Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Heart: A Contrite Heart

Here is another post on the heart by Bessie, taken from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago. I will be posting a few more in the future.

A Contrite Heart

by Bessie Wilson

For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15)

God is very explicit in His Word regarding the conditions under which He reveals Himself to man. He is transcendent (that is, He is above and beyond His creation). He is also immanent (indwelling). He chooses to indwell those who are contrite and lowly in spirit.

Why does God emphasize the heart as the important part of man? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve”(Jeremiah 17:10).

The heart is the inmost part of our being. It influences the mind (the decision-making), which dictates what the body does (deeds or conduct). Jesus taught that “from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts” (Mark 7:21). That is the negative part of the truth.

The positive part is that when the heart is contrite (repenting of evil in thought or action) and lowly (humble) in spirit, God lives in us to revive us both in heart and spirit.

We see casualties in the Christian community, and we get preoccupied with the sins committed. We cannot understand how such things can be. These sins do not “just happen.” We trace them back to the heart where sin was first entertained. Eventually, the external circumstances were favorable to the sin that had long been contemplated.

Because God’s gifts are not necessarily withdrawn when sin invades the Christian heart, a man can continue to expound the Word of God somewhat effectively. But if his heart is proud and if he does not consciously “keep short accounts with God,” he will eventually be exposed in grievous sins. Although the pride of man encourages him to think he is smart enough to avoid exposure, God’s Word disagrees: “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Does your heart need reviving? Get it in a contrite position, praying as in Psalm 139:23-24:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Does your spirit need reviving? Let it be humbled before God, and as James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” A right attitude in our hearts will bring a revival in our whole person by the promised power of God.

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