This past weekend at Remedy, I gave my heart to the Lord. I’ve since realized this after reflecting on one of the questions that were texted in last Sunday (each week we offer the chance to text in questions and we discuss them at the end of each service). “what should I do to prepare for communion?” I answered by going to 1 John 1:8-9 to talk about the power of confession and forgiveness: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What I wish I would have been able to say and break down even more is: “Give your heart to the Lord.” Now if you’re like me, often times when you hear that phrase you have a reaction somewhere along the lines of this:
You see for me, the more I grow in faith and knowledge of God, the more aware I become of my complete and total inadequacy and inability to follow God. In fact, to give Him my heart causes me to shudder a bit because I know He’s not going to like what He sees. God is going to see my sin and the constant ways I let Him down on a daily (hourly? minutely?) basis. In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah writes: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) See?! How could giving my heart to the Lord be anything but offensive? Why would He want it?
And yet, scripturally it seems like my heart is exactly what God wants: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:17 NLT). God desires my heart not because it’s ready to follow Him, finally good enough, finally figured out the hard things that were keeping me from Him. No quite the opposite! God desires my heart because it’ll never be ready, it’ll never be good enough, it’ll never figure it all out. God desires my heart specifically because it’s broken, and He wants to heal it:
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26 NLT)
So this past weekend at communion, I realized that I gave my heart to the Lord. I had my head down and I was a bit ashamed of my pathetic offering, but I received something back that was incredible. I received back a heart that was pure, and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I received back an answer to the prayer: “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
I can’t think of any better preparation for a life with Jesus that to give Him your heart. It doesn’t matter you’d measure your faith as a passionate follower, skeptical observer, or broken sinner…God sees our hearts for what they really are, and what’s most important to Him is what He desires to do with those hearts!
“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26)
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)