Reaching our full potential begins with a clean heart—one that loves the Lord and desires to obey Him. However, each of us was born with a nature bent away from God. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as deceitful and inclined towards wickedness. Pleasing self is man’s normal state.
Salvation changed our hearts and lives. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and broke its power over us. By receiving Christ as Savior, we each became a new creation—with a heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and a mind that strongly desires to know the Father better. We also received the Spirit’s power to deny our selfish desires and obey God. With clean hearts, we can begin to realize the capabilities our loving Lord has given us.
The best way to maintain a clean heart is by meditating on Scripture. It acts like a mirror in which we see ourselves as God does. Through it, we discover the areas where we have been faithful and also the places where we’ve veered from His path. Expressing genuine repentance brings God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).
The heart represents the seat of our mind, will, and emotions. When we strive to keep it pure, we will more easily discern the Lord’s plan, submit our will to His, and follow Him obediently.
Becoming the person God planned for each of us to be requires an intimate relationship with Him and a desire to obey His Word. Apart from Jesus, we can’t achieve anything of lasting value (John 15:5). Cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s transforming work will help us keep our hearts clean.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.