As I have been studying the heart and living with my own heart I realize that the heart is complicated and mysterious . According to the "Dashboard" dictionary it states that "the heart regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions." It is not just a muscle in the middle of our body that pumps blood throughout our system and sustains our lives. The emotional heart has many layers that have been built up over the years. Jeremiah 17:9 points out that the "heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately sick;who can understand it?" The book of Proverbs has many verses that describe the intricacies of the heart.
Proverbs 21:4 - Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Proverbs 22:11 - He who loves purity of heart,and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Proverbs 22:15 - Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Proverbs 22:17 - [Words of the Wise] Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
Proverbs 23:15 - My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
Proverbs 23:17 - Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
Proverbs 23:33 - Your eyes will see strange things,and your heart utter perverse things.
Proverbs 24:17 - Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
Proverbs 25:3 - As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Proverbs 26:23 - Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.
Proverbs 26:24 - Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
Proverbs 26:25 - When he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
Proverbs 27:11 - Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,that I may answer him who reproaches me.
Proverbs 27:19 - As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.
Much activity happens in the heart whether it is pure or evil. So much of the makings of the heart is intertwined and sometimes we can't see the truth and the falseness of the heart. We have patterns that have been set over the years and they aren't necessarily sin but the patterns can disquise our vision from seeing the heart for what it is. So what do we do? It will take hard work and perseverance to do the heart work that is needed for us to become more like Christ. So what is the course that one must take to pursue and persevere through the hard work of heart work?
1. Every circumstance in life whether good or bad is allowed by God to help you with your heart work. Loss, sin, hurtful circumstances, fear, emotions, changes in life and affliction have been filtered through God's hands to help you with your heart work.
In the past several years I have gone through a tremendous loss. My heart was broken and my heart literally physically felt like it was ripping apart. It was a very painful process and I couldn't escape the brokenness. It was imbedded in the very fiber of the inner part of my being. Through the sifting process I had a choice to become angry and blame which would result in bitterness and the quenching of the spirit or I could dive in wholeheartedly, even tho there were times where I didn't think I could handle anymore pain, and honestly walk and share with God exactly how I felt. I chose to move into a relationship with God that was a constant dialog and prayer all day long. He didn't take the pain away but his presence was always there through the long days of anguish. There was no way for my earthly problem to be solved. What is is. So the question was is what do I do with what is? Embrace the Lord and share my hurts, pain and anguish with him.
2. Tackling the sin in our life is hard work but heart work.
Let's be honest. To see our own sin is difficult because we have developed all these patterns in our lives that cover up the truth of our sin. We can justify our behavior without even knowing we are doing it. We have friends and family that don't even see our sin. They enable us in our sin and don't even know they are doing that. So what do we do?
We can ask the Lord to reveal our sin to us. But lets be honest, how often have you done that and the spirit does not reveal the sin to us. Somehow our eyes are blinded to the truth. We don't see it.