The Heart of the Matter
"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." (Prov 4:23)
"As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man." (Prov 27:19)
The eyes of the Lord are always searching throughout the whole earth. And what is it that He searching for? The answer is a "loyal heart" (2 Chron. 16:9). The Lord taught that "the pure in heart will see God" (Matt. 5:8). He is both searching and sanctifying the hearts of those He knows will believe in Him and become a resting place for Himself in the spirit (Eph. 2:22).
In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shows us that the root of every problem comes from the heart of man, which Jeremiah says is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9). Right after Jesus speaks of how He is the fulfillment of the Law, He moves into what is often at the heart of our human struggles in relationships. Jesus is addressing the sixth and seventh commandment, which deals with "you shall not murder" and "you shall not commit adultery" respectively, but Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter. and shows us each of their roots, anger and issues of lust, leads to the fruits of these kind of sins.
When it comes to relationships, we see conflict and corruption everywhere. Therefore, Jesus wants us to deal with the earliest forms of irritability and immorality. Anger, unless it has righteous grounds and does not lead to sin, only leads to a growing desire to hurt, wound, or eventually kill another person, even if it is with your words to damage their reputation. Jesus teaches us to settle matters quickly so that the devil is not able to add insult to injury and to fill the gaps with his own narrative in your heart. We must learn to do our part to be at peace with all people in the best way possible.
When it comes to sexual sin and the deceptive strategies of the enemy, we must understand that Satan has no creative power. The devil only takes the beautiful design of God and finds ways to pervert God's commands in order to get us to divert from His plans. Sexual sin is like fire spreading outside of the fireplace. When there is a fire in the fireplace, it is warm and beautiful and is a blessing to the whole house. However, when the fire spreads outside of its safe boundaries, it brings sudden destruction to all that are in its path.
Solomon teaches us the following wisdom in Proverbs 6:27-29, 32-33):
"Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent . . . . Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, And his reproach will not be wiped away."
We learn other key lessons from the Bible on this all important subject of adultery...
Joseph teaches us… to flee sexual temptation for it is great sin against God. (Gen. 39:9-12) Job teaches us… to make a covenant with our eyes not to look lustfully on others (Job 31:1) Solomon teaches us… that the eye is never satisfied with seeing. (Eccles. 1:8) David teaches us… that we can be “washed from our iniquity and cleansed from our sin. (Psa 51:2)
We have a straightforward teaching from Hebrews 13:4 that sums it up so well, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
When all is said and done, we must never let these besetting sins get in the way of our fellowship with God and others and our calling to manifest His kingdom on this earth.
- Do you have someone that you have grown bitter toward and anger rises the moment you think of them or see them along the way? If so, take some time to release this to God and to pray for God to work in that person's heart with the desire that God will bring peace in that relationship.
- Do you find your eyes and heart running to places where they do not belong? How can you sure up your walk with the Lord and intentionally, actively fight for your purity?
Remember that the more you behold the beauty of the Lord, the less you will run to the counterfeits and passing pleasures of sin.