In Part 1, we looked at how easy it is for us to see the outside of a person, but how tricky it can be to see the inside. We find it easier to guess (aka, “judge”) what’s on the inside of others than to thoughtfully examine our own hearts. But examining our hearts is an important process of deep, spiritual growth.
Let’s use the three elements we mentioned (location, mechanism, and intention) over the next few days to not only become a student of the heart, but to bring about the most profound change of all: a change of heart.
Let’s get started!
It’s easy to think of location as a physical spot on the map. Unfortunately for the heart, it’s also easy to blame the condition of our heart on our physical location. For example, how often have you thought that if you could only get out of this town… this job… this relationship… that you could be a better person?
However, in my experience, physical location, or even physical circumstances have little to do with the condition of our hearts. We simply use those circumstances and places as an excuse. As a Jesus follower, I believe the core of our problem with location has more to do with how close our hearts are to God.
Jesus, in one of his many exchanges with the Pharisees, points out one of the major problems he sees in the Pharisee’s view of worship;
“Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” (Mark 7:6–7 NLT)
The prime source of the problem began in the Pharisees hearts. And as negative as this passage sounds, it also gives us a clue as to true worship that God desires: worship with a heart that is close to God.
Location… location… location!
Ironically, the Pharisees’ problem is that their mechanism (worship) has actually taken their hearts farther away from God (location)! So, what’s a better mechanism?
Stay tuned for Part 3!
– What are the things that keep your heart far from God?
– How do you think we can get our hearts closer to God? (Think of a time when your heart was closest to God. What contributed to that closeness? Is that something you can repeat? Why or why not?)
– Think of a person you know whose heart is close to God. Make a time to sit down and ask them how they stay close to God!