Debie Misir: January 26, 2011

A Perfect Heart Towards God

God first spoke to Abraham about having a perfect heart in Genesis 17:1: “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

Matthew 5:48 says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

When I was newly born again, a co-worker who was in the Lord for many years approached me questioning the above scriptures. He said either the scriptures are not true or he is not born again because he is definitely not perfect. At that time I did not fully understand this scripture as well but replied, “One thing I know and that is that the word of God is true. If the word of God says we should be perfect then we should be.” Yet in myself, I also knew that I was far from being perfect and could not reconcile the scriptures.

Now you might say, as I did and as my co-worker did, that it is not possible for us to be perfect. We are all born sinners and we are saved by grace, but we still have a sinful nature. We are still tempted on every side. We still make many mistakes, and we may stumble a few times and even fall once or twice. We are human after all…this is what we say, “…only God is perfect.” Yet our Lord commands us…”be ye perfect as your father in Heaven is perfect.” Is this really possible? Absolutely. The word of God is always true. If we cannot reconcile something in our limited understanding, it just means we do not have the right understanding, or we have not received enough revelation on it. We need to study His word and continue to meditate on it day and night, relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth as we continuously seek His face.

This scripture remained at the back of my mind until one day when I attended a healing conference. There the minister explained in his message, the word “perfect” as used in the Bible. The word “perfect” is the word “teleous” in Greek which means “mature.” It does not mean perfect the way we understand “perfect” in the English language. As I began to study God’s word more over time it became even clearer to me. The word “perfect” as used in the Bible does not mean sinless, pure, and holy. It does not mean perfection the way we understand perfection, but it means “mature.” In Hebrew it means “uprightness, having neither spot nor blemish in terms of obedience.” In other words it means being totally obedient, and being totally obedient all the time. It means to finish what has been started, to complete it - perfection in other words means a maturity that will make us constantly obedient to God – every day, through every situation.

We know that this perfection can be attained since David managed to obtain it. In the Old Testament, David determined in his heart to obey God’s command to be perfect. He said, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way…I will walk within my house with a perfect heart” (Psalm 101:2). David, we are told, did succeed in having a perfect heart towards God, for he was called “a man after God’s own heart” by the Lord Himself.

Now we all know that David was by no means perfect in terms of being sinless and pure. We read of how greatly he sinned in committing adultery with Bathsheba, and of how he murdered her husband Uriah. Yet the word of God says David had a perfect heart towards God. What made his heart perfect? It was surely not sinlessness. No, David’s heart was not sinless, but it was mature in the Lord. David knew who God was and His heart was totally responsive to the Lord – it was quick to answer all the Lord’s calls, instructions, wooing, whisperings, convictions, and warnings. He was in constant communication with the Lord, always praising Him, worshipping Him, pouring out his love and heart to the Lord, enquiring of Him, proclaiming Him, repenting for his sins, and seeking direction for His life and the kingdom he ruled over. He loved the Lord with all his heart, all his soul, and all his might. He hungered and thirsted for God always. He sought the Lord with a great desperation. He would often sing to the Lord “As the deer panteth for the waters, so my soul longeth after Thee.” He wrote many psalms expressing his love to God and told God how much His love meant to him, “Your love is better than life oh God.” We see from the life of David that He longed for God: to be with Him, to be like Him and to please Him. These then are the characteristics of a perfect heart. This is what God is requiring of us when He says “Be thou perfect”. Let us now further examine these three characteristics of a perfect heart.

A perfect heart longs to be with God:

It seeks God constantly - to commune with Him, to have sweet fellowship with him, to know Him, and to be with Him in holy intimacy. It is not content with the things of God: the blessings, salvation, healing, gifts of the Spirit, and etc. It wants God Himself – to be in His presence, to touch Him, to Worship Him, to speak with Him in prayer, to know Him through His word and through personal encounters – to behold His beauty, to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness…to be one with Him until it finds rest in Him and Him alone – not in the world, nor in the things of the world, but in God – content, satisfied no matter what life brings, either blessings or trials.

Most of us come to church for the things God can give us. We only want the blessings of God. We read the scriptures and take hold of the many names and dimensions of God which are beneficial to us materially and physically. We know God as: our Provider, our Savior, our Healer, our Deliverer, our Peace, the Lamb that was sacrificed for our sins, the Horn of our Salvation, our Redeemer, our Advocate, our Hope of Glory, our Rock, our Fortress, our Shield, our Mediator, our Righteousness and much more - and He is all of these things. He is the Giver of our very lives. Without Him we have no life. Without Him we cannot breathe. Our hearts cannot beat. Our pulse cannot race. We cannot live or move or have our being. We need Him just to exist moment by moment.

But, He is so much more than the life He has given us or the things He can bless us with – He is the very meaning of the life He has given us. Without Him, nothing has any worth, any value, any sweetness, any joy…it is all meaningless. The word of God says He is “fairer than ten thousand.” There is none as fair as Him. His beauty is matchless. He is beyond compare. “Of all the sons of men; He is fairer than them all, fairer than the choicest of them” (Ps. 45:2). He is The Bright and Morning Star. There is none so beautiful. No jewel or riches in the world can compare to His beauty and glory. He is The Rose of Sharon. It is said that the most beautiful of roses were grown in Sharon. He is THE Rose of Sharon – the most beautiful of roses, with a fragrance unlike any other.

He is The Lily of the Valley. The Lily – is known for its whiteness, purity, sweetness, of the valley - you will find him in the low places, in the valleys, in suffering, in sickness, in loss, in trials, in temptations, where sin is rampant. Yes you will find Him in church, in the preaching, worship, prayers and fellowship celebrations…but you will never encounter the depths of Him unless you go to the low places in this world where the lost, sick, and suffering dwell. This is where His heart is. This is who His heart burns for. The word of God says He went amongst the sinners often and when questioned would reply, as in Luke 19:10, “The son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He also said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

He is the Light of men – without Him there is only darkness and despair. The soul of man remains in darkness no matter how many blessings we receive if we do not have Him.

His beauty is beyond compare; His compassion and love from everlasting to everlasting, His mercies endure forever. There is none like Him. He is our Bridegroom, our first Husband, the Lover of our souls; our Adoration, our Love, our very Essence. All that makes the life He gave us meaningful and beautiful is found in Him. Our peace is wrapped up in Him. His joy is our strength. His love is shed abroad in our hearts. He is our happiness – not money, not wealth, not human love and fellowship, not ambition, not houses, not cars, not status, not the praise and acceptance of men. These can never satisfy or fulfill. Only Jesus can. He is the fulfillment of every longing of the human heart. He is our dream come true. He is the complete satisfaction of our souls. He is our portion.

A mature heart knows this. A mature heart would never choose the things God can give us over God himself. A mature heart knows that Jesus Christ is so much more than even the very life He gave much less the things His hands can bring.

Paul’s goal was not the things of God, but God Himself. Paul wanted Christ Jesus and nothing else. Paul served God mightily. He received great revelations from the Lord…so great that the Lord had to allow a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming proud. Paul was one of the founding fathers of the early churches. Many followed him and many times he had to admonish them to ensure they followed him as he followed Christ, not for himself. He had great influence wherever he went and he did mighty miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul preached, not with eloquent words, but with a demonstration of the power of God. Yet, for himself, Paul did not want the power, the fame, the money - He wanted Jesus Christ. Paul said in Phillipians3:8 “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Then he also speaks in in Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Paul counted all things worthless, and only Jesus Christ worthy. He lived for the day when He would apprehend Christ fully.

David had all the wealth and power a man could want, and all the women. Men respected him and followed him, even gave their lives for him. He had great authority in Israel. But his one desire was the Lord. He says. In Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple.” Mary sought the Lord with all her might. She used a year’s salary to purchase one bottle of perfume to adore Him with. She poured it on His feet and wiped it with her hair, all the while worshipping Him with her tears of adoration. This is how much He meant to her, more than her most prized earthly possession and more than the shame and ridicule of the people around her. Martha’s sister Mary chose to sit at his feet in his presence, adoring Him, drinking in His essence, learning of Him, being close to Him. Her sister Martha was serving the Lord, yet the Lord said of Mary in Luke 10:42 “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Moses was a man God knew by name and was pleased with. He did great and mighty works for the Lord. He had great influence with God and would often intercede with the Lord to spare the people whenever they disobeyed God. God listened to him. He had all power and wisdom. But, this did not satisfy Moses. All He wanted was Jesus. He said in Exodus 33:18, “I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory.” All he desired was to behold the Lord in all His glory.

David, Paul, Mary and Moses knew something that few of us have caught hold of so far. They knew that not only was God the Giver of life, but He is the very meaning of life. Without God Himself; without the deep, deep intimacy with God, and without total oneness with God, we can never truly experience His life. We will only exist. God’s one desire is to share His meaning of life with every believer. But, we must desire Him only, we must seek Him only, we must have eyes for Him only.

We often sing to the Lord, “You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard…who can grasp your infinite wisdom, who can fathom the depth of Your love.” We tell Him, “Lord I give You my heart, I give You my soul, I live for You alone…every breadth that I take, every moment I’m awake…Lord have Your way in me.” We need to be very careful with our words. The word of God warns us not to make promises to God we cannot keep. We must not to utter meaningless, extravagant words to Him - worshipping Him with our lips. But we must keep our hearts true to Him and perfect before Him. If He is worth more than all that earth or the heavens can offer and we have given Him our heart and our soul, and if we live for Him alone, why are we seeking earthly treasures - money, homes, husbands and wives, worldly success, riches, and etc.? Why are we not seeking Him instead? If He is beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, why are we craving the temporary things of the earth which will be destroyed and not craving Him? If all things were made by Him, through Him and for Him and all things are contained in Him, why are we looking for the things made by Him, why are we not looking for Him? Will it not follow that when we find Him, when we worship Him, when we live for Him, when we have Him, that all things He has is ours? Will it not follow that He who gave us life knows best what we need to fulfill our lives? Only He can bring into your life the things that are good for you, the things that will bring you happiness; unconditional love, joy unspeakable, and peace beyond understanding. A perfect heart understands who He is and what He is worth - more than all the world and the heavens - and goes after Him with great zeal and desperation.

I once read the following love story which somewhat illustrates the relationship we must have with God and the perfect heart we must have towards Him, but in a much greater, more divine way. Back in the mid 1800's, a man by the name of George Boldt came to this country as a seven-year old Prussian immigrant. He was dirt poor, but he remembers seeing castles in his homeland and he said, One day I am going to build a castle." He came to America, grew up, and made millions in the hotel industry. He was the first person who was accredited with saying, "The customer is always right." He was the first person to put flowers in a hotel room. He was the first person to provide room service to his guests. It was said he was a great guy and a very, very rich one. He had a wife who was ten years younger than him, and as a token of his love, he built a castle on an island called Heart Island for her. Boldt even had the island made into the shape of a heart. There was a beautiful home already there, but he tore it down and started constructing a castle. The whole thing cost two million dollars. Now in 1904, what is two million dollars worth, right? Two million dollars and four years into the castle's construction, his wife died suddenly. Boldt telegrammed the workers saying, "Leave everything now. Just leave the tools where they lay. I don't care anymore."

Nothing was worth anything to him without His wife - and this is human love. Imagine how much more we are supposed to love God. Boldt was so lovesick and heartsick over his wife that all he built, all he attained meant nothing without her. She gave his life meaning and happiness. Without her, his life was empty and meaningless. This is how we must love Christ. We must be so lovesick and heartsick for Him, that without Him nothing is worth anything. Without His love and loving Him, life is meaningless and empty. We can have all the wealth, worldly success, and fellowship with family and friends as we like, but our lives are empty and dark without Him. With desperation a perfect heart will always seek Him, knowing that He is the love in our hearts, the joy within, the peace of our souls, the fulfillment of our deepest desires, and the very meaning of our life.

A perfect heart longs to be like Christ.

A responsive or perfect heart towards God is not satisfied with being secure that it is saved and that the righteousness of Christ covers it. No, it wants its own righteousness. It longs to be pure and holy. It longs to be like Christ. It invites the Holy Spirit to expose its filth and sin and to cleanse it and restore it into the image and likeness of Christ. This work is called sanctification and it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. When we are born again, we are forgiven and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. We can go boldly before the throne of grace and commune with God for when He looks at us, He sees His Son Jesus Christ. But we have no righteousness of our own. Many are content with being saved and wearing the righteousness of Christ, but the work of salvation has three parts: justification, sanctification and glorification. The work of sanctification must be accomplished by the Holy Spirit in us. But He needs our cooperation. Many resist the work of the Holy Spirit for they are content to be saved, but not sanctified. When the Holy Spirit deals with them, they do not want to give up the habits and strongholds that are a very part of their souls. A perfect heart cries out for sanctification. It is made constantly aware of its need for it by the Holy Spirit and it agrees with the Holy Spirit wholeheartedly. Whenever the Holy Spirit brings us into the manifest presence of the Lord, face to face with His holiness, our filthiness becomes exposed and we long to be clean and pure. We are ashamed of our filthiness before His purity. The perfect heart cries out with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:23–24). God does indeed search our hearts; He said as much to Jeremiah: “I the Lord search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10). The Hebrew meaning for this phrase is, “I penetrate, I examine deeply.”

The perfect heart wants the Holy Spirit to come and search out the innermost man, to shine into all hidden parts—to investigate, expose and dig out all that is unlike Christ. It quickly repents recognizing it’s filth and asking God for cleansing. It knows that all sins keep us away from God, separates us, and builds a wall between us and God. All sin hinders our walk with God. All sin dishonors God. We cannot pray like we ought to, we do not want to read the word as we should. We are not faithful in going to church and serving God, and we cannot love the Lord as we ought to with all our heart, all our souls and all our strength.

David acknowledged His sins readily before God in Psalm 51. I have never heard anyone repent like David. He was a great and mighty king who could do as he pleased in the world and no one would dare say anything to him. But David had a perfect heart towards God. He was mature. He knew who God was and who He was before a Holy God. He knew that every sin he committed was against God only. He knew that that there was no where he could go to hide from God. If he went up to Heaven, God was there. If he went down to hell, God was there. David also knew that He was transparent before God. God could see through and through His heart, to the very core of every hidden wicked desire. There was nothing hidden from God, and knowing this, David did not pretend or hide his sins. When God convicted, David repented deeply in spirit and in truth. No lies, no blame, no cover-ups, no pretense, no false humility, no unnecessary guilt. It would be good for all of us to meditate on Psalm 51 until our hearts come into the same place as David and repentance comes as quickly and flows as sincerely from us.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions
2Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in Your sight;
so You are right in Your verdict
and justified when You judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet You desired faithfulness even in the womb;
You taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from Your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation

We must learn to repent like David, in truth, brokenness and contriteness. We must quickly surrender our wicked ways to the Lord every time the Holy Spirit convicts us. We must acknowledge them, lay them down, and ask for forgiveness – receive our forgiveness, and allow the Holy Spirit to uproot the wickedness buried deep within, and quickly move on. This is the constant state of a perfect heart.

The heart that is not perfect will not do this. It wants to hide its secret sins. It does not want to be convicted, searched, or probed. It blames others for sins and wrongdoing. It tries to bury the guilt. It feels condemned easily. It is proud and vain. It is not humble and will not receive the Holy Spirit’s conviction to repent. It will deny and lie instead. This is a futile path to take. It will only lead to our destruction and bring dishonor to our beloved Savior.

Beloved, desire a perfect heart towards God – allow Him to convict you of sin and to wash and cleanse you every day. Be quick to recognize and repent of the wickedness within. We all have it. The quicker you realize this and let go and let God, the quicker you will come into a perfect heart before God.

A perfect heart longs to please God:

Lastly, a perfect heart longs to please God: to be obedient to Him – to obey His commands.

If we are seeking God, if we are being sanctified and remade into the image and likeness of Christ, then we will become like Him. What is He like? We know what He is like, because we know what He did. He obeyed His Father in everything. He said in John 5:30, “By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” He also said in John 5:19, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

What did the Father require of Him: to reveal the kingdom of God to us in power; healings, preaching, miracles, signs and wonders, and to die on a wooden cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Did He do this? He most certainly did. The word of God says in Hebrews 5:8, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered,” and in Philippians 2:8, “… He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

What does God want of us? He wants us to be obedient as well and to walk by faith, not by sight. The word of God says, without faith it is impossible to please God. What does this “walk by faith” mean – it means we believe God, we believe His word and we act on it.What does God want us to be obedient in: Two commandments He gave: love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your might, and love your neighbor as you love yourself, and to serve Him: Jesus said to us in Matthew 16:18, ”Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”A perfect heart will hear these commands and seek to obey them to the point of death. This is how it pleases God - by doing as He commands. If we are coming to church, reading the word, praying , interceding, even serving God, and we are not doing it in a perfect heart we are wasting our time. For it is very possible to do all these things in the flesh, with our minds, and think we are right with God. But we are totally missing it. I urge you to check your heart every day and make sure that your heart is in the right place, that your motive is correct in seeking God and in serving Him. We may have been doing this for the approval of men, to be famous in the church world, to be called pastor and deaconess and prophet, to be thought of as righteous and holy, or to receive blessings from God. Beloved this is the way of the enemy, causing us to deceive ourselves into hell. Seeking and serving God has to be because you love Him and want Him, not just the things He can give you. It must be because you want to please Him and not to show your friend, family, neighbor, or pastor how dedicated you are. It has to be because you love your neighbor that you want to correct them, pray for them, minister to them and lead them to Christ, not because you want to show how holy and righteous you are. God can only work in you and through you when you have a perfect heart…a heart that loves Him, seeks Him, surrenders to the work of the Holy Spirit, and OBEYS Him. Let your heart be right before Him in all things and you will see His glory!!

If you do not have a perfect heart toward God or you do not know Him and would like to meet Him, pray this prayer with me: “Lord Jesus, I believe You died for my sins and God raised You up on the third day. Lord I repent for my sins and ask Your forgiveness. I invite You into my heart. Be my Lord and my God. Help me to live for You. Give me a perfect heart toward You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen”