Much thought was given my decision the Bible is inerrant (see previous blog), but I certainly don’t believe in name and claim it, either. The way this works for me is complicated, but I’ll do my best to put it into words. When I intentionally put “remembering God” and His written words before all else, His supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit filters my life in a way that is delivering. OK, that’s a lot right there, and if you are not into a Holy Spirit, allow me to park that to the side for now. I could have just left that part out, grazed over it or substituted the word “Grace”, but that would have been dishonest.
I receive, on a continual basis, a deliverance (sorry, another churchy word I have no substitute for) from anxieties, worries and more importantly, an avoidance from myself and the carnage I can execute on my life and those around me. This “deliverance” is a freedom only God can execute within our heart. The word “heart” can be perplexing or muddy in definition, so what does “in our heart” actually mean and is it just another churchy word that defies definition?
Proverbs is a “go to” book of the Bible when it comes to dos and donts, aside from Moses’ Ten Commandments, and suppose that’s why the book is named Proverbs. King Solomon repeatedly instructed his son to guard his heart, fill his heart, etc. and digging into the Hebrew – English translation exposes God’s wisdoms that contrast our worldview definition of this word. It is obviously not referencing the blood pumping organ central to our circulatory system and it has something to do with how we feel. Charles Swindoll’s book, “Living the Proverbs, Insight for the Daily Grind”, gave me the clarity I sought. What did King Solomon mean when he instructed others to “bind or tie something to their heart”?
Swindoll says “ ….to refer to our inner self, that part of us that constitutes the seat of our intellect, emotion, and will: our conscience and our personality. So what is the Lord saying?. He is saying we are to cast ourselves upon our Savior – God in complete trust, not holding back in any area of our mind or will or feeling. That, my friend, is quite an assignment.”
The most enlightening portion of Swindoll’s cocktail of nouns are the words “will” and “conscience”. Hearing “from my heart” or “in my heart” is not an uncontrolled feeling that just happens. If your will and your conscience are involved that would be far from the case and the more I began to dwell on this, the more I began to get Swindoll’s message. What we “feel in our heart” has everything to do with our will and consciousness and is far from random. To be continued…………
3 thoughts on ““In My Heart” Means What?”
Excellent point, Steve. I think the English word heart is a lot like the word love—the one word can mean varying things according to context, but it can also have a depth (and breadth) that expresses several different things all at once. I agree loving God “from my heart” doesn’t mean fickle feelings alone but also includes “the will and conscience,” so that even if I don’t “feel” like obeying God or if I don’t have the warm fuzzies toward Him, I still commit myself and my ways to Him “from the heart,” i.e., with my innermost being, “the real me.”
From another perspective though, I do think “the heart” much of the time does mean strong emotions or feelings running alongside the will and conscience. We all know “just going through the motions” without some sense of affection or desire toward God is an unhealthy place to be over an extended period of time. So David prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. . . . Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” His heart has chosen sin (will and conscience) but part of that is because his affections (loves, desires, emotions) have been drawn away from God. His heart needs purifying but also “warming up,” so to speak—He wants to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength—all of it together.
Thanks for the post. A lot of mystery in all of this. I don’t know that we’ll ever get the whole mind/heart/soul thing figured out. Fun to pursue it as far as we can, though. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
You are right in that we, as mortals, will not get all of this sorted out and I agree that feelings are a part and portion to this age old adage. My main point is, what is “in my heart” is not out of our control. Thanks for your comments!
Absolutely–it’s a point well made and a much-needed reminder.
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