In the simplest of terms, what God wants from you is your heart. Some might hear that and think it’s the basis for a kind of sentimental religion. Others hear it and conclude that if God wants our hearts He is asking for an easy thing. But God asking for our heart, above mere behavior and agreement, is the greatest demand He can make. Asking for a man's heart is asking for all of the man, not just part. Everything that really matters in life is done with the heart. Without the heart whatever we do is ultimately useless and fruitless. God is grieved when we "draw near" to Him in word while retreating from Him in our hearts (Is. 29:13, 14). And because in all things at all times God wants our hearts we are cautioned to keep the heart (Prov. 4:23) and "direct" it in the way.
Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. (Proverbs 23:19 ESV)
The easiest mistake to make in our spiritual life is to focus on external behavior while neglecting the internal aspect of the heart. And to neglect heart work is to risk spiritual ruin.
Consider that giving thanks, rejoicing, singing, and of course loving, is all heart work (Ps. 9:2; 13:5;Eph. 5:19; 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 Pet 1:22). Do you understand that faith and repentance, to be genuine, must stem from the heart (Rom. 10:9-10; Ps. 51:17)? Do you know that the greatest danger you face as a Christian is unbelief stemming from a hardened heart (Heb. 3:12)? This is why Scripture calls us to direct our hearts in the way.
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