I’m up in B.C. for a few days this week helping my daughter and family move. And I’m reminded again that, when it comes to my morning quiet time, I find it really difficult when I’m out of my environment and out of my routine. Still able to get to “the table” but feeling almost too distracted to really chew on a lot. So, a quick thought this morning. Isaiah and Solomon teaming up to remind me how much the heart matters.
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
(Isaiah 29:13 ESV)
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.
Two bottom line statements, it seems. First, when all was said and done with Judah, the problem ultimately lie with the condition of their heart–it was far from God. They were talking the right talk, even going through the right motions, but it counted for nothing because their hearts were distant. They had demoted God on their priority list. They were content with doing enough to get by, but effectively had put the Creator and His Kingdom on the shelf–the dusty, unattended shelf.
And with their hearts removed, the door was open for a slippery slope, the likes of which they could never have imagined. But, once the Light is turned off, it shouldn’t be surprising if what’s left is great darkness and, what’s more, blindness to being in great darkness. Once the eyes are fixed on the things of earth, the things of heaven grow strangely dim.
And I’m guessing that’s why Solomon’s plea to his son is so simple, why it’s so foundational. Give me your heart, let your eyes delight in my ways, and I can rest knowing wisdom will have its way.
In Proverbs, asking for the heart is set against the allure of the prostitute. Her way is a “deep pit.” Her motive is that of the robber who steals and the traitor who betrays. As the old southern gospel song says, she will take you farther than you wanna go . . . and she’ll cost you far more than you wanna pay. So, pleads the Father, “Give me your heart!”
And it’s not just the temptation of the painted-up lady–regardless of whether she’s calling toward lurid sin or acceptable pleasures–that competes for the heart’s affection. It’s the cares of the world that vie for its attention. It’s the storms of life which seek to blow the heart off course. Many are the calls for our heart.
Instead, how I need to hear His call, “Give me your heart. That’s all I ask!”
Maybe not so easy to do, but isn’t it really that simple? When all is said and done, isn’t it a matter of the heart? And that’s why the heart matters?
I’m thinkin’ . . .
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
(Colossians 3:1-2 ESV)
Provision has been made for the setting of our hearts on things above. The price paid to purchase our hearts for His own. The promise given to stir our hearts with the things of another land. The power infused to continually renew our hearts as we continue on pilgrimage.
Ours then, by the grace of God, is to give Him our heart. And then His delight, for the glory of God, will be to direct it.
‘Cause the heart matters.