The word heart is mentioned over 770 times in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The human heart is of critical importance in the design and speaking of God. The heart is the seat of man’s conscious being. It is at the center of who we are and who we will ever be.
In the original language, the words used to describe the human heart in most verses capture the idea of man’s mind, will, and emotions. The heart is not a place of emotions, but our emotions spring from the heart. It is not a place of self-will but our will springs from the heart. It is not a place of reason but reason springs from the heart. According to Proverbs 4:23, all the issues of life spring from the heart. That is why we are charged to guard our hearts with all diligence.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
When God created the animals in Genesis 1:24, He called forth the land itself to bring forth livestock and wild animals. When He created human beings, He formed them also from the earth (Genesis 2:7). Our flesh and the flesh of animals share many commonalities even down to our DNA because they come from the same source. When we die, like the animals, our flesh returns to the earth in dust.
But unlike the animals, God added another element in his creation of man.
Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 (NIV)
I am convinced that the breath of life was the consciousness of the heart. It is eternal, coming from God and not the earth.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
It is the breath of life, the heart, that separates man from the beasts. The heart is where we can communicate, hear and speak, with God. He gave this operating reality to no other piece of His creation.
Many human beings never tap into this core of their consciousness. They live lives absent the divine reality of their Creator. In effect, they are living lifestyles little more than the beasts of the field. From the dust, they come, and to the dust, they will return. In between, it is all vanity and distractions.
That is not the case for those who walk with God! We are called to a higher way of living that was part of God’s original design.
The life of the heart is not a life centered upon self-consciousness. It is a lifestyle centered upon the knowledge that within my being is a place where only God and I go together. That is where He speaks to me. That is where He guides me. That is where He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). That is where the design for life that originates outside this earthly reality is understood and transitions from the whisper of God to personally applied realities of our earthly lives.
Notice how Jesus described the Kingdom of God.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)
As described by Jesus in the Gospels and realized in the book of Acts, the Kingdom of God was a reality of life in which the people reconnected their hearts to the Heavenly Father and lived by His Word spoken and made alive there. Their consciousness was reoriented away from mere survival or the quest for self-glorification and toward the Creator – per God’s original design.
That is why the church was so revolutionary and should be still. Through the work of Christ and His impact upon the human heart, God created a new type of people.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)
The work of Christ did not end with the cross and resurrection or with the sinner’s prayer in our lives. That was only the beginning. He desires to bring our hearts to a new level of life and living. At the heart, the center of it all, God touches us and begins to change our world.
In the next few posts and podcasts here at the website, we will examine this reality of the human heart. We will consider what the Bible says about the human heart and how this reality of life with God from the heart operates.