With All of Your Heart: Seeking Christ Like Character From the Inside Out

“The heart is the center of emotions, feelings, moods, and passions. Equated with the heart are joy (Deut. 28:47; Acts 2:26), grief (Ps. 13:2; Lam. 2:11), ill-temper (Deut. 15:10), love (Phil. 1:7), courage (2 Sam. 17:10; Ps. 27:14), and fear (Gen. 42:28).” The heart of an individual defines both the positive and negative psyche he or she may experience through life and is not the bubbly wishy washy moments which to often are expected by many Christians. God loves and wants to know every deep inner part of you including the ups and down moments which seem toughest to experience. The Psalmist David was quick to share the times of anger and frustrations which he experienced while running from King Saul in the wilderness. At the same time, I imagine Moses arguing and pleading with God over the frustrations he experienced while leading the Israelite people. In my own life, it is difficult to acknowledge the battles and struggles over being in a wheelchair to which I face daily, however, I know God is right there beside me as I weep and push on.

In his book ‘Fan the Flame’, Joseph Stowell says the “Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as “the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity,” “the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will,” and “the center of a person. The place to which God turns.”

Loving God with our hole heart means we are acknowledging and embracing him first internally through each moment being lived out with truthful emotion, passion, desire, and a deliberate conscious effort to acknowledge and engage with his presence with a spirit of authenticity at all times.