THE ONE THING THAT GOD DESIRES OF US…ABOVE EVERYTHING WE POSSESS… ABOVE OUR TIME…
ABOVE OUR TALENTS…
ABOVE OUR ACTS OF SERVICE…
ABOVE OUR MONEY AND ALL OUR NATURAL RESOURCES…
ABOVE ALL THAT WE ARE AND ALL THAT WE POSSESS…
ABOVE ALL OUR SACRIFICES… IS OUR HEART!!
God longs to draw us near to Himself and reveal His heart to us. He wants us to draw close to Him in an intimate relationship where we have unbroken fellowship and communion with Him.
There are many Christians, including pastors, evangelists, teachers, and Christian leaders today who have become so busy, so involved in the work of the ministry; so involved in fulfilling the work God has given them to do; so busy in building their own little kingdoms; so caught up in their desires to build a successful ministry for the Lord; that in the process, their hearts have become far removed from God. This is another major reason why we must guard our hearts.
A great majority of Christians today have become so burdened down with the cares of this life that their hearts are no longer centered upon God and doing His will, but upon their own needs.
There are those whose hearts have turned away from God because the desires of their hearts are set upon the things of the world.
God is saying:
“I don’t want your sacrifices…the monuments of man…Above all else, I want your hearts. I want your undivided love. I want your heart to be wholly given unto Me. Above all else, I desire to be enthroned upon your heart where I am your sole desire.
“I desire that your heart be one with MINE…That you know and understand My heart and that you will give yourself wholly to obey Me and do My will.
“Draw near to Me with a pure heart that has been cleansed and made whole by the sacrifice of My love for you manifested through My Son.
“Give Me your whole heart and I will strengthen and establish you so that you will never be moved!”
Receive the word of the Lord into your spirit and take time right now to respond to this call by His Spirit!
Do not be deceived. God does not want a half-hearted commitment to Him. He wants our WHOLE HEART or nothing at all.
In this endtime hour, it is going to take more than a half-hearted commitment to God and His Word to push back the forces of darkness and reach 2.5 billion people who have never heard the Name of Jesus.
In this endtime hour, only those who are serving God with their whole hearts, those whose hearts are fixed…steadfast …upon God, are going to be strong, immovable and unshaken.
God wants full control of your heart!
Above all else, God wants your WHOLE HEART!
GOD WANTS FULL CONTROL OF
God requires our WHOLE HEART. He knows that if He has our whole heart, He has all of us.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew words used for heart are “leb” and “lebab.” They refer to a person in his totality. It is a comprehensive term for man’s personality as a whole, his inner life and character. It is the seat of man’s spiritual and intellectual life.
In the New Testament, the greek word used for heart is “kardia.” It occurs in 148 passages in the New Testament. It is the place where the understanding, reasoning powers, conscience, motives, will and imagination resides. “Kardia” is the “inner man” and the place where God deals with man.
We know “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (I Corinthians 15:44 ). In the physical or natural body, the heart pumps blood through the thousands of blood vessels throughout the body to all the vital organs. If the heart becomes diseased or is weakened, it restricts the flow of blood to other parts of the body and they are damaged.
Now, look at the diagram on this page: in the spiritual body, the “kardia”… heart…within our innermost being, also supplies spiritual nourishment and strength to our spiritual bodies. And, what is in our hearts will also affect our physical bodies.
If the individual’s heart is controlled by sin, it will affect and enslave the entire body. Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders” (Mark 7:21).
Just as man’s natural heart pumps blood throughout the body, our spiritual heart supplies spiritual nourishment to our spiritual bodies. If our hearts become weakened, it will restrict the life flow of God’s Spirit within our lives and weaken our entire spiritual man.
If the heart is sinful, it will influence the thoughts, motives and intents of the heart. It will affect the emotions and will. It will determine the words coming out of an individual’s mouth and his actions. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
However, if God has control of an individual’s heart, and it is clean and pure, it will have an effect on his entire spiritual man.
If his heart is clean and pure, his thoughts will be pure.
If his heart is fixed, set to do God’s will, his mind will be focused upon God and His Word.
And, if his mind is clean, the words coming out of his mouth will be clean and pure. Jesus said, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35).
Because the heart is the center of man’s spiritual and intellectual being, if God has control of a man’s heart, he will have control of his entire being…his thoughts, ‘words, actions, will, emotions.
ABOVE ALL ELSE, GOD WANTS US TO
GIVE HIM OUR WHOLE HEART!
From the very beginning of His relationship with the children of Israel, God asked for their WHOLE HEART.
Hear, 0 Israel! The Lord our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
God’s desire was to have a people who would love Him above all else and give themselves to Him wholeheartedly, unreservedly. He wanted them to love Him, serve Him and keep His commandments in their heart always so they would walk in obedience to Him.
This was the one condition upon which His covenant with them was based. It was the one thing He required of them if they, were to reap the blessings He had promised them. God promised the children of Israel that if they would love and serve Him with their WHOLE HEART and soul, He would bless and prosper them.
And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
Not only did God promise them His supernatural provision, He have them three awesome promises if they would love Him, keep His commandments and CLEAVE to Him.
God told them:
For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
The word “cleave” in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word, “dabaq” which means, “to cling or adhere to, catch by pursuit, abide steadfast, be joined together.” God wanted
Your heart must be FIXED upon God with a determined purpose to do His will!
His people to love Him and CLEAVE to Him…to be joined together with Him…with their WHOLE HEART. He wanted their hearts to be joined together with His and for them to cling to Him and follow after Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
If they would love, cleave to Him and obey His commands with their WHOLE HEART, He promised:
To make them a STRONG AND MIGHTY PEOPLE. He promised to drive out all their enemies before them in the land He promised them.
Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
He promised them possession of the land He had given them as an inheritance.
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours.
He promised they would be INVINCIBLE!
God told them:
There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.
These are the promises God gave the children of Israel as they were preparing to go into the promised land. The fulfillment of these promises was based upon whether or not they were willing to love and serve Him with their WHOLE HEART.
Our hearts must be fixed upon God!
Today, above all else, God wants our WHOLE heart. He wants our hearts to be FIXED solely upon Him because if He has full possession of our whole heart, He will have ALL of us. Our thoughts, our desires, our possessions, our will, our motives, will be FIXED upon Him and we will walk in obedience to Him and fulfill His work.
This is what God is desiring from us more than anything else. He doesn’t want burnt offerings and sacrifices. He wants us to love Him with our whole heart, with all our souls, mind and strength.
Your heart must be FIXED upon God with a determined “Fixed” HEART… “ESTABLISHED, prepared…set.”purpose to do His will!
To guard your heart, the first thing you must do is to FIX your heart upon God. You must love and serve Him with your WHOLE heart.
This is the basis and foundation upon which our entire relationship with God must be based. Our worship and all our works, our ministry for God, all must come from our hearts that have been fixed upon God.
The word “fixed” is translated from the Hebrew word, “kuwn” which means “establish, fix, prepare, set.”
Only when our hearts have been fixed upon Him will we not be moved during times of trouble.
A heart that is fixed upon God is steadfast. It is a heart that is continually focused upon God.
It is a heart that is set to seek after God with a FIXED PURPOSE to do His will. Ezra’s heart was FIXED upon seeking after God and doing His will. “For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the law of the Lord (to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it), and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances (Ezra 7:10 TAB).
David said, “My heart is fixed, 0 God; my heart is steadfast and confident” (Psalm 57:7, TAB). His heart is fixed…set with determined purpose…to seek after God with his whole heart. He said, “Blessed, happy, fortunate (to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2, TAB).
He said, “My heart is set on keeping your decrees…” (Psalm 119:112, NIV).
King Josiah made a covenant with God and fixed his heart to serve God and keep His commandments with all his heart and soul:
And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
ll Chronicles 34:31
When our hearts are fixed upon God, our hearts will be strong and fearless because our trust and confidence is in God.
David said concerning those who are righteous before God:
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord. His heart is established and steady, he will not be afraid while he waits to see his desire upon his adversaries.
Psalm 112:7-8, TAB
God wants to be the greatest
desire of your heart!
The one thing God desires of us, above all else, is our love. Our relationship with Him…our worship…our works…our actions… must all be based upon our love for Him. In claiming our whole hearts, He wants us to make Him our greatest desire, above everything else.
The Psalmist Asaph cried out to God,
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26, NIV
In his heart, David longed for and cried out after God.
0 God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Are you trying to serve God with a DIVIDED HEART?
Spiritual Heart Disease: A DIVIDED HEART
We cannot serve God with a divided heart. Look at the illustration on this page. It is impossible to love God and love the world and its pleasures. John wrote, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Our hearts cannot be filled with a love and desire for the things of the world and a love for God. They are contrary to one another. If you love God with your whole heart there will not be any room left for a love for the world. If you love the world and the things of this world, there will be no room in your heart for God and His Word.
The same is true concerning money and the riches of this world. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught the people not to lay up “treasures” upon this earth. A “treasure is something precious, valuable, which we place great value upon. Our heart will follow the treasure.
Do not gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal; But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:19-21, TAB
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (that is, deceitful riches, money, possessions or what is trusted in).
Matthew 6:24, TAB
What is your treasure? Is it your family…your career…your ministry? Is it based upon the things of this world or upon God and the things of the kingdom of God? What is the one thing dearest to you? That is where your treasure is.
The type of love God wants from us is not something that is superficial or based solely upon an emotional feeling. It is not enough to simply say we love God. The true test and manifestation of our love for God is in walking in obedience to Him.
John wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments…” (1 John 5:3) Jesus told His disciples “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings…” (John 14:23-24).
When we have made Christ the focus of the desires of our heart, and love Him with an undivided heart, we will take pleasure in obeying His Word and acting in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
When our hearts are firmly fixed, our faith and trust is focused upon God, not upon our own abilities, and there is NO FEAR!
DO YOU LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR
HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH?
When our hearts are fixed upon God and we love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, God will do for us what He promised the people of Israel!
He will make us STRONG AND MIGHTY PEOPLE in this endtime hour! By His Spirit within us He will enable us to push back the forces of darkness in the nations of the world.
We will take possession of the
land! We will not fear the enemy but will tear down his strongholds and take possession of all God has promised us in every are of our lives.
We will be invincible! As our hearts are strengthened, we will face every obstacle and the very forces of hell, fearlessly, KNOWING God will make us victorious.
God wants you to have a fresh heart-to-heart encounter with Him. Above everything else in your life, do you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?
Is your heart fixed upon Him and doing His will?
Or, have you allowed other things to enter your heart that has caused your heart to turn away from Him?
If you need to get rid of some things in your heart that have taken first place above your love for God and have hindered you from serving Him with your whole heart, do it now!
To guard your heart against the enemy, your heart must be fixed…to love, serve and obey God with your whole heart.
YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD WITH A
In spite of God’s warnings and pleadings with the children of Israel, they failed to seek and follow after Him and obey His commands. Their heart was divided, and they began to seek after and worship idol gods.
God had warned them to guard their hearts against deception that would turn their hearts away from Him.
He told them:
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and be shut up in heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
Many Christians today are trying to serve God with a DIVIDED HEART. They have erected idols in their hearts. They have allowed a love for the world, worldly pleasures, a desire for worldly possessions, success, career, family, crowd out their love for God.
Moses had warned them to guard their hearts against PRIDE that would cause them to forget God and His provision for them.
Moses told the children of Israel:
Deception…pride…discouragement and unbelief are spiritual heart diseases…guard your heart against them!
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day. Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied… Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the mighty hand hath gotten me this wealth.
Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17
Deception and pride are two more of the deadly SPIRITUAL HEART DISEASES that will attack and weaken your heart and can lead you to destruction if you fail to guard yourself against them.
Moses warned the people against the danger of allowing pride to rise up within their hearts after they had entered into the promised land and were enjoying the abundance He had promised them. He warned them not to forget God and become puffed up with pride thinking it was through their own efforts they had acquired their wealth.
Pride is one of the most deadly spiritual diseases that will cut off the life flow of the Spirit in our lives and bring destruction upon ourselves. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5). “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, TAB). I will be sharing more with you next week concerning this spiritual heart disease and how to guard yourself against it.
In spite of the warnings they received, the children of Israel’s hearts became hardened. Time after time they refused to listen and obey God. They closed their ears to the voice of God. They turned their hearts away from Him and turned to idol gods.
GUARD YOUR HEART AGAINST
DISCOURAGEMENT AND UNBELIEF!
At Kadesh-barnea, where God told them to go and take possession of the land He had promised them, the spies came back with an evil report and the hearts of the people were DISCOURAGED. Their hearts were overwhelmed with fear and unbelief and they rebelled against God. As a result, none of that generation except Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land.
For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
When the children of Israel heard the evil report concerning the land, they said, “Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there” (Deuteronomy 1:28).
God had promised to drive out all their enemies before them and give them the land. But they allowed their hearts to become discouraged and overwhelmed with fear.
The children of Israel failed to guard their hearts against fear, discouragement and unbelief and refused to obey God. As a result of their unbelief, they did not enter the promised land but died in the wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb who followed after God with their WHOLE heart entered the promised land.
God told Moses:
Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.
Numbers 32:11-12, NI V
Think about it. Only two men out of the entire generation of approximately two and one half million people who were supernaturally delivered out of Egyptian bondage were able to take possession of the promised land.
Moses, the great servant of God, who talked face to face with God, and through whom God had worked many great and awesome miracles, was not allowed to enter the promised land. After they had wandered in the wilderness for forty years and were preparing to cross over Jordan into the promised land, God told Moses that he would not be able to enter the land.
God told Moses the reason why:
Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel
Joshua and Caleb took possession of the land because they had fixed their hearts and had followed after God with their whole heart. The people whose hearts were not fixed became discouraged and fainthearted.
Because their heart was not fixed upon God and keeping His commandments, they forfeited their inheritance.
GOD WANTS FULL POSSESSION OF
The most important key to having a heart that is strong…fixed…clean…pure and perfect toward God is to love and serve God with your WHOLE heart. He must have all of you!
God wants full possession of your heart. He doesn’t want it to be divided. He wants you to place Him above everything else that you have…above your desires…above your own life! He wants you to serve Him wholeheartedly…unreservedly… holding nothing back from Him. He wants you to lose your life for His sake.
This is the first step you must take if you are going to guard your heart against sin and spiritual heart disease that will lead you away from God and eventually lead to destruction.
There is nothing more important! If God has full control of your heart, He will have full control of your entire life…every part of you…your mind…your will…your desires… your emotions…your thoughts…your intentions…everything!
When your heart is FIXED upon God and you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…
when your heart is FIXED to serve Him with a perfect heart…one that is fully surrendered to Him
when your heart is FIXED upon His Word and you are determined to do His
Your heart will be STRONG…HEALTHY… STEADFAST…FEARLESS…IMMOVABLE!
Say aloud: GOD WANTS ME TO HAVE A HEART THAT IS STRONG…FIXED… CLEAN…PURE…AND PERFECT TOWARD HIM! THROUGH HIS SPIRIT WITHIN ME I CAN FORTIFY AND STRENGTHEN MY
Ask God to SENSITIZE your heart to the Holy Spirit!.
HEART AND SATAN WILL BE UNABLE TO TOUCH ME!
Remember: God is searching…looking, and is ready to manifest His power in the lives of those whose hearts are PERFECT toward Him.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him…
ll Chronicles 16:9
What is the condition of your heart?
Is it clean and pure in His eyes?
Or, has sin and spiritual heart disease entered?
Are you serving God with your whole heart…one that is given unreservedly to Him?
Is your heart fixed to know God…to seek after Him continually…to do His will?
Turn now to page 44 to the Spiritual Heart Check-up. Take time before you put this lesson down to humble yourself before God and allow Him to search your heart and reveal any areas where there may be sin and spiritual disease.
Man’s natural heart is deceitful and it is impossible for him to know what is in his own heart. God’s Word says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every many according to his ways…” (Jeremiah 17:9). “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits — the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Proverbs 16:2, TAB).
Our hearts are an open book, read by God Himself. He alone knows the depths of our hearts. He searches and tries us to reveal what is really in our hearts. “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). “…for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts…” (I Chronicles 28:9).
Only through the Holy Spirit God has placed within our hearts can we see the sin and spiritual disease which may be hidden in our hearts. That is why we must have our hearts SENSITIZED to the Holy Spirit so that God can reveal any sin and the things that are displeasing in His eyes, so that we can be cleansed and our hearts strengthened.
God wants us, as His children, to be like David, a man or woman “after God’s own heart.” He wants us to have His heart…to see as He sees…to think…to know…to feel what He feels so that we can do what He would do.
He wants His Word and commandments to be written in our hearts…not just in our minds…so that we will serve and obey Him from our hearts.
God is calling us to FORTIFY AND STRENGTHEN our hearts. We must come before Him with a broken and contrite heart…one that is humble…tender and pliable in His hands. Our hearts must be fully given up and surrendered to God not only that He may reveal any sin, forgive and free us from the burden and guilt of it, cleanse us, but also renew a right spirit within us, revive and strengthen our hearts.
God has said:
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
I have only scratched the surface of this revelation God has given me for the Body of Christ on How to Win the Battle For Your Heart. Next month I will take you even deeper into this revelation. We will continue this heart-to-heart encounter with God. God wants to reveal His heart to you so that you will KNOW HIS HEART.
I will also be going more in depth to uncover more steps you must take to guard your heart against Satan’s attacks and spiritual heart disease. I will reveal major strategies Satan uses today to attack our hearts and turn us away from God.
As we continue this heart-to-heart encounter with God, make this the cry of your heart:
Search me, 0 God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
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