I’ve been thinking about the pursuit of a pure heart and the rebellion that gets in the way for many weeks now.
What does it look like, a pure, rebellion free heart?
Do I fall for rebellious ways in my thinking without even knowing it?
How corrosive are my internal bad attitudes?
And on and on.
Over the years there have been times when I would recognize disdain, fault-finding, snootiness, bitterness, and anger.
But it took me many years to realize the true heart issue.
At the very core, many of our heart attitudes are hidden jealousy; a slow marination in envy.
Jealousy is a slow corroding of the heart, often unnoticed until it becomes harmful to those around us through the things we say or do to sabotage the joy or productiveness of another person.
The world says to “follow your heart”. God says to follow Him. The Bible says the heart is corrupt and wicked on its own. (Jeremiah 17:9)
Question… you know that continual internal dialogue you have with yourself? The replays of situations, regrets, the shoulda-coulda-woulda thoughts?
Have you ever paused to really think about what you’re thinking about?
Those thoughts stem from what is in our heart.
And thoughts become words that show the true condition of our heart. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (see Luke 6:45, Matthew 15:18)
Friend, the tone of our heart becomes the tone of our lives.
Many of the blockages we experience in our lives are directly correlated to the hidden things of our heart.
So how do we gain a purified heart?
Repentance is key number one.
It all begins with a realization that we need to sweep our hearts of the residue, but we don’t have to do it alone.
Psalm 139:23-24 is a prayer that the Lord would help us see the offensive things in us and then lead us in His everlasting ways.
With repentance comes refreshment, Acts 3:19 says. A renewed vitality in the Lord, a new fire to be in right standing with Him.
Living in the afterglow of forgiveness when we deserve a full frontal of punishment is a humbling refreshment indeed.
Follow through is key number two. We must follow through with a diligent seeking of the Lord.
Again we don’t have to go it alone – we can pray and ask Him to give us greater desires to seek Him with all our heart so we may find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)
To do the work of transplanting a new heart and mind in ourselves cannot be done without a continual seeking of the Lord through His Word.
That means we actually have to open His Word, read His Word, make our thoughts obedient to His Word, live by His Word, seek His Word, love His Word… intentionally all about His Word.
We cannot grow and come to know our Heavenly Father if we do not read His love letter to us.
8 Ways to Pursue a Pure Heart
Psalm 119:9 asks the question, “How can [we] keep our way pure? By living according to Your Word.”
The following verses give us wise and powerful next steps:
- seek the Lord with all your heart (v.10)
- hide His Word in your heart (v.11)
- Praise Him (v.12)
- ask Him to teach you (v.12)
- speak His words (v.13)
- praise Him some more (v.14)
- meditate on His Word and His ways (v.15)
- do not neglect His Word (v.16)
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.”
What if we would see our Bible’s as the cross we need to pick up daily and read and marinate in?
It takes daily, consistent training to gain a new heart.
A runner who competes goes into strict training. But we don’t pick up our cross of reading God’s Word just so we can boast of know a lot of Scripture.
We do this strict training of lining our hearts up with the Word and Ways of God in pursuit of a crown that lasts forever. (read 1 Corinthians 1:24-25)
Friend, our hearts are prone to resistance, defiance and rebellion.
It’s important that we understand all forms of sinful heart stances are ultimately rebellion against God.
And rebellion, 1 Samuel 15:23 says, is like the sin of witchcraft, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Lord, purify my heart. I know You desire good things for me, but more importantly I know You desire to plant the good things of Yourself in me. Help me press the restart button of repentance, realizing my need for You. Help me return to You, my first and forever Love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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