but Jesus seeks a pure heart.
For most Americans, the heart is a bundle of conflicting purposes and coping mechanisms all battling for control. We do things that are dangerous and foolish; we commit selfish, unkind acts without even understanding why! We wonder why life seems out of control. And the answer is that the heart is about more than personal ambitions; it’s about secret sins, shameful experiences locked away from memory, unthinkable evils perpetrated against us by others when we were children or teens. All those hidden toxins boil and fester and seep into our decision making- some times when we least expect it. That’s why giving your life to Christ can seem so intimidating for a moment. Most of us don’t even recognize all the forces at war in our lives.
The good news is that God can take away your heart of stone and give you a tender heart of flesh. Learn more about this topic at http://www.providencetoday.org/pages.asp?pageid=24646. The sermon is called “The Heart that Must be Broken.”
Lift up the Cross!