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“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Undoubtedly you’ve heard this verse used to explain all sorts of poor decisions and bad behavior. Oftentimes it hovers over both the believer and unbeliever alike, serving to excuse, or even dismiss, what would otherwise be unacceptable. The assertion is that the heart of the redeemed person is really no different than that of the unredeemed. You know it’s true. No, not that the hearts are the same, but that the verse is used so indiscriminately. Let’s correct the record; you should not be surprised when a pagan acts like a pagan, but you should be very disappointed when a Christian does.

Everyday-life circumstances are very effective at exposing what’s in a man’s heart. Y’shua often taught His disciples lessons that would reveal their heart condition. He performed cardiac stress tests, here and there, by inserting parables about the heart into His teaching schedule. If we return to the infamous verse and read what comes next, this is what the Lord told Jeremiah: “Yahweh, searches the heart—tests the mind. And He gives every man according to his choices, according to the fruit of his actions.” A few things jump off the page here. First that the heart is actually the mind. Elsewhere we learn that the Word of God exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart. It should be obvious to all that thoughts and intentions are functions of the mind. It is also apparent that we can discern what is in a man’s heart by observing his activities; let’s say both his words and his actions.

But again, the challenge is about the heart of a Christian. Are we really no different? Are we no more equipped than the average pagan? Are we only equally capable? You’d think that was so each time a Christian commandeers that verse, “The heart is deceitful above all things…” and feels to use such to justify or excuse his or another’s words and actions. “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing? My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” May this be the last day, as a follower of Christ, that you erroneously lean on Jeremiah’s words about a deceitful heart. Instead, grab onto these from Ezekiel; “You have been given a new heart and a new spirit; your heart of stone has been removed and replaced with a heart of flesh.”

Y’shua will test your heart as He does all those who sit under His teachings. And, He poses this question to every one of us. “Has My goodness uncovered any wickedness lurking in your heart?” Now, let us contemplate two additional paradigm-shattering questions. Pretend you are sitting at the feet of the King on His throne in heaven. Maybe even picture a judge’s bench in a courtroom. Or, to make it more intimate, imagine sitting on God’s lap, warmed by His loving embrace. I can only imagine! The King has a few questions for you—two questions, essentially the same. “What do you wish?“ And, “What do you want Me to do for you?” But two very different answers… What do I wish? I wish to be exalted above all others—very Luciferian. “What do I want You to do for me?” Lord, open my eyes that I may follow You. Two similar questions; two very different answers.

Sight is a function of the eyes and when all you can see is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, you are truly blind. Vision, however, is a function of the heart and when you understand with a pure heart, you will see what all the prophets and righteous men of old desired to see. This exercise can cause your mind to wander in a few very different directions, but one thing is certain. Your answers say everything about what’s in your heart. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Sell all you have to follow Him and you will be His true disciples.