Where Is Your Heart?
Where is your heart? As a believer, you probably know your heart should be with Jesus. In fact, this belief is so intertwined in the essence of Christianity that “I gave my heart to Jesus” has become synonymous with salvation. Yes, your heart should be with Jesus, but is it really with Him? Consider Jesus’ description of the Pharisees in Matthew 15:8 (NKJV), “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Jesus’ words are a paraphrase of Isaiah 29:13, which states that the people “have removed their hearts far from Me.” Notice that their hearts are not far away because God moved; their hearts are far away because they removed them.
Removing your heart from God is obviously something you want to avoid. But to avoid it requires a better understanding of where these people went wrong. How did they remove their hearts from the Lord? And when they removed them, where did they go? I firmly believe that the people in question never set out to remove their hearts from the Lord. Their intentions were to follow the Law and love the Lord with all their hearts. People who have determined to do this would not consciously remove their heart from the Lord. It goes against the very essence of who they are. Similarly, you and I would never consciously do this because it violates the very essence of who we are. This is why Jesus’ words should grasp your attention; we have the ability to fall into the same trap. We have to make certain the same thing doesn’t happen to us.
So if this was unintentional, how did it happen? I believe that they shifted their trust over time and did not notice until it was too late. It was a slow fade and then it was over. Not only did they withdraw their hearts from God, they moved them closer to themselves. They subconsciously shifted their trust from God to themselves.
All of us have a natural instinct to trust ourselves. While it’s true that as believers we trust God, we also tend to trust ourselves. The difference is subtle at first. We trust God to save us, but we trust ourselves to make the grocery list. We trust God to protect us, but we trust ourselves to pay the bills. We trust God for the big things in life, but rely on our own abilities for those menial tasks that don’t require divine intervention. But over time, as our trust in ourselves grows, we end up with an invisible crisis of trust. Jesus explains this in Matthew 6:24 that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The bottom line is this: You can trust God or you can trust yourself, but you cannot trust both.
In case you were wondering who you should choose to trust, God or yourself, Proverbs 3:5 states it plainly, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Since you cannot trust both God and yourself, choose to trust in God wholeheartedly. Trusting God prevents you from removing your heart from Him.
But if you really want your heart to be with Jesus, you have to pursue Him. Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” While you only have to accept Jesus’ atonement once, giving your heart to Him is a decision you make over and over again throughout your life. You must be like David, who was chasing after the very heart of God (Acts 13:22). How do you pursue Jesus? He tells us in Matthew 6:33 to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” As you repeatedly make the decision to trust in the Lord and seek first His kingdom and righteousness, you will find yourself increasingly drawn to invest your time, talents, and treasure into doing His work on the earth. And as you transfer your trust and resources to Jesus, your heart will be there also.