A Heart for God

Does your heart beat for God? It should, you know, because He is the One who allows your heart to keep beating. You are living on borrowed time and the moment will come when your Creator will call you home. Until that time, our hearts should beat for Him, and that means we live from heartbeat to heartbeat for His glory. That is a moment by moment life of sacrifice as we say “no” to our will and “yes” to His will. From heartbeat to heartbeat we resist sin, keep our thoughts fixed on Him, worship Him, and praise Him, and we do this until God punches our ticket and our heart stops.

When your heart beats for God you are hungry and thirsty for God. You want to know Him and live in His presence. If Christ is your treasure, he will be what your heart beats for. Jesus said this in Matt. 6:21 — For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God promises us that we will surely find him if we love and seek Him with our whole heart!

Deut. 4:29 —But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul

This kind of hunger and thirst to seek the face of God is developed over time, and this post will give you some practical advice so you can develop this hunger.

The foundational verse for this article is:

Matt. 22:37 — And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

To love God with all of our being, which is what Jesus meant by heart, we need to understand that He was not referring to the physical pump in our chest that moves blood throughout our body. According to Peter, it’s the hidden person of the heart (1 Peter 3:3). According to Paul it’s the “inner man” (Romans 7:22). Paul also wrote in 2 Cor. 4:16 — Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. So, when Jesus says to “love God with all of your heart” He is saying “seek God with all of your being! Abandon everything to know Him.”

We all need a heart transplant!! To love God with all our hearts requires a new heart. We need a new inner man, or “hidden person of the heart.” The inner man we are born with is dead and in need of spiritual life. We inherited this dead spirit from Adam and Eve because when they sinned, they became mortals with mortal DNA, and this bound every single one of their offspring to this mortal state at conception. Mortals can’t produce immortals. Because we are born with a dead spirit, it’s not in our nature to seek after the things of God. Look at babies. They don’t have to be taught how to cry and be selfish. It’s in their nature to be that way. Humans seem to be “wired” to sin. That’s because we are! Our hearts need to be rewired. Praise God this is exactly what He promised to do in the Old Testament and accomplished in the New. Check out what God told Ezekiel about receiving a “new heart/spirit.” Here in this verse we actually have a prophecy concerning the “New Birth” Jesus talked with Nicodemus about in John 3.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 –“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

I went through all of that because I want you to know that having a heart for God is only possible if your heart has been made new. You have to have a “new spirit” (Ez. 36:26), which means having your very nature, your inner man, recreated by the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 3; Rom. 8:9-17). That is the beginning of the journey and without it, no one can seek the face of God. Only the born again children of God can have a heart for God and experience the fullness of His life.

A Heart for God After the New Birth

After the new birth, loving God with all your heart means loving God from your spirit man, which is what true worship is. Jesus said that true worshipers will worship the Father “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). This means worshiping God out of the inner man. Simply put, honoring God in your inner, hidden, secret life, is an act of sacrificial worship because it is done from a place where no one can see it but God. This means you aren’t doing it to impress others because no one else knows, which keeps this type of worship pure. If you get the glory rather than God, it isn’t worship.

We must understand that true worship is not just going to church every week and singing songs. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 12:1–Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

Notice how Paul says that our obedience and the killing of our flesh at the altar are acts of spiritual worship. What we are on the inside is way more important to God than what we do on the outside. That’s what it means to worship God in spirit. Worshipping God in your spirit happens when you yield to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit to say “yes” to righteousness. Killing your desires and will and saying “no” to sin is an act of worship, especially when it happens when no one is watching.

Living this way makes us like the Apostle Paul who said in Philippians 3:7-8– But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…

What can we do to have a heart for God?

1. Guard and Protect Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 — Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. (HCSB)

Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. (God’s Word Translation)

How do we “guard our heart?” Be careful what you let into your mind because whatever you consistently think and meditate upon will get into your heart. Just like you have to be careful what files you download onto your computer to prevent viruses and malware, we must also be careful what information we “download” so we don’t pollute our mental and spiritual computers. God’s Word filters what is deposited into our hearts. Make sure everything you hear, see, and read is filtered through the truth of God’s Word so you can “guard your heart” from the pollution of the world.

I like the NLT version of this verse where it says the heart “determines the course of your life.” Our hearts are like a GPS that determines what course we take in life. A GPS will do you no good if you type in the wrong address. The wrong information will take you way off course. How do we program our hearts to go in the right direction? What is the right direction? The right direction is the “Secret Place of the Most High” and the information we download into our internal GPS (heart) is the Word of God.

How do we download God’s Word into our spirit? We must download information from God’s mind into our mind. We must get God’s Word up off the printed page into our minds and then chew on it through meditation until it drops down into our hearts. The Bible makes several references to the fact that we can indeed put God’s Word in our hearts.

Deut. 11:18 — Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

Ps. 119:11 — I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Meditation is the best way to get God’s Word into your spirit. When we meditate, we are sowing the seed of God’s Word into the soil of our hearts. Look at Jesus’ Parable on The Farmer who sowed seed. Jesus said the Seed was the Word of God (Luke 8:11).

2. Keep a Pure Heart

Matt. 5:8 — Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Obedience is to have a heart for God. We talked about this previously, but it can’t be overemphasized. Obedience is God’s love language. If you’ve ever read the book The Five 5 Love Languages, then you know everyone communicates love in different ways. Some communicate love through giving gifts to those they love. Some feel love when they spend quality time with people they care about. Some prefer gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch and so on. God’s love language is our obedience.

Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey me” (John 15).  The prophet Samuel knew this to be true when he said in 1 Sam 15:22 —“What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

We look at the life of king David and see that God chose Him to be king because David was obedient.

Acts 13:22 — But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.

A man after God’s own heart is a man who will do everything God wants him to do. It really is that simple. Obedience is difficult, but it is the simple answer to most of our spiritual problems. If we would just learn to resist sin and obey God that would make our hearts beat in rhythm with His, and the joy that this brings to our Father’s heart will spill over into our lives and we will receive blessings innumerable.

Make the decision today that you are going to love God with all your heart. Guard your heart and fill it with God’s Word. Be determined to live a sacrficial life of obedience to keep your heart pure. It’s the most difficult thing you’ll ever do, but His presence in your life will be your reward, and He is worth it!