By Denene Pelkey
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (I Chronicles 28:9)
David wanted Solomon to serve God with a perfect heart and a willing mind.
A willing mind is ready, eager and alert. The mind is the part of a human being that governs thought, perception, feeling, will, memory, imagination, desire, and purpose. It is the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, feeling and judgment, and evaluation.
However, the Bible seems to indicate that the heart, besides being all of the above, is considered the emotional center where moods or dispositions originate. It is the seat of moral nature and spiritual life, the inner self that thinks, feels, and decides. The thinking processes of man are said to be carried out by the heart.
Thus the condition of the heart should be the most important thing in a Christian’s life. It is the core or central part of a human being. That is exactly where the Lord wants to dwell—right in the center of our lives.
What the Heart Can Do
The heart can love. “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
The heart can hate. “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him” (Leviticus 19:17).
The heart can rejoice. “Hannah … said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation” (I Samuel 2:1).
The heart can think. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee” (Proverbs 23:7).
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
The heart can speak. “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).
“Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man” (Matthew 15:18-20).
The heart can sing. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
The heart can be deceived. “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them” (Deuteronomy 11:16).
The heart is able to be hardened. “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother” (Deuteronomy 15:7).
The heart can be broken. “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
The heart can be healed. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
From the heart emerge the issues of life. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). This verse of Scripture could read, “Protect, take care of, keep fresh in a specified state the center of your life (heart), persevering with careful work, for out of it flows your life.”
The Heart Must Be Protected
We’ve got to keep anything that is not of God out of our heart. If we’re guarding something of value or a lot of money, there is no way that we would allow anyone to come in and steal that valuable item.
It is the same thing in the spirit realm. We can’t be passive or lacking when it comes to our heart. In light of eternity, nothing is worth being in sin over, and no one is worth being bitter or envious over.
When negative things stay in the heart they pollute it. Turning from that which does not please the Lord allows one to begin the process of repentance. The heart must be cleaned thoroughly, leaving no traces behind.
The Levites were to pitch their tents around the perimeter of the Tabernacle like an inner circle. (See Numbers 1:53.)
The Tabernacle symbolized God’s dwelling presence in the midst of the camp. This meant that God was the focal point of their lives and the Israelites were His focal point. Our life should revolve around God and not around the world or around ourselves. We cannot let anything interfere with God being the center of our life.
The only way this can be accomplished and permanent changes wrought in behavior and lifestyle patterns is through obedience to the gospel and the transformation of one’s mind by the process of the new birth, and thereafter through sanctification by the power of the Spirit and submission to the Word of God. (See Romans 12:1-2.)
When the heart gets clogged, its ability to function properly hinders the blood from flowing correctly. The blockage causes symptoms, and this is the start of heart problems. Surgery is needed to repair the damage and take out the blockage. Likewise, when unrepented sin stays in our heart or mind, the “blood” from Calvary cannot flow through us. Sin separates us from the source of the blood—Jesus Christ.
Blood flow is the power that washes sin away. Without the blood flowing properly there is no freedom or liberty from sin.
When someone has been abused as a child or adult—physically, emotionally, or mentally—it’s the abuser’s sin, not the victim’s. But what the victim does with it is his or her own responsibility. We have no control over others, only ourselves and our own actions and reactions. Reacting to the abuse with anger, resentment, hate, revenge, and so on is sinful. These sinful blockages can be removed only by God, but He can’t perform the surgery unless we truly repent. This is “elective surgery.” When what has obstructed the flow has been removed, then His blood can once again flow freely in us. He delivers us from our misery, guilt, and sorrow.
Yes, this surgery hurts for a while but the end result is full of rejoicing and joy. You will have to fight and be steadfast against opposition from your own self, sometimes from others, and from the forces of darkness. Things might feel worse before they get better.
Anytime you allow the Lord to begin the transformation process in you, opposing situations arise to test your resolve. Just continue to believe the Word of God and make godly choices. It will take time to learn to react in a righteous way. Changing your thought patterns and the way you’ve always been can be done!
Believe it and do it in the name of Jesus. Activate your faith and watch the transformation begin!
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Instead of saying, “I’ve had it; I can’t do it anymore. This is too hard; I can’t take it anymore,” pull your sword out of its scabbard. Repeat Philippians 4:13 over and over until you know it by heart. Then when you get into a stressful situation you won’t have to study to find a verse of Scripture that will win victory for you.
Recognizing Besetting Sins
Let’s talk about some feelings or thoughts that we might not even consider as sin:
- Doubt limits our trust in God and what He can do. It turns into anxiety.
- Anxiety leads to worry and fretting and creates unbelief.
- Unbelief is a lack of faith in God’s ability to help us and in the power of His Word. Maybe He won’t do what He said He will do. This morphs into denial.
- Denial is actually lying or not telling the truth, making excuses, or passing the blame for our own behavior to someone else or some circumstance. Since the situation or wrongdoing was not our fault, we develop a grudge.
- Bitterness occurs when we hoard hard or bad feelings toward others. This generates anger.
- Anger is a work of the flesh—lashing out with wrath to mask a growing fear.
- Fear is being afraid, and being bound by it will hinder us from receiving what we need from God. Fear paralyzes. Fear is a spirit.
The above list comprises the devil’s most often used darts, but these are just a few. The world views these as disorders and diseases. However, it is sin, and it’s against God. Stop using the world’s language and ways; believe and act on what the Word says, not the world!
Jesus has given us all the protection, weapons, and power we need to defeat any opposing force, even our own carnal nature. Are you willing to use them? When the Word is spoken out and applied, it is activated to work because it is written!
Self-examination helps to find out what is stuck in your mind: What do you watch and listen to? Whom do you spend a lot of time with? What vein do your thoughts tend to run in? How do you react when someone does something to disappoint or hurt you? Such questions should be considered when evaluating your walk as a Christian. If your mind is continually dwelling on negative and carnal things, the seeds of those thoughts soon filter down to the heart and begin to grow. But peace comes from a mind that is stayed upon the Lord and His righteousness. Transformation begins with a thought and is continued in the heart and actions.
Coming clean with God is opening up to Him, baring all, and getting prepped for Him to perform the necessary surgery so your heart and mind can be ready when He comes. I know from experience that holding on to the past and living in the past only clogs up your heart. It makes you sick and weakly and unproductive in the kingdom of God. Are you willing to take the first steps on the journey from misery to liberty?
Guard Your Mind
“Thought is the beginning of action. Good principles fixed in the head will produce good resolutions in the heart and good practices in the life!” Allow the Lord to reveal the hidden sinful thoughts within your heart. As He does, begin to repent and praise Him through the process of change!
Scriptures for Meditation
“O LORD, my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me” (Psalm 30:2).
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
“Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
“Teach me Your way, 0 Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name.” (Ps 86:11, AMP)
The chapter “Readiness of Heart and Mind” written by Denene Pelkey was excerpted from Set Free: My Journey From Misery to Liberty and may be used for study and research purposes only.