Your heart is the subject of many conversations, articles, letters, studies but what does the Bible say about your heart? We talk about our physical heart and its health. We talk about the ‘heart of the matter’ and we talk about our heart being broken or hard. The heart is a subject talked about thousands of times in the Bible along with what it means to have a hard, pure, clean, new, deceitful, or broken, heart.
When we look at what the Word has to say about our heart, we find that, among other things, it is to be guarded and that we have responsibility in regard to maintaining its condition. There are so many scriptures on the heart that there’s no way to examine all of them here. We will look at some of the most well-known and be introduced to a study in which we can cleanse and purify our own hearts to be those who, like David, pursue God’s own heart.
What does the bible mean when it refers to your heart?
Psalm 51:10 NKJV, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
In Psalm 51, the literal meaning of the word “heart” is – “1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding 1a) inner part, midst 1a1) midst (of things) 1a2) heart (of man) 1a3) soul, heart (of man) 1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory 1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will) 1a6) conscience 1a7) heart (of moral character) 1a8) as seat of appetites 1a9) as seat of emotions and passions 1a10) as seat of courage” BibleHub.com
It is the deepest part of us, the compilation of all we are and there are over 1,000 references to it in the Bible. It reasons and feels and has a moral condition. It plans and has intentions. It is also the seat of our conscience. The heart understands, discerns, gives insight, and wisdom can enter into it. It can also be deceitfully wicked. The heart thinks ( Matt 9:4 ; Mark 2:8 ), remembers, reflects, and meditates ( Psalm 77:5-6 ; Luke 2:19 ). Our heart is meant to seek God and be set on the things above.
BibleStudyTools.com. The Heart’s Emotional Functions. The Lord, who knows our hearts ( Luke 16:15 ), experiences its full range of emotions: for example, its joy ( Deut 28:47 ; 1 Sam 2:1 ; Prov 15:15 ) and its sorrow ( 1 Sam 1:8 ); its raging ( 2 Kings 6:11 ) and its peace ( Col 3:15 ); its feeling troubled ( John 14:1 ) and its rejoicing ( 1 Sam 2:1 ; Psalm 104:15 ); its love ( Rom 5:5 ; 1 Peter 1:22 ) and its selfish ambition ( James 3:14 ); its modes of doubts ( Mark 11:23 ) and of fear ( Gen 42:28 ) and its mode of trusting ( Prov 3:5 ); when it rises up in repulsive pride ( Deut 8:14 ) or, as in the case of Jesus, is lowly and humble ( Matt 11:29 ); and when one loses heart ( Heb 12:3 ) or takes heart ( John 16:33 ).
The emotional state of the heart affects the rest of a person: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit” ( Prov 15:13 ); “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” ( 17:22 ).
The heart also wishes, desires. The father warns his son against coveting the adulteress’s beauty ( Prov 6:25 ) and against envying sinners in his heart ( Prov 23:17 ). Above all else the heart of a saint seeks God ( Psalms 119:2 Psalms 119:10 ). Believers set it on things above ( Col 3:1 ). This is effected, says Jesus, by putting your treasures in heaven, for “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” ( Matt 6:21 ). If we look for God with all our heart, Moses promises we will find him ( Deut 4:28-29 ).
What does the Bible say about your heart? Hopefully, these Scriptures give you some insight as to the Biblical importance of the heart and helps you see the importance of your heart and maintaining it in a Godly manner.
What is the difference between heart and soul?
The first and greatest commandment says this, “You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.” Clearly, those are three separate things. In addition, we have a body, soul, and spirit. The spirit and flesh, or body, can be at war with one another, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:17 NKJV
The Spirit cannot be seen but its effect on us is visible. The flesh, on the other hand, is very visible. Bible Discovery gives this definition of spirit – “The words ruach and neshamah (Hebrew) and pneuma (Greek) all mean “breath, wind, or spirit”. From what I understand thus far, the spirit can be viewed as a blanket term for immaterial, incorporeal or spiritual stuff in general, from mental and moral attributes (Galatians 5:22-23, 6:1; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 3:4) to its own kind of substance, from an individual person to a non-physical being (John 4:24; Luke 24:39). For instance, the Hebrew word elohim refers to spiritual beings in general from God, angels, and demons to the disembodied dead (1 Samuel 28:13); God is referred to as the Elohim of elohims (Psalm 82:1).“
But what is your soul? The soul – Nephesh in Hebrew and Psyche in Greek – means your very life. Nephesh is that invisible and eternal force which determines whether you are considered to be alive or dead. There is debate amongst Christians as to whether or not the soul is eternal. I would suggest that you do some research since this subject is too broad to be addressed here. For the purpose of this study, the definition above suffices to show us that there are clear differences between body, soul, and spirit.
What is the Difference Between Heart and Mind?
The heart controls our emotions, desires, hopes, and dreams. The mind is our intellect, reasoning, and thoughts. For Christians, both must be under the control of the Holy Spirit and given completely to God.
Why is the Heart So Important to God?
As we’ve just observed, the heart is the deepest part of us and so, it’s important to God and to us. Our physical heart is what keeps us alive. If it stops, we stop. It is the same spiritually. The spiritual condition of our heart brings life or death in our relationship to God.
Does God Want Our WHole Heart?
Here are a few scriptures demonstrating God’s desire for us to give Him our whole heart:
- Jeremiah 24:7 HCSB, “I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am Yahweh. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.”
- Matthew 22:37 HCSB, “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.“
- Psalm 119:10 HCSB, “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
God also wants us to have a whole heart. This means – undivided. We are not trying to serve God and the world, or God and wealth. Our heart is entirely given to one thing – God.
- Psalm 86:11 NIV, “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
- Hosea 10:2 NIV, “Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones.”
The word used for ‘deceitful’ is חָלַק, ḥālaq (pronunced “Ha ‒ Lack”) which means – divided. They were pretending to worship God, yet worshipping idols at the same time and God was letting them know that they had not fooled Him. He sees our hearts!
What is A Clean Heart?
In Psalm 51, after David had sinned with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed in battle, he records his prayer of repentance, cleansing, and asking for restoration. He says in verse 20, NIV, “Create in me a clean heart, God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” The word clean means pure – morally, ethically, physically clean and pure. He asks God to do this for him – create in me.
David’s heart had been defiled by his own actions and He needed a new, pure heart so He asks God and receives. A clean heart is one that has no secrets or shame when standing before God. A pure heart is the same as a clean heart.
How Do You Keep A Clean Heart?
David gives us the example. If you sin, you immediately repent and ask God for restoration. David needed moral cleansing and a new heart. He asked that his spirit be renewed.
We also have an obligation to cleanse and purify our own hearts.
- James 4:8 NASB, “Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
- 1 John 3:2-3 NASB, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope set on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.“
We have personal responsibility to maintain purity in our lives, bodies, hearts, and minds – in every part of our being. God can give a new heart as He did with David but we are also accountable for our own lives. If God has our whole heart, then we must strive to maintain a Godly, pure, and open life.
We all sin and fall short, but we must also be quick to repent and change whatever thoughts, intentions, secret desires, or lusts that led us into sin.
How Do I Guard My Heart?
Proverbs 4:23, NIV, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
This is the instruction from the Word to guard our hearts but, how do you do that?
First, you crucify your flesh daily as Paul did. This means that you crucify the desires of the flesh. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life are not of God 1 John 2:16
- Colossians 3:5 NIV, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.“
- Galatians 5:16 NIV, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.“
- Psalm 119:11 NIV, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
- Romans 7:24-25 TPT, “What an agonizing situation I am in! So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death? I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! So if left to myself, the flesh is aligned with the law of sin, but now my renewed mind is fixed on and submitted to God’s righteous principles.“
We walk by the Spirit, hide the Word of God in our hearts, fix our minds on Christ, and look to Him as our salvation and hope. There many other steps of action you can take to guard your heart and you will find them in the study offered below.
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Matthew 5:8 says, “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” If you’ve ever wondered why it would be a good idea to keep your heart pure, here is one great reason. But, why else should you keep your heart pure?“
Psalm 24:3-4 Voice, “Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal? Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces? Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure,
men and women who are not given to lies or deception.” The pure in heart can dwell with God.
James 4:8 Voice, “Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.” God will draw near to you.
Titus 2:14 Voice, “ He gave His body for our sakes and will not only break us free from the chains of wickedness, but He will also prepare a community uncorrupted by the world that He would call His own—people who are passionate about doing the right thing.” You can be free from the chains of sin and part of a community of those who are passionate about doing the right thing.
What we see, is that the condition of our heart directly effects the measure of God we have within us and have access to. We are responsible to maintain the condition of our heart and our lives. God helps us through the Holy Spirit and gives everything we need to live lives pleasing to Him.
I go to the Doctor once a year for my annual checkup. Usually, everything is fine, but on occasion the Doctor finds something wrong that needs to be fixed. I’ve had cancer that was found through a routine test.
Checkups are important in the natural and the Spiritual. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to check up on the condition of your heart, the thoughts in your mind, the attitude of your flesh, your prayer life, your habits in the Word of God, and much more.
We need to do heart checkups in order to maintain pure hearts after God. To be a person after God’s own heart, as David was, we need to do some honest evaluations of our condition, which David also did.
This is part of the process of guarding our hearts and ensuring that nothing has crept into our lives allowing a spiritual cancer to grow inside us. As we do this, our hearts are ready to receive more and more of the presence, holiness, love, and peace of God.
A Heart After God’s Own Heart is a 14-day course to do exactly that. It will give you tools to evaluate your heart’s condition and make the necessary changes. Even if you think you’re fine, this course will help you enter into a deeper relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You’ll see what the Bible says about your heart as well as how to maintain a pure heart before God.
You’ll find an introduction explaining the process. Each chapter covers 2 days. On the first day, you read and pray and on the second day you complete the Positive Personal Inventory. It is a 14-day course but you can take as long as you need to as you work through the seven chapters which cover the following subjects:
- What is the Condition of Your Heart?
- A New and Clean Heart and Mind
- God Looks at the Heart
- What Do You Treasure?
- A Broken and Humble Heart
- What is Your Heart Reflecting?
- Never Lose Heart (Hope)
Throughout the 76 pages, you will find links to resources to help you and prompts to help you as you work through each Chapter. You can obtain it by clicking on the Picture Below. Here is a free sneak peek of the Summary pages which show you the wonderful growth you can experience with this study. These 3 pages summarize the positive, personal work done in this study.
Click on the image below to purchase A Heart After God’s Own Heart for only $6.00.
I know that this study will be a great benefit to you and I thank you for reading and pray that you are helped and challenged to Grow in the Word.
You might also enjoy reading – How to Have A Heart After God
*SYBN uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one please visit this page – Scripture Citations.