After the flood that destroyed everything on earth but Noah and his family, Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to the Lord. The scripture says the Lord smelled the sweet aroma of the sacrifice and vowed to never again curse the ground because of man, although the imaginations of man’s heart is evil from his youth. This area of scripture has always caused me to pause and check inside my heart to see if I find any evil lurking there. I’m saddened to say I found a lot of evil ways in me that I didn’t expect to find. Alarmed at that, I asked the Lord to help me purge thoughts of myself because for me evil starts there. It is thoughts we have of and for ourselves that sets us on the wrong side of things before God and others.
But how could I rid myself of something that hid itself so well from me? Even when I said I wanted to root it out, I couldn’t always find what was lurking right under my nose. Scripture has the answer to this in 1 Chronicles 29:18. Here, King David is praying to God when he says, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You.” David knew that the people must guard their hearts. He knew that God would test the heart of every man, and that He takes pleasure in uprightness of the heart of man. He speaks of uprightness rather than righteousness of heart. So, he asks God to fix the heart of the people to be towards Him because David knew the people would have trouble doing it themselves.
So, what is this uprightness of heart that David speaks of, and why is it so hard for people to attain? Let’s look at the heart of the three people David mentioned in his prayer to God. Abraham was upright in his heart towards God because he willingly decided to follow the plan God set for his life. All that Abraham did was done with this in mind. Yes, he may have sinned along the way, but he walked with God in his heart. He never questioned the path he was on. He never attempted to chart his own path for his life. No, Abraham fixed his heart to follow the plan God had for his life. Abraham saw a lot of God in his life. This is hard for us to do today because we see more of ourselves in our lives than we see of God in our lives. When you see more of you than you see of Him, you will be challenged to fix your heart on Him.
With Isaac, we find a man who was delivered by the hand of God as a child from a sacrificial death for God. Isaac had all the reason in the world to wonder about God, but instead he was steadfast in his belief in God because God delivered him as a child from being sacrificed. Isaac found it easy to fix his heart on God because he saw how much God’s heart was fixed on him. We find it difficult to fix our hearts on God in this way because we have not experienced the deliverance in our lives like Isaac. We say we love God, and He loves us, but we probably love ourselves more. So, our hearts are fixed on ourselves more than on Him.
Jacob had to rely on God to provide the basic needs of life for himself and for his family. So, Jacob fixed his heart on God the provider because he saw no other way to sustain life for himself and for his children. Jacob was a believer in what God believed in. We find it difficult to fix our hearts this way because we often find it difficult to believe in things the way God wants us to believe in them. There is still too much of our heart ruling our lives and not enough of God heart living in our lives.
David knew the challenge with our hearts so he prayed that God would fix the heart of His people on Him so that they would live more in uprightness of heart. We are like the people of David’s time. We cannot fix our hearts to God by ourselves because too much of our hearts are still fixed on ourselves. If you are going to be upright before God, you must first be upright right for others. More of them and less of you.
So, like David, why don’t you make this a prayer request of your own. Ask that the Lord will keep the thoughts and intents of your heart upright before Him, and ask that He will fix your heart to lean toward Him more than towards yourself. If you do this, He will do what you ask and more of what you do in life will be pleasing to Him.Live a Delivered Life. Love you.