Summary: Proverbs says we are to Guard our heart - according to God’s Word our Heart is who we really are. The condition of our heart and the habits of our heart are important to God and shows Him and us the real us. What are the Habits of our Heart?
HABITS OF THE HEART
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Heart – what the Bible says about it in comparison to what our culture says about it. Those view points are very, very different:
There are alot of songs about the Heart: Like…
1. I left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
2. I’ll Never Break Your Heart – Backstreet Boys
3. Acky Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
4. Take the Keys to my Heart – Garth Brooks
5. E-mail my Heart – Brittney Spears
6. Music of my Heart - N Sync
7. Tearin’ up my Heart – N Sync
Is that the kind of Heart the Bible alludes to? I don’t think so. Then there are the phrases about the heart from everyday language –
1. I love you with all of my heart
2. You have broken my heart
3. She’s warm hearted
4. He’s cold hearted
5. Have a heart
6. You’re heartless
7. Lets have a heart to heart talk
In the OT book of Proverbs we are told to “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart”
Are you good at doing that - all the time?
Is it the Habit of your Heart to just automatically Trust God?
What does it mean to trust God with all of our Heart – especially when things go wrong?
What should we understand about this Heart that the Bible speaks of so often?
The Heart that God is after is very different from the one those songs & phrases describe. Obviously our culture’s concept of the Heart is one of:
• Emotion and Romance
• Up and Down feelings
• Some people live life only by their emotions -
• Others walk through life ignoring their feelings –
or should I say hiding them?
Either way, feelings are deep seated- felt deep within - feelings that we must deal with in a way that honors God. When the Bible speaks about the Heart it elevates the discussion beyond our unpredictable feelings and helps us deal with them in a mature way -
There are over 900 verses in the Bible that refer to the Heart – from those verses we can gain some insight to what God wants us to understand. The Bibles Heart includes:
• The inner self - the core of a person
• The center of all thoughts and actions
Joe Stowell in Fan the Flame says that “The Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It has been described as "the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity," -"the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will,"…(J. Stowell, Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 13.)
According to God’s Word our Heart is who we really are. The condition of our heart and The Habits of our Heart are important to God and shows Him and us the real us.
When God was looking for a king to lead Israel after Saul died, what did He look for? Why did He pick David? 1 Samuel 16:7 answers these questions. It states, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
The “Heart” is that part of our inner being where we wrestle with our:
1. Core DESIRES (our need for love, acceptance,
2. Current DELIBERATIONS (the give & take of the
decision making process )
3. Critical DECISIONS (decisions that affect us for
years to come)
Let’s identify some Bad Habits of the Heart– things like Selfishness, Greed, Laziness, Jealousy, Sin, Bitterness, Unforgiveness, Self-Centeredness, Hatred, Fits of Rage, Selfish Ambition, etc –
More importantly let’s consider some Good Habits of the Heart -
1. DON’T LOSE HEART -
Obviously Life can be extremely Tough – Many of you know that - There are a lot of Rough Roads in Life -
• Several families in Colorado went thru devastating personal earthquakes in December of 2007 when their kids were shot and killed at the YWAM Center in Arvada by a man who had a corrupted heart. Later that morning he did the same horrendous thing at a Church in Colorado Springs - he had lost control of his spiritual heart -
• Maybe someone you loved died this last year or several years ago
• Perhaps you’ve faced some rejection lately, or a divorce, a separation, some abuse, a financial crisis, loss of a job, sickness, depression and the list could go on –
When frustration & heartaches come our way, how do we tend to respond? What are the Habits of our Heart?
Do we tend to Trust God first or do we tend to just respond according to how we feel?