Operation of the Heart – Part 3
Operation of the Heart – Part 3
by David M. Augenstein
In Operation of the Heart (Part I) we learned that the biblical use of the word “heart” (kardia in the Greek, derived from the Latin root, credo, meaning “to believe”) means the innermost part of our being. In Part II, we examined several healthy heart conditions and the qualities that God created in our hearts when we were born again of His spirit. In Part III of the Operation, we will see several examples of heart ailments: the broken heart, the condemning heart, the hypocritical heart, the calloused heart, the hardened heart and the foolish heart. Again, we will be using the word of God as our scalpel and we will consult the great physician, Jesus Christ.
Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The source and origin of all human suffering is, of course, the thief, the Devil, who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). As we will see in this study, all spiritual heart ailments can be overcome by learning, understanding and believing God’s powerful, healing word.
The Broken Heart
Jesus Christ came to make us free, redeem us from the powers of darkness and also to heal the brokenhearted. Jesus Christ can and will heal broken hearts.
Luk 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted ( a heart broken into pieces), to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
There are so many broken hearts everywhere. It’s no wonder with the effects of dysfunctional families, broken marriages, death, disablements, disease, birth defects, violence and abuse, the destruction from vice addictions, the despair of unemployment or underemployment, destruction by natural disasters, car accidents. . . The list seems to be endless. For many people, their life’s dreams and treasures are destroyed.
Symptoms of “broken heart” include deep-seated sorrow, anguish, bitterness and anger– just to name a few–which may be directed at oneself or others—even God. There are many reasons why so many people have broken hearts, but one must not blame our Heavenly Father God, but rather the god of this world, the father of lies, the Devil, Satan (II Cor 4:4).
Psa 147:3-6 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names. Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite. The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (He allows the wicked to be cast down by Satan.)
The devil has tricked many believers into blaming the One True God for their broken hearts and their ugly circumstances. But God wants to mend and heal hearts and make lives joyful, abundant and triumphant. This can only happen when one comes to know and truly believe God’s own words.
Jhn 8:31-2 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Jesus promises freedom from fears and bondage, from guilt and oppression and from the powers of darkness. Some of the most destructive and tortuous conditions are those that gnaw away at the minds and hearts of people. We can be free of these chains of captivity. Christ made this available to us and paid the full price for it.
The Self-Condemning Heart
We can easily fall into the trap of condemning (blaming) ourselves from sins or mistakes we made yesterday, last week or years ago. This is a case of a condemning heart, a very common syndrome. It is one thing to feel bad when we make a mistake or if we sin. In fact, we should. It is quite another thing, however, to harbor condemnation in our hearts, toward ourselves or toward others, eating away at our hearts and minds like a strong acid, day in and day out.
Psa 103:10-12 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west (which is an infinite distance), [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
1Jo 3:20-21 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.
God has made a way to deal with our sins. We sin because it is part of the natural condition of the sin nature we are born with. If we sin, we should ask God for forgiveness and he will give it. But then we should do our best to quit the sin, asking God for help and by putting more of His Word in our mind. Just look at these jewels of truth:
1John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Lets’ look at the entire context of I John 3 concerning when our hearts condemn us:
1Jo 3:18-24 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Rom 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, (who walk not after the flesh , but after the Spirit).
When we do our best to walk according to the Word, we needn’t have any condemnation for past sins, for God has forgiven and forgotten.
The Hypocritical Heart
Ever see some believers “talk the walk” but they do not “walk the talk”? It’s fairly commonplace. This is a classic case of the heart of a hypocrite.
It can apply to both religious leaders as well as the unfaithful, “rank-and-file” believers and unbelievers.
Look what Jesus said about the religious scribes and Pharisees of his day. The same is still true of some religious leaders of our day and time:
Mat 15:8-9 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines (as the truth) the commandments of men.
In many instances, organizational “Christianity” has mislabeled the rules, traditions and religious creeds of men as the truth of God’s Word. They teach watered-down Bible, blended with erroneous interpretations and myths, world-wisdom, current trends, and a mix of religions, including occultism, paganism, humanism and pantheism, and the worshipping of “Mother Earth” and statuettes (idols). Oh yes, these have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (II Tim 3:5). The hearts of the leaders of some of these organizations are far from the Lord, being more interested in money, power and political correctness but cloaking it with the Bible and various religious costumes and jewelry. Unfortunately, the followers within these organizations follow blindly, not having a more accurate knowledge of God’s Word.
Those afflicted with hypocrisy deceive themselves and others. They like to think they are walking on the Word, but their tongue (the window of the heart) and their actions indicate otherwise:
Jam 1:25-6 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.
The Calloused Heart
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross (became fatty or calloused), and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.—Jesus Christ.
This is a case of a calloused heart of a basic unbeliever– although it can also apply to a believer who is out in left field and has turned away from God and His Word. The words “waxed gross” means to become fat or thickened. This condition is also associated with spiritual deafness and blindness.
Look at what Jesus tells his believing disciples in the very next verses:
Mat 13:16-17 But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see [those things] which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear [those things] which ye hear, and have not heard [them].
The Hardened Heart
This is similar to the calloused heart.
Hbr 3:7-19 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.
So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
But with whom was he grieved forty years? [was it] not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The word “harden”, used three times in the verses of Hebrews above, is sklerunos in Greek. We get our English word “sclerosis” from this Greek word and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
2Cr 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
In contrast to a hardened heart, we are to accept and trust in the word of God that has been written in the tender, fleshy tablet of our heart (as opposed to just ink and paper or tablets of stone). Then the truth in our lives and hearts can be known and read by others.
Eph 4:17-20 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (hardness) of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;
The word “ignorance” is agnoia from which we get our English word “agnostic”. Agnostics do not know if there is a God. They are ignorant, meaning they have not come to a knowledge of the truth. Atheists believe there is no God. The Scriptures say that he who says “there is no God” is a fool. These beliefs are totally inexcusable with God.
Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
This is also repeated in Psalm 53:1.
The Foolish Heart
Rom 1:21-3 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain (empty, foolish) in their imaginations (inner reasoning), and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Pro 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
Pro 15:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so.
These are just a few unhealthy heart conditions found in the Bible. All of these heart conditions prevent people from realizing the fullness of God’s promises in their lives. All can be overcome and healed by trusting in God and believing His Word. Guarding one’s heart is vital in joyful and triumphant living for everyone.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.
Pro 23:7a For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he:
Correction: In the previous issue, Operation of the Heart (Part II), we made an error in our note concerning Romans 10:9,10. Thanks to a reader’s comment to us, we took a closer look at “if thou shalt confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus”. We now see no reason why this should be considered a figurative “mouth”, but in fact a literal and audible confession with the mouth. This is also consistent with many other scriptures. If one believes in his heart that Christ is Lord and God raised him from the dead, how can he not speak it out with his mouth?: for out the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. As far as those who cannot speak because of disability, God surely knows and accepts their intentions, for God looks upon the heart.