"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Over the summer, I went through a "dry time" in my relationship with the Lord and this ultimately caused me to cry out to Him and ask Him to change my heart. Some ungodly thoughts and attitudes had entered in and I knew I needed a "heart transplant." Over the last couple of months as I've continued to ask the Lord to change my heart, He has continually shown me just exactly what is in my heart that needs to be changed. I needed to see these thoughts and attitudes the way God saw them in order to repent and allow the Lord to change me.
Last Friday, a minor thing happened and my response was not at all what I thought it would be. As I saw it for what it was, the Lord spoke the above scripture from Jeremiah to my heart. I realized that my heart had deceived me into thinking I would respond to this situation, but when it actually happened, I reacted. The heart - my heart is deceitful above all things and the first person it deceives is me! When my eyes are closed to see what is really in my heart, I am deceived and then that leads me to deceive others. I don't know my heart and can't know my heart unless the Lord first reveals it to me.
The good news is: as soon as I had reacted, I did see it. The Lord was faithful to reveal my heart to me and I could repent and again repeat the prayer - "Lord, change my heart." It is hard sometimes to continue to say this prayer, because I know God will continue to reveal the wrong attitudes and sinful nature of my heart and I need to be continually prepared to allow Him to do that. As much as it sometimes hurts, it is good! God is at work within me and I know that my heart will be changed - by Him. I can't change my own heart - only God can. But the good news is - He can and He will when I cry out in earnest to Him.
"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water:
he turneth it whithersoever he will."
If He can change the heart of the king, surely He can change mine!
I saw Billy Graham's birthday special last week and something he said really stayed with me. I can't quote him exactly, but the gist of what he said was - he wasn't worried about the atomic bomb or any other kind of weapon that could be used in our world, but what did worry him was the heart behind the weapon! Isn't that the truth?
Because the weapon is only as dangerous as the heart using it!
How true that is even for us in our daily walk. Our thoughts and attitudes become weapons that our hearts use against other people! And we deceive ourselves when we think they don't matter - the attitudes or the people!
I am so thankful today that God loves me enough to correct me, to chastise me when I need it. And He gives me hope because I know I don't have to be stuck in these attitudes - He gives me a way out. He will change my heart as I continue to seek Him.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."