You can’t purify the water by painting the pump.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Since the 4th century B.C., when Greek philosopher Aristotle referred to the heart as the most important organ in the body, it has stood as the one most closely related to our souls.
“If indeed from the heart alone rise anger or passion, fear, terror, and sadness; if from it alone spring shame, delight, and joy, why should I say more?” wrote Andreas de Laguna in 1535.
They quickly discovered the heart was the seat of our emotions even if it doesn’t look exactly like a Valentine. (It’s more like an upside down pear!).
Modern science refers to the heart as a pump, for that is what it does. It is a two stage pump that circulates blood throughout the body and carries away waste and impurities.
Even in our “sophisticated society” of the 21st century, we still talk about the heart when we are discussing anything that has to do with our feelings. We are “heart-broken” or “brokenhearted” and we have “heart to heart talks”. We can be heavy hearted, down-hearted, young at heart and half-hearted. And of course, we can’t forget “eat your heart out!” That one is a puzzler!
What is amazing to me is that over 2,000 years ago, our Lord and Savior differentiated between the heart, soul and mind (or brain), when He referred to the heart as the center of all sentiment: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:27, 28 NKJV.
But that heart can get tainted if the pump is not flowing properly. Our heart must be pure, holy and free of things that are not pleasing to God. We must strive to line up to His Word.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
This temple of the Holy Ghost cannot be taken care of as Tom Sawyer would have whitewashed a fence. It would only cover up for a little while, but eventually, after the winds and rains had come through, the weather would literally wash away the “coverup” and reveal the dirt that was hiding underneath all along!
The Pharisees were like that. Check out Matthew 23:27, 28 NKJV: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
They were all about the outside! The Bible says everything they did was for show, to be seen by men. These Very Important Pharisees wanted everyone to see them. They wore these scripture boxes, or phylacteries, on their sleeves, and around their foreheads. They believed the bigger they were, or the more attention they brought to the phylactery, the more righteous it made them. Their fancy robes had very large borders around the bottom with long tassels. To them, the wider the border, the more righteous the Pharisee!
If all we are doing is painting the outside of that pump, thinking that is going to make the well water taste sweet and pleasant to drink, friend we have a lot to learn. There is a little more work involved. We have to dig a well, clean out the impurities, purify that place, and make sure it is clean on the inside to match the outside!
What are some of the ways we can make sure our heart stays pure? Share your thoughts and insights with us today!
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 10:22 NIV