A PERFECT HEART
A PERFECT HEART
God is looking for a perfect heart, NOT perfect performance. All of us have areas that we struggle in. We make mistakes and do things that we shouldn’t do. We say things that we shouldn’t say, we lose our temper, or we fall back into old behaviors, patterns, and sins. We think that we have to have a perfect performance for God to bless us. But, God is not looking for perfect performance because the fact is…we will NEVER be perfect. We are human and will fall short. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” God is looking for perfect hearts that are turned toward Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is blameless to Him.”
What does it mean to have a perfect or blameless heart toward God? It doesn’t mean to perform perfectly; it means to have a heartfelt desire to do right and to please God. People who have a perfect heart truly love God and when they mess up, they are quick to repent and make things right with God again. God is more pleased with someone who has the right heart towards him and messes up occasionally rather than someone who strives to have a perfect performance but their heart is not right.
The Pharisees prided themselves in following all of the laws and performing perfectly but their hearts were far from being right. They lost sight about the very heart of the matter – loving God and loving others. Without love for God, the external observance of the commandments becomes an empty form. Jesus specifically warned of the danger: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean” (Matthew 23:25-26).
Is your heart turned toward God? Is it soft, teachable, humble, and willing to be corrected? Do you desire to love God with all of your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself? (Matthew 22:37-39) God uses those who have a right heart and He shows Himself strong on their behalf. As long as your heart is turned toward God, He will keep working with you, changing you little by little, from (one degree of) glory to (even more) glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). If you keep your heart turned towards God, your performance will catch up.
Accept yourself while you are in the process of changing. Learn to enjoy the glory you are in while God is taking you to the next level of glory. God loves you and approves of you. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before you were born, I knew you and approved of you.” God approves of you even though He may not approve of everything that you do. We get our performance - what we “do”, mixed up with our “who”. Who you are is a child of the Most High God. You were made in the image of the Almighty God (Genesis 1:27) and there is nothing that can separate you from His great love (Romans 8:38-39).
Our Heavenly Father doesn’t focus on everything that you do wrong…He focuses on what you do right. God is for you, not against you. Remember, it’s your heart that matters the most. Keep your heart pure (Matthew 5:8). Don’t allow anything (offense, bitterness, pride, judgement, unforgiveness, etc) to stand in the way of your relationship with God. Be humble and quick to repent when you make mistakes, so your heart will not harden and you can stay pliable for God to use you. Don’t allow yourself to fall under condemnation. Romans 8:1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Keep your heart turned toward God, living to honor Him with all that you do, and He will show Himself strong on your behalf!