6.1. God looks at the Heart – Heart – Deep Convictions

"On day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature."

Martin Luther King

1. The Movie:

In the movie “The Heart of Man” with Justin Torrance and Serena Karnagy retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, interwoven with true testimonials of personal and sexual brokenness. Narrative storytelling and documentary filmmaking are combined like never before to reveal the compassionate heart of God the Father for His sons and daughters, illuminating an age-old truth: shame is not a barrier to God’s love, but a bridge to absolute transformation, victory, freedom, and hope.

 

2. Quotes from the Movie:

"The best scenario I could find for myself is living in the dark, was to keep everything a secret. So if I kept everything a secret, no one would get hurt."

Robert Fleet - The Heart of Man

“One day I figured out how messed up I was, so I went to God for help”

William P. Young - The Heart of Man

"Some of us are too broken to even think that far outside of us. So a lot of us has to get caught one way of the other and that is a great and terrifying grace."

William P. Young - The Heart of Man

"It is like taking a drug, there is this unbelievable guilt and shame associated with it but at the time I felt this high."

Moderator - The Heart of Man

"I feel the sense that something is uniquely wrong with me. I always felt that God was mildly disgusted with me."

John Lynch - The Heart of Man

"Hearing that he loves me, didn't really resonate because it is like when it all is set and done, He still going to judge me."

Jackie Hill-Perry - The Heart of Man

"And no matter what you did to clean yourself up, tough up, to play the right part, to say the right things, shame was always there to tell you, you are bad. And when you are bad, God does not love you and have anything to do with you, you have to earn that love ."

Moderator - The Heart of Man

"Shame is that thing that drives my compulsive behaviour ."

Robert Fleet - The Heart of Man

"Lust is desire gone bad, so every man, women struggles with lust. Eventually we face it, it is an addiction; it is going to kill us."

Moderator - The Heart of Man

"What if our shame was a bridge... not a barrier?"

Moderator - The Heart of Man

"So often we think God is just trying to get us to conform, when really what He is committed to is unbelievable transformation. If only we can enter the depts of His love. We would find our lives deeply changed."

Dan Alllender - The Heart of Man

"When the prodigal hits the bottom, something can grow. Nothing so dead that God can grow something living in it."

William P. Young - The Heart of Man

In this movie we see all the aspects of our heart that sometimes pull us away from God; the lust, the deceitfulness of sin, following our hearts, etc Hans. The question will we see God’s grace, forgiveness and love still that He wants us to return to him like the prodigal son?

3. The Bible Scriptures:

We always have to work at keeping our hearts pure before God and before one another.

Probably you have already heard much about the importance of a great heart, but this study will help you see how to have such a heart and what the result of such a heart will be.

Let’s see what the Bible has to say:

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of Life – Pr 4:23

– Hans how would you define the “heart” that the writer is describing?

  • Francois I would say my heart is what governs my whole person and where all desires originate.
  • The heart is not just the centre of my spiritual life activities but all of my life.

– What would it mean to “guard your heart” Hans?

  • Well Francois in a spiritual sense it would mean to guard what I desire and what my purpose in life is to make sure that it is in line with what God wants for my life, otherwise God cannot bless what I do because it is not what He has envisioned for me.
The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.” – Jer 17:9-10

– Why did God say this about our hearts Hans?

  • Well Francois I think we first need to understand what deceitful means.
  •  It means “deceiving or misleading others” or “concealing or misrepresenting the truth”.
  • So our hearts misleads us and does not really tell us the truth.
  • So if we cannot understand it makes me think that funny comparison between men and women. To understand men is a very thin book but for women it is an ensiclopedia, a vast range of books. 
  • If we cannot understand it, it means it is volutile and you cannot predict what will happen next.
  • If you were to employ someone like that in your company he or she would not last long because there is no consistency. 
  • If our hearts were not deceitful we would know the truth by default and everybody would be Christians.
  • So in essence what we allow to flows out of the heart either good and righteous deeds or evil, God will either reward or condemn us. 
  • So in essence if you want to see what is going on in your heart just check your deeds and what actions comes about in your life. 
  • So Francois the question I should ask myself; is what is going on in your life righteous deeds? Are you doing Gods will in the end?

Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Sam 16:1-7

– Hans in terms of religion, how might our “outward appearance’ be different from what is really going on in the heart? What is it that God is concerned about?

  • Outer appearances is very deceiving and we should not trust it, it is not important Francois. 
  • God is concerned about the moral condition of our hearts. 
  • There is an old illustration; what if you had a TV screen above your head showing your thoughts, will you be proud or embarrased?
  • So God looks at what men cannot see, your thoughts that is going on in your head, are they pure and righteous.
  • So in essence your thought pattern will determine if you will go to heaven or hell. 
  • So you can put up a mask for people and be deceitful but God knows what is going on. 
  • Francois the question really I need to ask myself is; am I concerned about what people think or God?

– Have you been tempted so far in your new life to put on the outward appearance without having the heart? If so, how?

  •  Francois that is always a situation that you might find yourself in, because if you are not close to God but you still want to look good.
  • I have found that it is very easy to say it is going well, but if someone were to ask you “How is it really, really going?” the real self might come out.
  • I think it might happen to you without you knowing it due to the fact that you deceived yourself by reading / listening to the Bible but not doing what the Bible says. (Jms 1:22)
  •  It is easy to wear a mask. Being in the world you have trained yourself to wear it in a masterful way consealing your sin and not confessing it. When you confess your sin you take that mask off and are willing to deal with your sin in order to repent of it. 
  • I would say confessing your sin is like a reality check to see where your heart is at. 
  • I think by default we are lazy. So if we do not decide every day to deny ourself  and have good habits of daily reading your Bible and pray, sharing your faith every day and daily have a plan to study the Bible with people to help them become disciples you would not be close to God and you will wear a mask. 

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,a]”>[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting – Ps 139

– Hans have you noticed David’s prayer for a pure heart in v.23-24? Spend some special time praying about your own heart.

4. Close

– Hans our hearts play the pivotal role in us to get to heaven. If not analysed it can lead us to go to hell, seeing that we deceive ourselves through it. 
  • Francois I know. Our hearts being guilted out, that can lead us away from God not understanding His grace. But repentance is always the way back to God. Understanding grace leads to repentance. 

– The question is would we go to God for the help that we so desperately need Hans?  Would you close us out with a prayer?

  • Monring Dad.
  • Sometimes I have to be right at the bottom before I realize the only way out and up is through you.
  • So many times we think and feel that sin is the answer, but the consequences soon let us know that it was totally the wrong choice that we have been deceived by following our hearts like they say in the movies.
  • Do I see Your grace Lord or only your judgement?
  • Lord I know by now that just doing the right thing does not cut it if I do not have the faith to have that personal relationship with you where my friends help me to see where I am at, seeing that my hearth deceives me. 
  • Lord the question is; is lust ruling my life? Do I forward the scenes in movies that might tempt me, like is this one to stay pure?
  • Lord is my shame a barrier or a bridge towards you?
  • I know Lord you are not just about the rules but the relationship that will change us forever if only we understand your love that transforms us.
  • God I know that we judge things by the outer appearance, but you look at our hearts. May my heart be pleasing in your sight. 
  • Lord I know that you judges the thoughts and attitudes of my heart and that nothing is hidden from you. (Heb 4:12-13)
  • So Lord in essence it is better to look our worst before people to look our best before you because we will deal with our hearts by confessing our sin. (Jms 5:16)
  • The question Lord is do I know about sin (Gal 5:19-21, 2 Tim 3:1-5, Rev 21:8) being self aware and repent of it or perish. (Luk 13:1-9)
  • Father please reveal to me if there is any offensive way in me like David said and lead me in the way everlasting. 
  • God help me to spend some more time praying about my heart towards you.
  • Amen.
  

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