Heart Factory

Our hearts are a factory. They can either be factories for good, or factories for evil. In fact God says that we are born with evil hearts, because of Adam’s sin, and that they only produce evil.

Genesis 8:21 (ASV), “And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.” (Emphasis mine)

Thankfully that wasn’t His plan for us, so He made a wonderful way for us to be like Him. His heart is LOVE. If we love Him and see our need for His saving grace He takes out our hearts and simply replaces it. A huge deal to us, but no biggie to Him, He was the first heart surgeon.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV), “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

There are a few places in the Bible that talks about Him giving us a new heart, but this one scripture in Ezekiel specifies that this new heart is “undivided”. It serves one master, it has one nature, and it isn’t schizophrenic. These new hearts have the ability to love like God, to live like Jesus, and to beat to a new drummer. David in the Old Testament realized the importance of a right heart; we see it in several places.

Psalm 51:10 (KJB), “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

One of the few things Jesus railed about was the condition of the hearts of the religious leaders during His time with us.

Matthew 12:33-34 (BSB), “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. We say what is brewing up in there. We produce whatever we have laid on the assembly line. They have the power to be a factory for good it’s our choice. After He puts that new heart in there, think of it as a brand new crock pot, we decide what goes in. If we keep the lid on nothing will get in that isn’t supposed to (guard your heart and mind, God tells us). So if the finished meal tastes like… manure, you have to ask yourself, “What did I put in there?” Got it? It isn’t going to produce anything if we aren’t putting something inside, it will produce garbage, yuk, stink, etc, if we aren’t putting in good wholesome things.

If our hearts are a factory, think of your eyes, your ears, your brain, as the source of the materials you will be building with. You can build with quality building materials (precious stones), or poor materials (wood, hay, and stubble). You choose. They can produce bitterness, angry, perversion, murder, and everything ugly from the pits of hell.

Or they can produce the most beautiful garden from heaven. The best thing we can put in our hearts is God’s word. The word takes root and grows in our hearts. Love takes root there, generosity, grace, mercy, truth; all of those wonderful attributes of God grow well in our hearts

What are you producing in your factory?

 

Heart Hooks

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Isaiah 61:1-3 (KJB), “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Have you ever been hooked by a fish hook? Maybe seen someone who has? I have several times, some of the stories are downright comical, others make you cringe just thinking about them. The thing about a fish hook is that you can’t just pull those things out. They have little barbs on them that are supposed to keep you from losing your fish.

I read a book recently where they used this analogy to explain the hurts in our heart. Those hurts are like fish hooks, full of barbs that are embedded in our hearts. You really can’t just pull them out. God knows this and cares about us so much that he takes them out the “easy way”. This involves pushing them through. It is still painful, believe me, it will hurt. However, it will not do more damage. Our Father knows the safest way to get them out. He can remove them without tearing our hearts to pieces. He is in the repair business not the demolition business after all.

We read in scripture about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, resisting, and then coming out of that experience full of the power of the Holy Spirit. He immediately started teaching in the synagogues. We read in Luke that He returns to His hometown, where He was raised and as was His custom, went to the synagogue there. He stands up and reads those words out of Isaiah. I enjoy the King James Version of this one because it reads that He came to “bind up the brokenhearted”. When I read this version, I always picture a torn and ravaged heart that He tenderly wraps in the gauze of His love, stopping the hemorrhaging.

That’s why He came. To heal our hearts. To show us that the Father’s love is more than enough to bind up any brokenness, to stitch up every wound, to break up every stony place, and to fill our hearts with His love (His love is “shed abroad” in our hearts.)

I found myself recently having to allow one of those barbs to be removed. I thought that the broken place had already been healed. Sometimes we don’t even know about a wound until God starts that gently pushing. Did it hurt? You bet. It also brought up some ugly stuff that I didn’t want to deal with. Yet, I have gotten smarter with every hook removed, so I allowed Him to do His thing. I was left feeling emotional, drained, and free! One more hurt gone. One more kiss from Daddy on the boo-boo. I am glad that just because we think everything is fine, doesn’t mean that He stops working on us. He knew I still harbored that hook. He also knew it was not part of His plan for my life. So out came the spotlight and there it was.

When that happens, the best thing to do is immediately surrender that hurt to God. Forgive anyone you need to, and ask Him to take it out. I used to reason with myself, make excuses, say things like, “I already got over that years ago,” or get on the bandwagon of lamenting all the hurts in my life, or take on a victim mentality. I learned the hard way that doing those things only makes those barbs reproduce. It makes the hooks grow, and it makes the process of removing them take even longer, and hurt a lot worse. That’s why it is important ask God to search our hearts. Allow the Holy Spirit to show us what’s really in there.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB), “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me,  And lead me in the everlasting way.”

This isn’t about just looking for sin, or bad habits, it is also looking for wrong thought patterns, unforgiveness, and unhealed hurts, every “hurtful way” in us. He is faithful, He is gentle, and His love can heal every wound.

Will you let Him?