Posted June 22, 2017 under Blog

Battleground: The Heart

Today, we start a three-part blog series on the three critical battlegrounds that every believer fights in every day, every minute, even every second. Knowing what those battlegrounds are and how you can win in them every single time gives you the upper hand. This week, we look into, "The Heart."

Try asking young people nowadays about the prices of commodities, and most of them wouldn't be able to answer. Or ask your children about their class schedules, report cards, a formula in Algebra, and chances are, they wouldn't remember those either. But ask them about the latest gadgets, or Lebron James's and Steph Curry's stats in the last NBA finals, and they would be quick to give an answer, sometimes, even with details.

Today, fans would be willing to spend a whopping USD 600 to watch a popular boxing match—live. Any businessman would agree that it has no return on investment, it diminishes finances, and the fight would only last an hour and a half or less—yet a fan will shell out that amount of money for the sheer desire of watching the fight.

What is this powerful thing that decides on priorities, sometimes bypasses logic, and even overcomes obstacles?

Enter, the HEART.

The heart is undeniably, very powerful. Desires, emotions, will, and motives reside in the heart. What we want is determined by it, and it is able to set the course for the decisions we make, which in turn direct the course of our lives.

It is in the heart that faith (or unbelief) takes place also. Romans 10:9 says “...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." The ability to believe resides in the heart.

Yet the heart is deceitful, hence, it must be guarded, above all.  

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

We notice how the words, above all, is used in both verses, to underscore the importance of what they try to convey. Understanding then the power of the heart in our lives, how do we guard it above everything else?

1. Desire God

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25

The first way to guard our heart is to set our desires on God. God needs to become our top priority, the topmost thing we want on this earth needs to be Him and Him only. It needs to come to a point where we're willing to do anything to seek Him and to experience Him.

One of the ways we do this, is through worship. Worship is an expression of our intense desire for God. He is the reason why we come early to worship. Prayer is also a way we can express our devotion to God. We also pray with our hearts, speaking out of a desire to communicate with Him, not mechanically, but sincerely.

2. Seek God

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Attitude is a term on sailing. It pertains to the position of the sail so that it catches the wind. Similarly, our hearts have an attitude and we must incline it to the things of God. We do this by seeking Him and His word seriously, by quietly listening to Him, by hiding His word in our hearts, not on a mental level, but having an intense desire to know Him, and be with Him and Him only.

3. Trust God

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

Here, we see Jesus full of emotion, talking to His Father to stop what's about to happen to Him. Yet, He still obeyed, putting His trust fully on God.

Trusting God means doing something He asks us to do even if we don't get it, even if we don't like it, even if we are not emotionally moved by it, and even if it's beyond our capability. It means trusting that He loves us and His commands are good.

4. Love God

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

Lastly, we guard our hearts by having a singular motivation—God. It's not getting things, our wants, our needs, or our desires met, but being motivated by our love for God. We lead small groups, we engage people, we worship, we come to church early, we serve, because of that singular motive—our love for God.

We all want a heart that desires, seeks, trusts, and loves God. The good news is, if we draw near to God, believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, He will make our hearts tender before Him. He will give us a new heart and a new spirit to fill our old heart. He says so in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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