Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Perfect Heart

The Bible tells us it is possible to walk before the Lord with a perfect heart.  God said to Abraham, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)  God told Israel, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 18:13)  David said, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” (Psalm 101:2)  Solomon fell short of having a perfect heart, “...his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father... (He) went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.” (1 Kings 11:4, 6)

The command to be perfect continues in the New Testament.  Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)  Paul wrote, “That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)  Later Paul added, “that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)  Peter wrote, “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

How is this possible?  Can we obtain this perfection?  Obviously a perfect heart does not mean a sinless heart.  David was said to have a perfect heart toward God all the days of his life and yet his life was marked by failure, most notably, adultery and murder.  

So what then does it mean to have a perfect heart?  The biblical definition of perfect (both in the Hebrew and Greek) begins with the idea of “completeness,” “maturity,” or being “totally obedient.”  John Wesley thought of perfection as “constant obedience.”  In essence a perfect heart is a responsive heart.  David Wilkerson said a perfect heart, “reacts to the Lord’s wooing, whispering and warnings.”  The perfect heart says, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.  Show me the path, and I’ll walk in it.”

For more on having a perfect heart listen to our podcast from last Wednesday’s prayer service at