The Established Heart - David Mitts
What does it mean to be ‘established’ in something? Our opening scripture gives us a picture of this reality; God establishes us in Christ, or in the anointing. He gives us His Spirit as a seal upon our heart and as a guarantee of the fulfillment of a promise.
What is the promise? Well certainly the eventual outcome is eternal life, but there is also a sense of destiny and unique purpose for each Believer. Do all people have a destiny in God? Yes, they all do!
Will they all accomplish their destiny? Well, a better way to ask the question is, “Is there righteousness apart from Christ?” Can we be truly right without Him?
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."(Rom 3:9-12)
This is an important reality. We can do righteous things without God, but we cannot become righteous without Him. Not only can we not become righteous without Him, but we also cannot even be aware of what righteousness is without Him.
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
The Kingdom of God is accessible only through being born again. This opens up the life of true righteousness. Righteousness is NOT what you do, but who you are. A person can perform great acts of righteousness without being born again, but that does not make them righteous. And a righteous person can do unrighteous actions and that does not make them unrighteous, just in need of repentance.
Think of righteousness as citizenship in the Kingdom. The border is the covenant blood at the threshold of the doorway. The blood of Yeshua makes way for us to become citizens, and thus makes us the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21)
This is a being statement. Being statements are for humans; they are identity or character statements. They define who we are. It’s not about what we do. The Pharisees of the Bible and of our day make it about acting godly and then define for us whatever that is. That, of course, varies depending on whose rules you are submitted to. This, however, has nothing to do with righteousness – or even with the kingdom of God.
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Rom 10:3-4)
Christ, the Anointing is the end or goal of righteousness. In the Kingdom, the end becomes the beginning. His end is our beginning, His death our new life.
So, this is how we start, in Him and also how we end in Him. In the middle is the training and establishment of the heart.
Now, natural things reveal spiritual realities.
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. (1Co 15:46)
We can look to our natural, physical heart to comprehend the establishment of our spiritual heart. Natural heart research tells us that the heart has to be able to adjust to changing physical demands. Part of evaluating the health of our heart is to put it through stressful situations and note how it adjusts. A little science for us:
Heart rate is not an even, static event. When we breathe in, the heart rate increases because of sympathetic nervous activity; and when we breathe out, it slows due to parasympathetic nervous activity. Health is measured by how smoothly the heart makes these transitions in what is known as ‘heart coherence’. Like any muscle, the heart will accommodate to the demands you put on it. Also like any muscle, rest is as important as effort.
Now, let’s translate what I just said to the spiritual heart. First question: Is there an EKG for our spiritual heart? Is there a scriptural way to measure our heart condition? If so, what would that be?
The Bible tells us to watch over or guard our heart.
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Pro 4:23).
How can we “keep” our heart? How do we even know if we are “keeping or watching over our heart”?
The Hebrew word is Nazar, from where we get Nazarene or branch. It is the same word root for a watchman. There is an implied vigilance and a diligence.
Let’s look at a couple of verses and see if we can get a handle on this.
The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all my heart I will observe Your precepts. (Psalm 119:69)
Here the word “observe” is the word, Nazar. The term “arrogant” is I believe, a reference to the lies of this world system that accuse God before us trying to divide our heart. The psalmist is declaring that in his or her heart, he or she will treasure and protect what God says about us. The word ‘precepts’ is usually used for principles or rules, that guide choices and actions. It reflects a surrender to God’s ways.
By being righteous, we have access to His precepts in a living relational way. Anybody can have access to His principles. Humanists tell us that principles are just logical extensions of evolution. We learned to survive by not killing and cooperating with each other. Yet, when we look deeper into human nature, we see a much uglier picture. We aren’t born sinless. We are born with a nature that needs to training in righteousness. Go to a playground and you’ll see it. This is why children are always supervised by adults.
The heart needs God; it needs to be made righteous and then established in His precepts – the living reality of His instructions and ways that have not only been written in scripture but also inscribed into the fabric of our spiritual heart.
Part of the process of establishing our heart is activating with purpose the precepts of God. This process comes about by learning to bring our heart to the place where we can hear with our spirit what the Lord is speaking to our heart that will resonate with the instruction of the written Word.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.(Gal 3:24-25).
Most people take this scripture as a positional statement, theologically. But I want to pursue it as training in the establishment of our heart in the faith that works by love. What I mean is that we use the Law i.e., the scripture, the precepts of God, as the revelation of His wisdom, His principles for life. Anyone can do this. It is what we discover that truly works in life.
But what makes a child of God different, is the inner righteousness that comes from Christ. Our hearts are impregnated by the Word through His indwelling spirit. That justifies us or corrects our course. Corrects our course to what? The precepts. So the Law, or the Precepts, the scripture is our tutor in the establishment of our heart which leads us to He who is the Word, Christ, then the faith that comes out of a relationship with the Word, inside of us comes. Faith is the activator, the ownership of the scripture which then establishes the Word in our heart.
Once the Word has been established, the tutor is unnecessary. This isn’t a replacement theology but a process that establishes us in present truth.
Let’s finish up this study and then activate. Look at 2 Peter Chapter 1:10-15:
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.(2Pe 1:10-15)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.(Php 4:6-9)
Now see this scripture in your heart! The key is appreciation, sincere appreciation. Think of what you are thankful for, sincerely as you bring your breath and relaxed focus to your heart. Can you feel the peace?
HMI Appreciation Tool and Exercise
Heart-focused, sincere, positive feeling states boost the immune system, while negative emotions can suppress the immune response for up to six hours. These actual heart-monitor readouts contrast the heart-rhythm pattern of someone experiencing frustration, then appreciation. The smooth heart rhythm, measured by heart-rate variability (HRV), is what scientists call a highly ordered or coherent pattern and is a sign of good health and emotional balance.