Saturday, May 11, 2013

Christian Recovery: Check Your Heart

Have you ever wondered why God wants the adoration of humans, especially since He knows our hearts. According to Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…”  But it’s His way of connecting, and God knows that His presence can soften our hearts and remove evil from them.

The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. If you have ever been after someone’s heart, you know what it takes to get it. You think about that person day and night. You’re consumed with what they think and remember the words they speak. You are kind and loving to that person and want to spend time with them more than you want anything else. When you have hope that love will result, you will do whatever makes that person happy and you will make sure that you touch their heart.

David deliberately put God first. He kept his heart pure and devoted to God. That doesn’t mean David never made mistakes; we know he did. The Bible tells the story of David’s lust for Bathsheba, the sins that followed, and the consequences of his poor choices.

Still, David didn’t let his past mistakes keep him from connecting with God. In fact, he was more devoted afterward and more inclined to visit the throne because he knew how much he’d grieved God, and better understood the mercy of God.

Psalm 51:1-6 provides insight into how David’s sin and suffering allowed him to fully experience God’s redeeming love. (This scripture is from The Message because it totally reveals David’s heart.)
Generous in love – God, give grace! Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down. You’re the one I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with You for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.”

At this point, David didn’t blame anyone else for his mistakes. He wasn’t rationalizing or justifying his behavior. Instead, he acknowledged his evil and gave God the right to change him. That’s why in Acts 13:22, the Apostle Paul refers to David as a man after God’s own heart.

You desperately need the heart of David. And you need to get to your truth from the inside out. Go ahead and read the entire book of Psalms out loud, day after day. No matter what other scriptures you read, add Psalms to your devotions.

Before you recite David’s words, pray God will exchange your hard heart for a God-loving, faithful heart like David’s. Ezekiel 36:26 makes you such a promise. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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