Wednesday, May 22, 2019
18. Growing in Prayer – The Learning Tree – (2) The Heart Is Deceitful
“The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” --Jeremiah 17:9
We continue with our discussion of the heart. Last week we discussed the morally good heart. This week we venture into the deceitful heart. First, we must understand “deceit”. Deceit is when we take action or practice deceiving those around us by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. Many folks even deceive themselves so well they can be convincing to others their own beliefs and actions of the heart.
I use as an example collateral damage. When others do to you that brings harm, the one harmed reacts to the hurt. A deceived heart begins to justify their actions to harm the one that did the collateral damage. The true heart takes responsibility regardless of circumstances for their own actions and turns to Jesus for their hurt (Philippians 4:13).
There are many scriptures defining the heart. As we mentioned last week the heart is the whole person, thinking, acting, remembering, feeling; all our human activity. God works within the heart; we may have a tender, soft heart or we may have a heart of stone (Ezekiel 11:19). We must understand how our heart deceives us.
One may say, “I don’t have a hard heart.” When we reject God’s teachings, we have entered the Harding of our heart. We do this to ourselves. For instance if you have unforgiveness in your heart that unforgiveness grows into anger, bitterness, and resentment . The longer it stays within our heart, our heart begins to harden (Matthew 6:15).
Sometimes God hardens our heart. I use for example the Pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 7:3, 9:12). Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Could it be that God uses the hardened heart to show His mighty power; He is God all Glory and Honor to HIM. Paul had a hard heart toward Christians and God used him to bring the Good News to the Gentiles (Acts 22:19-21).
You may say what has this to do with prayer? I had rather come to the Thorn of Grace with a true, clean, and pure heart (Psalms 51:6) than a heart of stone, wouldn’t you?
Let us pray for those in darkness and let Christ bring them to the Living Water (John 7:38) and His light (John8:12).