I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Marquitta Niles (WITHIN Devo Contributor)
There has been a pressing matter on my heart: the heart. This beating, complex, devoted, and sometimes unreliable vessel that streams love and hate, strength and weakness, compassion and judgment, and fear and peace. It’s author: God. Yet a heart outside of God is rebellious, deceiving, evil, and prideful. These aren’t enough names to offer depth of it but it is more important to look at the world around us and then look inward. Just sit in silence for a moment and see what your heart has to offer you. Or interact with someone who upsets you, perhaps someone who has a few more things than you do and how it may offend you----someone appearing happy and content to you that makes you envious could very well be the same person suffering from other illnesses of the heart.
Sometimes the heart operates in the idea of thinking it is perfect in doing good. The heart is always quick to judge in it’s own bitterness, always self-seeking, always fighting to stand yet always searching for peace and love and in some of the most fallible ways.
The heart is a forever a pressing matter that always needs to be dealt with each day. Titus 1 forces me to think about my own heart and interactions with others. Titus focuses on the Godly character we ought to have and display to one another. Titus 1:9 reads, “For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
Although Paul is speaking of the elders, he also sets an example for the younger men and women to grow into this Godly character. No one is exempt. He is not directly speaking of the heart but all that he mentions flows from the heart. His message to the elders is the word of God on how to deal with the heart.
In addition, our interactions aren’t always verbal or physical but often spiritual, mental, and emotional. Sometimes you can see how one feels and sometimes you can be deceived by how one feels. How are we going about dealing with our heart? I love to cling to Psalm 139:23-24 which reads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” In essence, it is impossible to deal with the heart without God, especially since he created it.
The way that we go about dealing with the heart is by seeking God’s face and reflecting his word. Because he knows us much better than we do ourselves, we have to learn to trust him enough to change our hearts daily. It's not an easy task for us but everything is possible for him and above our own ways. I know that when it comes specifically to my heart, I need to throw myself to his feet even in time of weariness in doing good. I have to go to him in worship asking for more of him because I am helpless without him. I recognize each day how much more that I need him.
I hope that you are encouraged and that you learn or continue to do the same. I hope that you recognize the deep need for him.