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  • Writer's pictureKandi Swift

Matters of the Heart

"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23

God wants our heart, and for the motives of our heart to be pure. As I was reading in 1 Samuel about the story of David, I began thinking about the heart of man and what the bible has to say about the importance of the condition of our heart. Oh, how I love the story of David, because it’s a story of hope. A story of a man who had real struggles and failures and yet was considered to be a man after God’s own heart. How could this be?


David was chosen by God at a young age. His story began as an obscure, young shepherd boy, tending his father’s sheep and minding his own business. Samuel, the prophet, was grieving because God was in the process of dethroning Saul as king over Israel due to his sin and hardened heart. So, God sent Samuel to meet Jesse to find and anoint the next king among his sons. One son, in particular, stood out above the rest and Samuel thought that surely, he was the anointed one. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) The story continues with Samuel meeting each son that was brought before him, with none of them being the one God had chosen. Finally, they send for David, the smallest, youngest and least likely among them all. This was the one. The one whom God anointed.


As David grew up and became king, he had his own sin that he dealt with, messing up time and again. The difference between David and Saul was the condition of their heart. When Saul failed, he chose not to turn from his sin but rather continued in disobedience and allowed his heart to become hardened instead. David, on the other hand, continuously recognized God and sincerely repented of his sin, crying out and asking God to create in Him a clean heart. The condition of both Saul’s and David’s heart determined the course their lives would take. Saul’s heart caused his reign as king to end prematurely. David’s heart caused him to be known for eternity as a man after God’s own heart.


The heart is deceitful and can even deceive the person owning it. Actions motivated by a desire to be liked or accepted; giving something in hopes of being recognized or getting something in return. Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” How can we be assured we are operating with a pure heart if even our own heart can deceive us? He tells us that wherever our treasure is, that’s where our heart is. We must surrender every part of our heart to God. If He has our treasure, the things we hold most dear, then He has our heart. And a heart that is quick to repent with a desire to please Him in all things is the kind of heart that captures God’s attention.

 

Scriptures:

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8 / ESV

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 / ESV

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21 / ESV

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