Your heart, all of your heart, is good, pure, holy, and good. The moment you gave your heart to Jesus you entered into a covenant with God. The first part of covenant is that God gave you a new heart. Your heart is good. There is no "old" heart at all. You know you have only a new and good heart because Jesus lives in your heart, and He never leaves.
To a sister:
You have used my words as part of your "confession," and they are stark words indeed. Emptiness hidden behind, in your case, mental argument and people/things. And this is the whole human race. It is the Lord Himself, in great tenderness and care, who has brought you to see this. This seeing of one's self as a lost cause is the only beginning, that is, the necessary door.
This knowledge of your own emptiness, your own lostness, is a vital and permanent part of your new Self, that is of Christ living as you, as your new and only Self. However, it must go into its proper place. In its proper place, our knowledge of our own lostness (somehow that word contains the largest part of what I am referring to, emptiness, vulnerability, inability, weakness) is a continual turning to the Lord. Outside of its proper place, it just as easily becomes part of the bluster and pretending.
I can explain only with myself. I have been very capable outwardly. I used to be fine inwardly. But over the years, God took me through circumstances that brought my outward capability to ruin and completely shattered all inward confidence.
But my problem is that I have always feared God. That means, I have always reckoned that there are only two options: "Well done, My good and faithful son, enter into the joy of your Lord"VS "Depart from Me, I never knew you." You see, I can't have the second. And I don't see that as anything to do with "heaven/hell."
I must know Him, how else could I live?
But I lived in a Christian view that said I had to get something right, no one knew exactly what or how much, but something right in order to hear the one and not the other. Because I always feared God and always sought Him, I don't know that my outward life was bluster and pretending so much as just doing the only thing I knew to do. Yet it all brought me to utter hopelessness.
I would not be "making it." I would not be "getting anything right." Yet how could I live?
This is a far bigger question than we comprehend.
Now that I know LIFE, and I do, the more my own sense of vulnerability remains. But it remains in its place. That is, it keeps me ever turned to Life and ever away from any need for my own face in this world. Yet it does not take the place of Life and become its own dead end.
There are many hopeless people. Their hopelessness does them no good. In fact their hopelessness is really just one more layer in the wall they hold against God. In complete contrast, we take our continual sense of lostness, of vulnerability, of inability, and use it to abandon ourselves every moment, with all joy and gladness, as a lost cause and hold to Jesus alone as our very and only Self.
I can see myself seated upon the throne of heaven with all boldness BECAUSE I continually know that I am a lost cause. I have nothing to lose and nothing to gain. I have failed. What a relief! I hold to Jesus as my only Self because I must. Because I have no other "self" that will take me anywhere but into "Depart from Me." I speak all that Christ is as being my only Self because the alternative is continually unthinkable.
But you see, the fear of God is not really "fear"; it's just the first parts of Love. I speak Christ as my only Life because I love Him. I love Him. I would far rather be He than me. And if He allows me to be Him and not me (Galatians 2:20), I will always be He.
Because Jesus is real and alive and love, as I call Him my very and only Self, I become real and alive and love.
But there is something else in the picture as well. I want to talk about your heart.
God is not whimsical. He offered us a Covenant, a full binding contract. We know He signed that contract by the Blood of His Son. We signed the contract when we first said, "Yes, Lord," and when we were baptized in water. The contract is binding and absolute. This is so very important. God is bound absolutely to us by Covenant. He has no choice in the matter; the Covenant is a done deal.
The first part of Covenant is a new heart, a good heart, a heart filled with Christ. Sister, your heart is GOOD. Pay ZERO attention to your emotions and desires, including frustration, anger, lust, and greed. Those things have nothing to do with your heart. Your heart is good and filled with Christ in all of His glory.
This is absolute. My heart is absolutely good. It is the first part of Covenant. God gave me a new heart the moment I was born again, for me, age 7. It was only when I could say, out loud with all zeal, "My heart is good," that God could begin to show Christ to me.
People throw around Bible terms and phrases without ever knowing what God actually says. God loves your flesh; it is His dwelling place forever. Empty of God, the flesh is all bluster and pretending, certainly, but the flesh is NOT the old man. Filled with God, the flesh is pure and holy. There can be no God-liness without flesh. God-liness is God manifest in the flesh.
But the old man is unredeemable. That's why God did away with it the moment you were born again. The old man is gone forever; just look at the cross and see him dead. No, that is not the full picture. We were buried with Christ as well. The old man was buried; no one digs up corpses to hold tightly to them, except "Christians." More than that, look in the tomb for your “buried” corpse; you will find nothing there.
Now you are a human with your center, your heart, pure and good, filled with all the glory of Christ.
You don't have to feel that, you don't have to see that, but you MUST know it to be true because God says. And you know it to be true by saying that it is true. "My heart is good and filled with Christ."
And so I take these two things together, side by side in perfect balance, my own human weakness, inability, vulnerability, right alongside my pure and good heart filled with Christ. These two things at the core of me are then the source of my growing knowledge of Christ my only life.
But we have a continual enemy, the accuser, and we must always refuse to hear him. He always attempts to turn those two things upside down and inside out. He wants to whisper "evil" upon your heart and "able" upon your weakness. He wants you to doubt your heart and trust your ability to "obey."
But there is one way alone by which we cast the accuser down, and that is by speaking Christ our only life, anchored utterly in the Blood on the one hand and the Cross on the other. We cannot hear the accuser because we are speaking Christ our only life too much.
"Christ, You are my life; You are all there is in me. There is NOTHING in me that is not You in all of Your glory."
It's crazy I know, but we love Him.
I had to listen for hours to videos of a top college professor in an introductory course on literary criticism. I have never in my life witnessed or heard such brilliantly worthless emptiness. I have never known emptiness like I heard as I heard him speak. Empty words void of meaning conveying worthless ideas. This is the best that life in this world has attained.
Let's, rather, be crazy. Let's speak Christ our only life.
Because we love Him.
To another sister:
Yes, Christianity is very confusing, every little group all ignoring one another, all seeing the others as totally "other." All claiming that their own minor distinction is the true truth. It is sad and silly both. We know that God is all in all and works all in all, that any problems any Christian or church group might face come only out of living with their backs turned to, ignorant of, the glory that already fills their hearts.
The church is one. Jesus carries all. Their problem is in their own minds, for it is there they construct their own definitions of God. And every definition of God they construct keeps God Himself far away from them. But understanding why and how they think is a big part of knowing how to walk with them in peace, for they are our brethren. They belong to Jesus as they belong to us, though they know it not.
Sister, you have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, fully and completely. You did so the very moment you gave Him your heart. Call it so regardless. "I am clothed entirely and only with Christ Jesus Himself." It's important to say this especially when you think the worst. Say it because it is true.
But I have realized that there is an ingredient God gave me before He began to reveal Christ my only life to me. I have not always brought this vital ingredient front and center. The Lord just reminded me of it.
Sister, your heart, all of your heart, is good, pure, holy, and good.
The moment you gave your heart to Jesus you entered into a covenant with God. The first part of covenant is that God gave you a new heart. Your heart is good. There is no "old" heart at all. You know you have only a new and good heart because Jesus lives in your heart, making it entirely and always good, and He never leaves.
Now, here is the thing about the heart. The heart is the central organ of your body; it is the central organ of your soul; and it is the central organ of your spirit. Thus anything going from the realm of spirit through your spirit and into any other part of you, mind or body, must pass through your heart.
Your heart is good.
Your enemy's primary target is to make you imagine, even just a little bit, that your HEART is not good. If he can do that, he has gummed up your whole works. The problem is not the enemy; the problem is your thinking, even just a tiny bit, that your heart may not be good.
So say and sing, "My heart is good, my heart is good, my heart is filled with Jesus," over and over. But especially when you think and feel that it is not.
You see, just after you get frustrated with a family member and scream at them and they feel bad and you feel bad, but you're too frustrated to admit it. Right then, that is when you must say, "My heart is good, my heart is good, my heart is filled with Jesus." That is the moment you must "put on" the Lord Jesus Christ.
You are already fully clothed with Him, call it to be so.
We put on the Lord Jesus Christ by saying, "I am clothed with Christ and my heart is good, filled with Jesus," until we believe it, until we know that nothing else is real.
If Jesus is not real, then we are definitely becoming delusional. But Jesus is real and He really is our only Self. Thus when we call Him so, even when we appear to ourselves as being totally wretched, when we pay no attention to our own wretchedness, but say, "I am clothed with Christ and my heart is good, filled with Jesus" – until we know it is true – then we discover that He is real and that we are real and that He is our only life.
Call everything you are and everything you go through, Christ Jesus Himself. You are already clothed with Christ from the moment you gave your heart to Him and He made it good by making your heart His dwelling place. You "put on" the Lord Jesus Christ now by calling it to be so regardless.
"I am clothed with Christ; I am filled with Christ; there is nothing else in me or of me."
I KNOW your heart is good; it cannot be anything else.
And here is another secret we discover as we know we are, right now, fully and forever clothed with Jesus. We have always been so. Every moment you thought you were a sinner, you belonged utterly to Jesus. You didn't know it, but He did. And every moment of your life, every circumstance you've ever known, from conception until now, it was all He, clothing you with Himself, guiding your steps, carrying you, sharing things with you. Though you did not know it at the time, yet now you see that He was always revealing Himself to you.
When He led you into the church you were a part of, He did so that He might share His own sufferings, His own broken heart, His own understanding of the sorrow of His people, that He might share it with you. In every moment you spent in that part of your life, it was all Jesus with you, in you, as you, through you. You didn't need to know it for it to be utterly true.
Part of "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" is to accept Him as ALL that you are. You can't "make" Him to be so; He already is because He says. But you accept it as true and then cast down every voice that mutters otherwise. You cast down those other voices by saying, "I am clothed with Christ; I am filled with Christ; there is nothing else in me or of me" over and over.
Change the words around a bit, make them your own, make it your song and sing, sing, sing the Lord Jesus Christ, the only life you are.
I have found for Myself a man after My own heart.
I don't think it's possible to say anything deeper about God or to say anything deeper about man that this short line. I am convinced that any “idea” about God that leaves this line out of its center leaves God out as well.
Jesus' words, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father,” come entirely out from this original speaking of God through Samuel eight years before David was born (or vice versa, Samuel spoke out of Christ).
And thus we must ask the question – What is heart?
I don't think we can know – What is God? Or – What is man? Or – What is Christ? Without first knowing – What is heart?
If you write out every word in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, containing the word “heart,” you would have a difficult time arriving at a specific definition. I have, on my website, every New Testament verse containing kardia, heart – Nous, Dioanoia, Psuche, and Kardia in the New Testament. One of the most peculiar references is in Acts 14 – God fills our hearts with food and gladness.
I can testify, from long experience, that we will never arrive at a knowledge of – What is heart? – by any mental comparison of verse with verse. Thus I will be bold here and define “heart” as I understand it in the present moment so that I can explore out from that present knowledge into God's purpose for this thing called “heart.”
First, I have spent 3½ pages establishing the doorway into living in our present hearts. In the New Covenant, which is the only Covenant we know, a heart transplant WAS an essential part of the original deal. Thus we consider our hearts and every part of them as new, and especially, as GOOD. We cannot live in a shared heart with God unless we have entered fully by the door. That door is always Galatians 2:20, whatever was old is gone, crucified, buried, and no longer to be found. Whatever I am, as I find myself to be in the present moment, is Christ alone. Thus my heart IS His sacred heart.
I can never see my heart as Jesus' heart unless I have lived for some time in the knowledge that my heart IS good. Then, out from having lived in the knowledge that my heart, in its entirety, is both new and good, I can now proceed to comprehend what, exactly, this heart of mine really is.
Let me bring in two sets of verses that define my heart and yours, that define the heart of God.
You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat. . . Exodus 25
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Revelation 4:2-5
That mercy seat, that throne of heaven, IS the heart of God. That mercy seat, that throne of heaven, IS your heart and mine.
I know I am speaking very boldly. Such boldness, when entering into the Holiest and sitting down upon the Mercy Seat, is ESSENTIAL to the gospel, two of the ten most important verses in the Bible.
Let me describe heart for you, the heart of God.
– Heart always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state, limiting Himself by our weakness. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we in Him. –
You have seen this description before; I changed only one word, “God” to “Heart.”
Now, you and I are definitely not equal with God when it comes to power and wisdom, reach and glory. But we ARE entirely equal with God at the level of heart. Our hearts and God's heart are equal; so equal, in fact, that they are the same.
Jesus lives in our hearts; Jesus lives in God's heart; we share heart with God.
Let me give one more verse that defines heart, that defines the Mercy Seat, that defines the throne of heaven.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
You see, those words, And we also, demonstrate a full equality of heart.
God's entire purpose for all of creation is to obtain for Himself one thing alone. – A man after His own heart.
That is, a many-membered Body, many sons to glory.
This Body exists, however, ONLY where 1 John 3:16 flows in a mutual relationship of respect and honor between one heart and one heart at all times and in every direction.
The flowing of 1 John 3:16 between one heart and one heart has a name.
We call Him Father.
I mentioned that we have received a heart transplant. God did not just give us a “new” heart; He gave us Jesus' heart. What other heart could we have received?
There are innumerable stories told by recipients of heart transplants, here is one excellent one.
“Science” has a hard time with anything that does not fit into the hard boxes of present knowledge/ignorance. In other words, so-called scientists hate to admit their ignorance of many things. True science never bends the facts to fit the theory, but always allows the theory to flap in the breeze, ready to vanish away the moment any actual fact slays it. Today's “science,” in its infancy, wants to claim that all of the human consciousness is found in the brain. Reality agrees with the Bible that a large part of our human-ness resides in our actual hearts.
So, read the article (and I really do want you to read it) on the woman who was given a young man's heart and thus her first words after waking were, “I want a beer,” when she previously had never liked beer – to the extent of her new heart actually speaking to her the name of it's former self, enabling her to find the family of the donor. After reading the article, consider your own heart. But, let's consider it in two ways.
The first way we understand our new heart is that our heart once belonged to someone else, namely, Jesus. Thus, it brings Jesus' own nature and personality into us with itself. It is easy to see, if this be true, why the serpent wants all believers to call their hearts “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” It is a terrible thing for his game as we discover that our hearts are not only GOOD, but that they are, literally, Jesus' heart. His accusations cannot stand, and he is cast down.
But the second way we understand our new heart is that the shaping of our hearts to fit that particular expression of God each of us was made to reveal, and to fit that particular place in God we are appointed to fill, that shaping is the most important thing God is doing in our lives. I would never agree to a heart transplant, although any believer who has received one can walk in full confidence that Christ continues to live as them. However, I know my own heart, how it has been battered and shaped by God over many years. God has designed all of that for His place in me and my place in Him. I don't want someone else's shallow heart.
Both of these ways of knowing our own hearts must go hand-in-hand. While the revelation of the extent and meaning of our possessing Jesus' heart as our own is a glory that will increase forever, God does not do static clones. The sacred heart of God is very large and finds innumerable expressions.
Now, I posted that article on Facebook, and a reader of these letters asked a very important question concerning the soul of the young man who's heart was donated. Where is our soul? We have always thought that the soul goes with the spirit after both brain and heart dies. Yet it seems that aspects of the young man's soul remained in the heart, especially his name. My present understanding, with limited knowledge, would say that, no, the young man's soul went with his spirit, but the physical heart carries in it the memory of his person imprinted in the electrical frequency of the cells.
I was also thinking in the middle of the night that it might be a great thing to trade my tired heart for the heart of a young man filled with vigor. Tempting, eh? It's good that such an option is not readily available, else there would likely be a black market trade in young hearts!
I'm being silly for a purpose. My greatest strength and achievement was in my mid-thirties. We have been granted by our Father the heart of an eternally thirty-three-year-old man. All of His memories are written upon that heart. Is this not the Covenant?
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Our new hearts are hearts of flesh, the heart of Christ. His nature is written all through His own heart, this heart we bear. Yet, to our highest delight, He did not just give us His “nature,” how lonely that would be. Rather, He comes Himself inside His own heart, which is now ours. And the Father comes inside of Jesus.
Is this not the gospel?
My next two letters are already titled “Voice,” followed by “Spirit.” And when I look through 2 Corinthians 3 & 4, Paul's burden flowing out from this living Heart of the Covenant, I see the text for both of those yet unwritten letters. I guess my earlier thoughts were right.
This Heart of Substance, this Heart of ours, this Heart of Jesus, this Heart of God, this Mercy Seat, this throne of heaven, is formed and shaped inside of us by two things, by Voice and by Spirit.
Those who hear the Voice of the Son of God will live. – Transformed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord.
I want to refer back to my opening point. A young man or woman does not know the difference between his or her own true heart, shaped by God, written with all the knowledge of Christ, and the outward face of Adam's pretending. It takes years of battering to come to know the difference. Thus we must recognize how bluster and facade can so easily trick us into thinking, “Well, this IS what I WANT.” When the truth is, it really is not.
I waited for many years for the wife God had gifted for me. Through those years I was attracted to other pretty faces over time, drawing a little bit close to a couple, imagining them to be the “delight” of my heart. When the first one proved not to be so, I felt that my very heart was being ripped right out of me. The second, God gave me a simple and clear choice. “If you want to go to her, then walk away from Me, but if you want Me, then forget about her.” The problem was that “going to her” appeared to contain everything I truly wanted in this life.
Actually, He was a little more stark; the Lord made it clear to me that He would take my life rather than allow me to set my course outside of Him. And yes, inside of my present knowledge of Christ living as me without condemnation, I still believe that was His Voice. God's holiness is the most comforting part of God; He keeps us wholly for Himself.
But now, every time I consider my precious wife, this one God chose for me, I am amazed and overwhelmed at how she is all the desire of my heart. Since this letter is “Heart,” I will share the word the Lord spoke to me in September of 1981, nine years before we married. In one of those few landmark dreams in which I knew God was speaking a sovereign word to me, I was sitting outside on a bench, waiting to go into an “elders meeting,” knowing that I was in trouble for something I had inadvertently done, though I did not know what, and feeling, what I know now to be, very autistic. In my dream, Maureen, eighteen years old at the time, came up to me and took my hand. She said to me that she wanted to share all my difficulty without condemnation.
I awoke immediately into the very vivid knowledge of His Presence. I had not considered Maureen before that moment. She was the youngest, and to my mind at the time, the “least” of three sisters. I raised the image of the other two before the Lord, one at a time, hearing nothing. Then, while I was fully awake, God spoke these words to me. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks upon the heart.”
It takes a special kind of woman to love an Asperger's man through decades of marriage. Maureen is such a woman.
The reason for the chastisement of God is to cause us to know what really is our true heart and to escape all the pretending of Adam. But that is only one side of the equation. Chastisement by itself cannot ever lead us to our true heart, this new heart we have received by Covenant. Only one thing can do that: Voice in the context of Spirit.
One aspect of the young man's heart transplanted into the older woman's body, was that the young man hardly knew sickness. The woman had suffered from recurring colds; after receiving her new heart, she was not sick again.
This is a BIG deal. A cold comes from a virus, doesn't it? Yet with the right heart, no cold virus can prevail. Her old heart allowed the cold viruses, always present, to prevail all through her body. But her new heart had no time or thought for them, and thus they could not win against the strength of her white blood cells, now moving out from a new heart. This is something to think about – a lot.
This truth is absolute in both earth and heaven, in both the entirety of our physical body and in all the realms and dimensions of our spirit. The heart rules the body and it rules the soul. Jesus said that it also rules the mouth. Thus, if our hearts really are Jesus' heart, speaking as one voice with Him, that is, speaking Christ, must be the words of our mouth, and vice versa.
I just read a Google Ad that said “Jesus promised death to those who follow Him.”
Hello? Why do people who name His name lie? Jesus SAID that the one promising death is the devil. Jesus promises life to those who follow Him. Death does not bring life; Jesus, the One who LIVES in our hearts does.
To speak Christ is to speak life; it is to say, “I am.” We do not “create” a new heart by the words that we speak; rather, we cause the heart of Jesus we already possess to be the only thing we know. Our speaking Christ gets rid of the false ideas of our imagination that limit this heart we bear.
How can we call ourselves by His heart if we do not speak what He speaks? How can we live by His heart if we do not know Him?
Think about this phrase: “The heart of a king.”
This idea carries a definite connotation. I've often thought it would be interesting to assemble all the kings and queens of England into one room in present-day London, from Alfred the Great to Elisabeth II. Each one of them claimed sovereignty over all English people and all English land as the ruling monarch for a period of years. Many of them had a definite appreciation of their power and place. “I am king” or “I am queen” most certainly has governed their hearts all the years they have wandered in Hades.
By my present limited knowledge, Henry II would embody the human definition of “the heart of a king” the most, especially through his first decade as king. Some traits would be fearlessness, unstoppable energy, a wide and gripping vision, an inherent and complete sense of entitlement. Such men are easy to follow, for awhile at least.
In some ways the real King, the One whose heart we bear, carries these traits, except. Except they appear completely different coming through Him. The question is entirely, what is His kingdom, outward performance or the human heart? Human kingdoms are all about outward service. God's kingdom is all about heart: the kingdom is within you. The difference is night from day.
Those who define Jesus by His miracles see an entirely different sort of kingdom than those who define Jesus by His heart.
Those who are natural leaders among men, people like Henry II, see people as tools for the building of an outward work. Thus, they see themselves and are seen by others as “above” their less capable followers.
But the heart of our King sees people entirely differently. To Him, people from the inside out, that is, people's hearts are His kingdom. You can whip bodies, you can train minds, but hearts can only be won. A real king takes His own fearlessness, His own unstoppable energy, His own wide and gripping vision, His own sense of entitlement and uses it, not only to serve every heart in His kingdom, but He grants to each one who follows Him His same heart as their very own.
The best example of a king in world literature that I know of is Hazel the rabbit in Watership Downby Richard Adams. And yes, I do suggest you read the book. A King puts His own life on the line first whenever there is danger; He stays behind when one is weak. He finds ways for each of those who follow Him to contribute their particular gifts and to be honored by the others for doing so. He never commands, but only suggests. He leaves all free, never condemning anyone who chooses to go a different way. He forgives His enemies and makes then His allies. I'm speaking of Jesus, yes, but also of Hazel the rabbit; it's a great study in true leadership.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ is utter nonsense if it is not true and real and literal. There is no way you or I or anyone could ever turn a human heart into the heart of Jesus. If He has not transplanted His own heart into us for real, than the entire Covenant is a hoax.
But He has. Our hearts ARE Jesus' own heart, the one He bore when He died at 33 years old, the heart that was transformed out from the atoms of Adam's universe into the atoms of the new creation. The heart of the King beats in our chests. We can know our own hearts only by knowing His.