Throughout scripture repeatedly we are told to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Loving the Lord with all your heart often leads us to think of the seat of our emotions, passions, and drive.
Loving God with our heart can include emotional responses that lead our thoughts, actions, and words. We often think of it as the feelings when we refer to God moving or the Spirit doing something. We love God with our heart when we feel love, live in a way that demonstrates love, and speak words that show our love.
Loving God with our heart is often seen as our passionate desire to follow him, be like him, believe in him, and live in obedience to him. It is important though to have a very clear understanding of what God’s word says about the heart because our heart before coming into right relationship with God is said to be deceitful, wicked, and evil. Even after we become Christians we are tempted by our flesh and the enemy to fall into sin which again causes our heart to become unrighteous before God. This is why Solomon tells us in Proverbs 4 to guard our heart since it is the wellspring of life.
To love God with all our heart has to start with our belief in and relationship with God. Unless we believe in God, commit our lives to him, move away from our sin, and live in obedience to God our hearts are corrupt. When our heart is corrupt we will not live in obedience to God, and our tongue will speak unrighteous things. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34b) Our heart is the center of our being and the condition of our heart is a representation of our relationship with God. We need God to change our hearts, to soften them and bring them into submission and obedience. We can’t do that all on our own due to our sin, but as we turn to God and seek him will all of our heart he will take that heart and change it. He will draw us to him and move us to repentance so we move away from our sin.
We need to submit our heart to God and have him change it so it is fully his. Our desires, passions, and words must come from God is we are to truly live in obedience and submission to him. As we surrender to him and allow him to live and be through us we are filled with his spirit. Is your theology (belief system) working, or do you need to reset your heart to match what God’s word says? Here is some of what he says about the heart!
- The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5)
- He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman (Psalm 15:2-3)
- The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (Psalm 19:8)
- Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
- The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
- So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. (Psalm 81:12)
- Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. (Psalm 101:4)
- I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. (Psalm 119:10)
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3:5)
- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
- Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. (Proverbs 23:19)
- The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. (Isaiah 29:13)
- Jeremiah 17:5
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
- The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
- I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19)
- But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ (Matthew 15:18)