“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person” (Proverbs 27:19)
“My sheep recognise my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
It is amazing how many of us try to hide what is in our hearts. We put up a show, a smoke screen for everyone to see. Some are better at it than others. We can’t hide it though, eventually it reveals itself. The person we are, is clearly reflected by what lies in ours hearts. How impossible it is for our hearts to change and how easy it is for them to be corrupted.
‘What is impossible for man is possible with God!’ Only God can change our hearts and protect them from corruption. Scripture does not debate this fact, but allows us to see the only way we can begin to have a heart that reflects purity and love. Do not be mistaken, before knowing Christ, our hearts were only full of our old sinful nature. Praise His Name! For His Grace abounds in us and our hearts are now not our own. Instead, Christ lives in us, and so His heart pours forth from ours.
There is however a danger, for we often still live by our human nature rather than by the Holy Spirit. I am sure all of us have looked at our reflections in water. Just imagine this (or try it for yourself), you are looking at your reflection and someone throws a stone into the water right by where you are looking. What happens? The ripples from the stone distort the image of your face. Perhaps these verses will strike your memory; ‘a small amount of yeast permeates (spreads) through a large batch of dough’ or ‘don’t you realise that is even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected’. The same applies to the heart.
Imagine that your heart is a fortress. It is ‘surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation’. Christ lives in your heart and protects it. What happens when we open the gate of the fortress ignoring that same protection. Simple, we allow those things in which corrupt the heart, those things that are sinful and evil. The ‘heart reflects the person’, so heed the Spirit and only ‘open the gates to all who are righteous’ and only ‘allow the faithful to enter’.
I know that living in this way is hard for us, but Jesus gives us wonderful guidance. ‘My sheep recognise my voice.’ First we need to listen! We need to listen to what God is saying, not what the rest of the world is saying. Too often we allow the busyness and loud noise of the world to drown out the voice of God. I beg you to start listening for His voice.
‘I know them’. Although separated, recognising His voice and being known go hand in hand. We need to have fellowship with Christ. Spend time with God! Building a one on one relationship with Christ is the only way our hearts leave the things of the world. How can our hearts possibly change if we do not know Christ? How can our hearts be protected if Christ is not there defending it?
‘They follow me’. Knowing Christ will always produce a response. This response is as much a part of our hearts changing as recognising His voice and knowing Him. This response is to follow Christ, to follow all that He is and all His commandments. Christ ‘will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, whose thoughts are fixed on Him’. To reject following Christ in ‘all things’ means we open the gate of the fortress (our hearts) to sin and evil. We allow our hearts to be corrupted.
‘The heart reflects the person’. Surely if we know this, we will make every effort to make sure that our hearts are in the right place? Let the ‘walls of God’s salvation’ protect you. Allow Christ to live in your hearts, to reflect good and not evil. Allow Him to reflect a heart of purity and peace, all of which can never be found in this world apart from Him.