What, do you allow to take up residence in your heart?
What do you feed (and welcome into) your heart?
What do you spend a hefty amount of your downtime on?
The heart is an object of God’s keen interest – and for good reason too. He is very interested in it and what comes out of it, not how things look on the outside or what comes out of the lips only.
We must seek to honour God in everything and every area of our lives. Not a single area of our lives or relationship is to be exempt. But the heart is where God is first and truly honoured and then, out of its overflow, all other parts and areas of our lives. Talking about honouring God is fake and unreal if my thoughts are all over the place, unrestrained, unholy and harbouring malice and envy; resentment and hatred toward friend or neighbour. Our hearts must to be in correct standing with God if we are to truly honour him with our lifestyle and relationships in our communities. Isaiah 29:13
And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.
A commandment taught by men means and becomes one that addresses the external only which man looks at and is attracted by. The sharp contrast between man’s and God’s view is found in the rebuke Samuel received from The Lord on the occasion of David’s anointing in 1 Samuel 16:7 – 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.”
God’s interest in the heart lies in the fact that it is the seat and source of life. It pretty much defines (and defiles!) a person. Mark 7:20-23
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Hence the reason why vigilance is essential and strongly urged in guarding one’s heart and maintaining its purity. Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Exercise all vigilance (not just a wee bit) over what you allow to take up residence in your heart. Take care. Be vigilant. For what you feed it regularly is what you will receive back from it eventually. Feed it with God’s truth and it gets flushed from impurities rewarding you with its purity. When rightly fed and nurtured with God’s word which has the capacity to thoroughly cleanse and flush it from its sinful and deceptive tendencies (Eph 5:26), our heart begins to earnestly desire what is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
Whatever stage of life you may be in, keep checking in on your own heart and its condition to ascertain it is rightly inclined and not tugging away in the wrong direction. You may need to take corrective action in what you’re welcoming into your heart and allowing to take up residence there.
That is also why David chose to store up God’s word in his heart – to enable him to purify his heart from sinful inclinations and as a result empower him to successfully resist sin and temptation too. That is why his heart attracted God too and was labelled by God as being after His own (Acts 13:22).