I have a physical heart condition (ventricular ectopic and bigeminy). Surprisingly, as I lay awake at night there is something profoundly reassuring about hearing my own heartbeat, I’m not aware of the missing or dropped heartbeat, but I do notice the occasional pause.
I marvel at the ticking beat, count it and listen to it. It’s mine. More than that it is me. I know the sound of my own heartbeat.
I don’t think it is a sound that is only ever heard by me, I know that God hears it too. He hears it in the natural, but he also knows the depths of my spiritual heart, its beat, what moves, motivates and drives it – and ultimately he knows what exists there. Jeremiah, God’s weeping prophet, steals a glance at the human predicament and offers the profound insight, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Jesus’ encouragement that we should first take the plank out of our eye before we offer to take a splinter from a brother’s eye, is most meaningful when we consider what the agenda and motives are, for someone else’s heart.
We have to understand our own heart first. Difficult questions produce the richest fruit and the greatest change and transformation. What are our motives, where are we looking for profile, recognition, position? What ministerial jealousy is scarring our heart, or where is bitterness, resentment or rejection jeopardising what God wants to do in and with us?
Why include this topic on a web page about the prophetic ministry? We all need to watch out walk before God, to guard our ways and proactively make sure that we are living our lives in a way that is honouring to God. Prophetic people can easily and accurately discern issues in the hearts of others, but if they are not careful, fail to attend to the more important issues fossilising, hardening and smouldering in their own heart.
Sometimes the prophetic person needs leaders and those they are accountable to, to ask difficult, diagnostic heart-condition questions. It is important because it out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come-sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person. (Mark 7:21-22)
Jesus makes it very clear, these are the things that defile a person – He is inclusive to us all, apostle, prophet, and evangelist – everyone in the kingdom must watch their heart.
Spend some time today asking God to speak to you about your heart, not the heart of the Church, or God’s heart – your own. And remember, above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)