The heart has reasons that reason does not understand. —Jacques Benigne Bossuel
When someone demonstrates a special amount of courage or bravery, we say that they have “a lot of heart.” Somehow everyone knows what is meant by that phrase, and it’s not that cardiologists are in awe of the size of the blood-pumping organ behind the breastbone.
“Heart” describes all of the stuff about us that we can’t see. It’s a great catch-all word. Scripture uses the concept of “heart” in a very broad range of contexts. Body, spirit, and soul are specific enough that you can grasp them pretty clearly. Where the spirit and the soul mingle is where you have the heart. It’s the summation of all that is the invisible attributes of who we are. That’s why you can see one verse that tells you that your heart is pure…
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
…and another verse that seems to indicate that having a pure heart is impossible:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
While your spirit is perfect and pure, made so by Christ, you have emotions and a mind that are most assuredly not perfect and pure. Toss in your body and its lusts, and you have a toxic brew called “flesh.” So the Lord can easily look at us and say, “Your heart is wicked,” because He would be accurately describing our flesh, and yet He’d also be able to say, “Your heart is pure,” because He is looking at our perfect spirit.
As we battle the flesh for control of our hearts, we depend on the Spirit to remind us that we have been made new in Christ. Believers want to have a pure heart before the Father. We want Him to see our complete trust and dependence on the Spirit for every need.
Lord, give me a pure heart. Give me clean hands. I am fearfully and wonderfully made from the inside out, and I want to worship You with my whole heart. Let every corner of my heart cry out to You. Holy Spirit, take control of my flesh that I may be about Your business with all of my heart. Amen.