Where are our hearts in regard to being truly obedient to God? God encourages us to “above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The choices we make will bring us life or death. We are to guard our hearts from the things that bring death: “He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall” (Proverbs 28:18).
God is concerned with the direction your heart takes. God wants you to experience life to its fullest, but your heart must be right before Him. God’s ways protect and care for you; they bless you. Job understood this when he said: “His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?” (Job 9:4). He knew that following God with all his heart was the only thing that mattered and that resisting God by following his own heart was fruitless.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4–7)
Our hearts should be rejoicing and giving thanks to our God. Look at the promise: “The peace of God … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). We need this protection from God for our hearts and minds; we should rejoice in the Lord by entering into His presence through praise and thanksgiving. If we press into God through praise, He will meet with us. God loves to inhabit the praises of His people. We were created to delight ourselves in the Lord, which will please God and satisfy our deepest longings. True praise will draw God near to us; He will fill us with His presence and be with us.
But it’s all about our hearts. Paul understood this; he addressed the Thessalonians: “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5). There is no doubt the Lord directs our hearts, but we must listen to Him and follow His lead. I implore you to follow the Lord!
Excerpt from pp. 76 – 77 of “Oneness: A Call to Honor God in the Marriage Relationship”
Our hearts affect our marriages. How you treat your marriage reflects your heart for following God. Where is your heart when it comes to marriage? Do you follow God by being gracious and loving toward your spouse as Christ has been toward you in offering salvation? Do you offer the forgiveness that is needed as situations arise? Do you look at your spouse as an imperfect person who needs Christ? Do you focus on serving the Lord by serving your spouse? Or, are you just interested in self with no regard for God or your spouse in how you handle you marriage?
The way you conduct your marriage will reflect your view of God and it is on display for everyone to see. Ultimately, your heart will effect your growth in achieving a special oneness with God and your spouse.