Another advantage to spending time with the Lord is having a clean heart so that we can reach the full potential for the work He has for us to do. I mentioned last week that I’ve been suffering a deep depression the last few months. My mind is beginning to get out of the fog. For me I had a payoff from that yesterday. I stopped on my home from the store to talk with a woman I’ve seen parked on that very spot for the last week to talk with her. (She was there with her mother-in-law and her two young boys trying to sell items from her home.) I talked with her about what is going on with her family, asked her if she had a personal relationship with Jesus (she does), and then prayed with her for her husband’s healing (the reason they are in financial dire straits). Please join me in praying for Mario’s healing and for the peace and comfort for his family. The Lord gives us many opportunities to be His feet and hands if we will only recognized them, and obediently walk in the steps He provides.
Reaching our full potential begins with a clean heart—one that loves the Lord and desires to obey Him. However, each of us was born with a nature bent away from God. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as deceitful and inclined towards wickedness. Pleasing self is man’s normal state.
Salvation changed our hearts and lives. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and broke its power over us. By receiving Christ as Savior, we each became a new creation—with a heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and a mind that strongly desires to know the Father better. We also received the Spirit’s power to deny our selfish desires and obey God. With clean hearts, we can begin to realize the capabilities our loving Lord has given us.
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11)
The best way to maintain a clean heart is by meditating on Scripture. It acts like a mirror in which we see ourselves as God does. Through it, we discover the areas where we have been faithful and also the places where we’ve veered from His path. Expressing genuine repentance brings God’s forgiveness and cleansing. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
The heart represents the seat of our mind, will, and emotions. When we strive to keep it pure, we will more easily discern the Lord’s plan, submit our will to His, and follow Him obediently.
Becoming the person God planned for each of us to be requires an intimate relationship with Him and a desire to obey His Word. Apart from Jesus, we can’t achieve anything of lasting value (John 15:5). Cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s transforming work will help us keep our hearts clean.