Horsehair and Hearts

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. – Hebrews 10:22

A close walk with Jesus requires a true heart. The word “true” indicates that the heart is matched in both appearance and reality; it is undivided by the competing loyalties which stand against full devotion to God. We might regard the Pharisees in the New Testament as the poster children for a divided heart. Jesus characterized them by quoting from the prophet Isaiah: “These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13).

When we have divided motivations, we may attempt to draw near to God, but we will be doing so with “lip service” and not from a heart tuned to worship. Outward obedience without inward submission is hypocrisy. This is why we find that David prayed to God in Psalm 51, “Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts” (v. 6). The inside and the outside must match.
As followers of Christ, a great danger exists in becoming lax in our vigilance and allowing activity to replace commitment. We may look good on the outside. We may be people who are busy for God. People may praise us for our stand, our service and our show of love for our Lord, but inwardly we may lack a clear and deep communion with God.                  
As settlers moved westward in the United States during the 1800’s, they strung mile after mile of telegraph line. When compared to mail and word-of-mouth, telegraph became the obvious choice for communicating with speed over great distances. But someone else noticed the speed and effectiveness of the telegraph. Native Americans, understanding that the settlers could speak with one another from afar, sometimes disrupted the progress. They would climb the poles and cut the wires. Communication would end, for a time. Workers would ride the lines, find the break and repair it. This went on for some time, until the Native Americans took the next step. Cutting the line would cause communication to cease only until the downed wire was discovered, so they began to extend the time between cutting and repair by hiding the breaks. They spliced the ends of the newly-cut wires together with strands of plaited, nonconductive horsehair. From the ground, and at a casual glance, the lines seemed intact, but they carried no messages. Only by careful examination could the damage be discovered.
In order to have open communication with God, the “lines” to and from our hearts must be clear of any obstruction. Sometimes we may fill the gaps with horsehair to keep them hidden from the eyes of the world, and at times we may even fool ourselves. But there is One from whom hiding is futile. “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Pray that…

We would maintain humble hearts before God. – Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
We will seek God with all our hearts. – Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.
We would love God with complete devotion. – Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

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