People are constantly desiring and wanting change. It’s the universal cry of virtually every one of us. You may hear your friends or acquaintances say they want to change this or that behavior, maybe a bad attitude that they’ve developed, or some characteristic action they find undesirable. But the change everyone seems to want so desperately never takes place, or at least long term. Why not? The reason that it does not work for most is because change is really all about the heart. A person’s heart needs changing before real, or permanent change can take place in the physical. Try all you want, but you’ll come up empty handed every time, or at least until your heart has been changed.
Write this down. . .
Actions always follow the things, or conditions, of the heart of men. Man thinks he’s in control of himself and his actions (that is his flesh nature), doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants. The truth tells quite a different story. Be patient and watch. In a very short time you’ll discover exactly what this person may not want the world to know – the real them. His or her heart always gives them away, good or bad, revealing exactly who and what they are.
We use many ways to hide what’s inside, in as much as the limits of the human will power will allow, but these changes are never long term, or permanent. The conditions of the hearts of men cannot be easily changed simply by their thoughts and desires.
Man, in his greatest effort cannot do the changing for himself! The conditions of the heart are therefore a spiritual issue and not fleshly as men would suppose or even like. The nature of mankind is to think more highly of themselves than they ought, believing that they’re in complete control.
What you say that you want and what you actually do reveals whether or not your heart is changed. No one can act differently from what‘s inside of their heart. It simply is not possible.
This is one of the major reasons for mental health problems in our world today. Medication, therapy sessions, psychological counseling cannot resolve the problems that are within your heart.
Medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and variety of other counselors and therapists, with all their wisdom and knowledge of modern human thinking and medical technology, have tried for decades and even centuries to solve mankind’s problems. But peace and comfort never come to those who only want to deal with their actions rather than dealing with the condition of their hearts. And man is perplexed. No wonder!
The heart of the spirit man is never changed by human means, or understanding. In fact, scripture tells us that spiritual matters are foolishness to the unbeliever. When was the last time any of these ‘professional’s ever directed a person to seek the Lord for the conditions of their heart? Even the ‘Christian psychologists’ attempt those things which are God’s alone to do. In fact they greatly hinder or thwart the work of God in the lives of countless individuals, thinking that their humanness is somehow equal to the works of Almighty God. They don’t get it either.
Listen to the Lord as he speaks to you in these verses. . .
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? 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.
So the question is simple. Why is Jesus Christ able to minister to all groups and classes of people? Jesus never deals with their human actions, behavior or attitudes. He
only deals with the matters of their heart.
The reason that Jesus could effectively deal with the prostitute, the tax collector, the thief, leper and religious leaders is because their hearts are all the same. Scripture tells us that our hearts are evil.
The only difference between them is that the prostitute and the thief knew that their hearts were evil. Christ confronted their condition with truth. The message of life (truth) convicting them of their condition. Humbling themselves, they admitted that they did indeed have an evil heart and needed deliverance from it. Truth always brings healing and deliverance to the humble; those willing to be transformed by it. Newness of life always results.
The Pharisees of old and even religious people of today will hardly ever humble themselves and admit the condition of their evil hearts. Self righteousness is very destructive to the lives of people who claim to love God, but whose hearts are far from him. They are not in oneness with God, nor can they be until their heart condition is allowed to be changed.
A thing to ponder. . .
The actions of the Pharisee or the religious person seem to us to be much better than those of the prostitute, the thief, or the adulterer. But Christ does not see as men see. In his eyes, they all have the same deplorable heart condition.
Man might argue that there is a vast distinction between the two. To them, a religious person looks good, so they must be good. Outward appearance to these people is the ultimate test of goodness or holiness. While man looks on the stature and actions of a person, God does not. This next scripture proves the point.
1 Sam 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The people that can most easily be touched by God, to bring them to saving grace, is the person who is not trying to be something that is not in their heart. This person does not wear a mask or have a false display of righteousness. They understand that they are not ok, but need help from God to resolve the issues confronting them.
This is a person whom God does not have to go through layers of hypocrisy and lies to deal with a heart that will not humble itself.
Have you ever looked at the word hypocrisy? It means to wear a mask, have a pretense, or a falseness to something which isn’t true. A hypocrite is a person who’s trying to portray one thing through their actions, but their heart is quite different. The heart of a man is ultimately revealed.
The key to character, integrity and honesty is to get your actions and your heart to agree so that they are in one mind and one accord. This person can be touched by God
Check out this excellent scriptural illustration. . .
2 Chr 12:13-14
So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess.
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
How do you argue with this? Here’s a ruler who prepared not his heart and missed out on the best that God had for him.
Have you ever wondered why is it that the friends and relatives that we’ve witnessed being lead to the Lord; people who came to an altar of prayer, desiring and seeking a change in their lives from God, ultimately turn away and no longer follow after the Lord? It’s like King Rehoboam – Because he (they) prepared not his (their) heart to seek the lord.
What does it mean, ‘because he prepared not his heart?’
Anyone who has ever done bad or evil things never intended to do what they did. It just seems to have happened!
Examples you can easily identify with. . .
1) People who get married never intend to get a divorce on their wedding day.
2) People who take that first drink of alcohol or smoke that first joint never intended to become hooked on drugs.
3) People who bought their first pack of cigarettes never intended to become addicted to smoking.
4) Teenagers who submitted to that first kiss never ever intended to have a baby out of wedlock.
5) The individual who submitted to anger never intended to be hurtful and cruel.
The list goes on and on and on.
No one ever intends to do evil. The reason that we do is because we’ve not prepared our heart to seek the Lord.
A warning to all believers. . .
When you don’t make preparations to seek the Lord, it’s because our minds are not on the spiritual condition of our hearts, but on the things which please the flesh or carnal man. In time, if we’re not diligent, we too will reject Christ in favor of the lust of the flesh.
Before I close, let me to ask you one more question. And it’s a big one. Did Rehaboam ever follow after the Lord?
2 Chr 11:16-17
And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.
So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.
For three years Rehoboam walked in the way of David and Solomon, seeking the face of the Lord.
So who was this ruler – REHOBOAM?
He was the grandson of King David; the son of Solomon.
You see, at one time Rehoboam had a sensitive heart towards God and followed diligently after him. But it all changed.
I wonder how many have this same testimony.
1) At one time I was on fire for the Lord, desiring and loving him above all else.
2) At one time I sought the face of the Lord constantly.
3) At one time my family worshipped and praised God together.
4) At one time my life was in complete harmony with the God of my salvation.
At one time. . .
At one time. . .
How tragic to not prepare our hearts to seek the Lord and then miss out on all the benefits he desires to bestow on his children.
What most people don’t understand, especially children of God, is that it is a natural human tendency for your heart to grow distant and hardened towards the Lord. It’s a natural thing because of the curse of sin and the influences of a sinful society. It’s more unnatural to seek the Lord than it is to live sinful lives. Just look around you!
It takes effort to remain sensitive to the Lord, and to be sensitive towards other people. It takes effort to keep your heart from becoming hardened. But it can be done!
Rehobaom had a sensitive heart towards God, but because he did not take the effort to prepare his heart he did evil and forsook the Lord.
Closing thought. . .
When you prepare your heart, you’ll never have to be concerned about your actions.
Like the title says, “YOU CAN’T BE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT IN YOUR HEART”