Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? When we do anything there is good heart and a bad heart. I see someone doing a wrongful thing and then hear someone say "But he has a good heart!" If he has a good heart, why the bad act? It is confusing at times, and actions do speak louder than words. Jesus spoke in Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. So, there can a good heart, and a bad heart. The heart is a wonderful place for God to do His work. God will restore a bad heart and make it good, even when that heart seems so dark and evil. But what happens after the restoration? The changed heart can begin to assume it just stays good, but that is when our lack of drawing near to God will begin to show. That person will begin to think they are the coveted one, the chosen one, and that humble heart that was restored by the grace of God begins to believe in ITSELF and then the fall. That person's interests change and they have a worldly confidence in themselves and not the Lord. What they treasure begins to show in their walk and the slide begins. In Christian life we call it BACKSLIDING. Sliding back into the worldly way of thinking and living and still trying to hold up the appearance of being holy. But not holy at all. Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:21 where He said "21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Instead of being led by the heart that God restored the drifting person begins to follow their own wants and tries to make them look Godly. This won't work, because it is all about them and not about Jesus. Then their immaturity in the faith begins to show and they have to do anything they can to keep up the image that people thought was so Godly. If they come back to God they will see that God will change their lifestyle, their reason for living, and their attitude in living that life. I had a friend who, when He led people to saving faith in Jesus he would make sure everyone knew that he was "the one" who was involved and thus get his earthly rewards. I always thought it was rather conceited, and not about spiritual matters. This must not happen at any level. Everything that happens in life-change has to be generated by the Holy Spirit, and Him alone. Putting ourselves in the mix lessens the effectiveness of the whole thing, plus we are feeding a pride monster that has allowed that pride to enter into the realm that only God can work in. The realm of salvation and new life.
Our hearts must be what the Bible calls "in Christ." When that happens our hearts are changed and the following scripture applies 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. J. Stowell wrote. Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. 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," and "the center of a person. The place to which God turns."
Let me summarize. Jesus in control of our life equals "good heart." Us in control of our life equals "bad heart."
The Pilgrimage Continues.....