“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” 1 Peter 1:13-16
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
When the Lord put the words “holy heart” on my mind, I had no hesitation in understanding what I believe He was telling me. Those who are heaven-bound are those who repent, believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, believing He is Lord and turning from a lifestyle of sin to a lifelong journey of faithfully following Him whereby we live according to God’s ways not the world’s. Christ’s followers are to purify our hearts, to be holy as He is holy, to renew our minds by studying God’s Word, the Bible, and to submit our lives to God and His ways as His Spirit conforms us to Himself.
Repentance is not a one-time deal. It is to become a way of life whereby we are transformed to become more and more like Jesus. We repent when the Spirit of God shows us sin in our hearts and lives, and we are to grow in God’s image as we continually purify our hearts before Him.
How easy it is to think of sin as an external matter only. Like sin is lying, cheating, murder, adultery, etc. But the Lord tells us in His Word that sin is just as much as what lies in our heart when it displeases Him, and that we need to rid ourselves of the sin in our hearts just as much as the sin in our words and actions.
Hurt we won’t let go of. Bitterness. Anger. Hatred. Resentment. Judgment. Condemnation. Pride. Envy. Refusing to forgive. Worry. Fear. Doubt. Unbelief. Criticism. Complaining. Self-pity. Self-centeredness. And plenty more. All sin against God.
And God sees our hearts. And God cares about our hearts. He cares about the condition of them. He calls us to repentance. He calls us to purify our hearts. He calls us to holiness. We are considered holy before Him through faith in Christ, but we are also to live a life of holiness whereby we line up the state of our hearts with the holiness we have through Jesus. In other words, we need to stay on top of what’s in our hearts. And we need to purge from them whatever displeases God.
The holy heart. Let’s do as the Lord tells us. Let’s purify ourselves before Him. For the glory of the Lord, let us do so, yes!