January 4, 2013

Matters of the Heart: How to Clean your Heart

By Tatianah Green

In our first post of this series, I mentioned several things that are found in the hearts of people. Not all of us have all of them, but one or two. That residue and mess from the past is stuck in there as long as you hold on to it, but I wonder how can one clean it out? We know that God has the power to change your heart for the better and make it new and pure before Him, but it also takes some effort on your part too.

Allow God to search it out  
When it comes to cleaning the heart, we must realize that it’s a task that we can’t do alone, we have to ask the Father for help. God knows us very well and He formed us. He sees what we’ve done and what we do now too; He knows what is lurking in our hearts and is able to search it out.  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” –Romans 8:27NLT

It’s important to note that we can block the move of God within our hearts with the residue of pride, shame, guilt etc. Whatever you and I have ever do or do will not keep us from God, it can however keep Him from moving for our benefit. “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart,” says Proverbs 21:2 and verse 4 continues “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.” Pride (ego) can get between you and your healing! Don’t be ashamed to let God in and walk around in your heart, examine it, and diagnose the issues that need resolving. 

Ask God to clean it out
We can go to God as David did and say “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me,” according to Psalm 51:10. We also have to admit that we are to blame for our mistakes and stop pointing the finger at everyone else including God when we know we sinned because we were hurting. A lot of us do people wrong because we were done wrong and “that’s all we know.” Again it’s a fabrication from the world telling you that. When you are a child of God, you are granted permission to give your issues, hurt and cast your cares upon your Father God, who is always there to listen, especially about relationship issues. 

Before playing the blame game, remember this account of Jesus talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:25-28. The Pharisees were so messy and telling other people how to run their lives that they were no cleaner than the ones they were chastising. Jesus called them hypocrites and broke it down simply “First wash the inside of the cup and the dish and then the outside will become clean, too.” This speaks also to the heart. If we allow God to clean in the inside of us (our hearts) first, then all the issues on the outside won’t be issues. For instance, if you have jealousy in your heart, and ask God to clean it out, you won’t be bothered when that ex boo gets a new boo, engaged or married! God can rid the residue from your past relationships to the point that it will not affect you one bit. 

Clean up also comes with repentance and acknowledging God’s salvation through sending His son Jesus “For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” –Hebrews 10:22. This means walking with a clean heart and not dimming the power of Christ over your life. We are healed, delivered and set free if we believe; it’s already been done, let His power move in you and have a clean and pure heart for Him and those put in your life. 

Prepare to be tried and true
We are constantly getting tested by God. Like in the account of Job, we are tested to show how we will respond to the issues of life and what obstacles the enemy tries to put in our way. Remember that the devil can only get so much access to you, God has the final say. If you open your heart to the wrong spirit, people, and situations, you are not passing the test. If you are asking God to remove lust and your sexual history from your heart, you will get tested in this area. An ex may message you or you may get into a new relationship and the hormones will race. Remember though that your heart is made new by the power and grace of God and you don’t allow that sin into your heart anymore to make residence and tell your mind to commit actions that you will only regret later. 

Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.” –Proverbs 17:3. The more you commit to God, the more often you will begin to notice the issues and temptations in your life as tests that come to only refine your character. Come out of each scenario tried and true! Trust me it’s not easy to be tested, Jesus had been tempted too, so keep His example in mind (read more about that here). 

Guard your heart
Along with the tests that come, we can’t just do everything we used to and expect to not be affected. That’s like losing a lot of weight by diet and exercise and then going back to eating junk once you’ve achieved your ideal weight goal. You have to take healthy preventative measures to keep yourself from getting hurt again or open to things that are not beneficial for your life. The word makes it clear in Proverbs 4:23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  Does God hold our hearts and lives in His hands? Absolutely; remember though that we are given the freedom of choice. We can choose to go about life in cycles asking for healing then do the same things and get hurt or we can bite the bullet and sacrifice our flesh, try something new for our benefit, even if we don’t understand it. Now that I realize what I used to do, I’d rather try something in the spirit that seems insane than live my life in the flesh which is pure insanity. 

Making the right choices with a newly cleaned heart is not easy otherwise we would’ve already done them. God mentions many times in the Bible that we are to put our trust in Him. Proverbs 23:12 says “Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.” This means pursuing God through the word and sincerely seeking relationship with Him so we get the strategies to pass our tests and have better relationships with people and our future spouses. Commit to Christ with allowing Him in to reveal to you what needs cleaning, allow Him to clean your heart, pass the test, and guard your heart in all circumstances.

The next post will explain why having a pure heart is worth the work and change of heart. Feel free to comment and share these posts <3