You may have heard or even used the phrase “change of heart” before. The phrase normally refers to “a change in one’s opinion or feelings on a matter” (freedictionary.com). Today, I challenge you to see this phrase in a different way. Let me share with you how reading the book of Samuel has me thinking of another type of change of heart…
1 Samuel 10:9 says: “When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart.” (ESV, emphasis mine.) The verse talks about when God chose Saul to lead Israel. As a prophet of God, Samuel told Saul about God making him king. At the time, Saul did not walk with God. Yet, upon Samuel delivering the message, God gave Saul another heart.
I have been thinking about this verse and how God can change our hearts in an instant. He is that
great and powerful. I think of the times I am set in my way of thinking and need God to rescue me. I need Him to change my heart through His Word.
If you are a Christian, He has already given you a new heart, a heart that desires to please Him and follow His ways (Ezekiel 11:19).
Why would you need another change of heart?
In Hebrew, the word “heart” not only has to do with motives, feelings, and desires, but also the will, the thoughts, and the intellect. As individuals with free will, even after becoming Christians, we have to make choices that honor God. His giving us a new heart does not mean we can live on “automatic mode” now. We won’t automatically do the right thing every time.
We have to “cross examine” ourselves to discern our own thinking from godly thinking.
When too many emotions or thoughts tug at my heart, I am learning to stop and ask myself: “Is this emotion or thought aligned with God’s way of thinking?” If it is not, I ask God to give me His wisdom and perspective.
Sometimes I want to ask God to change someone else’s heart. There is an appropriate time for that, as when we pray for someone’s salvation, but we mature when we ask God to change our own heart.
Earlier this week I had one of those “moments of cross-examination”. That’s when 1 Samuel 10:9 came to mind. As I meditated on it, I found myself praying: “God, I want to do the right thing. Change my heart so I can act in a way that honors you. Give me your perspective for this situation.”
God showed me a new meaning for “change of heart”. It is not about me changing my opinion, but about allowing Him into my heart so He can do the changing.
Today I challenge you, as I God challenged me, to look at yourself and the ways in which you need Him to rescue you from your thinking. Dive into His word and let it change your heart.
Dear Father, thank you for giving us our mind, emotions, and will. Thank you for giving us a new heart that wants to please you. Give us a discernment to know when our thinking is not aligned with yours. Give us a willing heart to let You change us, mold us, and mature us into the person you created us to be. In Jesus name, Amen.
For His glory,