Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

God's Not Mad at You
The Perfect You: God’s Invitation to Live from the Heart

The Perfect You: God’s Invitation to Live from the Heart

MARCH 20, 2021

/ Articles / The Perfect You: God’s Invitation to Live from the Heart

by Andrew Farley & Tim Chalas

You’re sitting in church enjoying the worship. The music leader
is at his best, the backup singers are crooning, the smoke is rolling
out, and the music is in full swing. Then mid-song, the leader
pauses for emphasis, looks up to Heaven, and groans, “God, we’ve
got wicked, wicked hearts, Lord!” The congregation erupts with a
big “Amen!”

But you hesitate, wondering: “Is my heart bad or good? Or
maybe it’s half good and half bad? Perhaps I have two hearts?”

Ask a hundred Christians about the current condition of their
heart, and answers will vary wildly. Some will shout, “Wicked!”
Meanwhile, others claim, “Corrupt and deceitful but under
construction!”

But could it be that your spiritual heart has been made new and
perfect? After all, at salvation didn’t God carry you through a
spiritual heart surgery?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were
entrusted.

(Rom. 6:17)

You’re not half and half. You’re not good and bad. You’re not
new and old. You’re not righteous and wicked-hearted.

Many living out this duality think they are their own worst
enemy. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself, “I’m my own worst
enemy.” But if the Bible calls you “a friend of God”, then how can
you be your own enemy?

The promise of God was always that through Jesus you would
receive a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). At salvation, you experienced
a spiritual heart transplant (Romans 2:29). The new heart God
gave you is a right and obedient heart (Romans 6:17). You’re
compatible with Christ now.

We believers are the only ones on the planet who get to be
ourselves and express Jesus at the same time. We’re not obstacles
to God. We’re His instruments!

Are You “Good”?

The popular bumper sticker says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just
forgiven.” Sure, we get what this means. We don’t perform
perfectly. But isn’t the whole point of the Gospel that we’ve been
made perfect apart from our performance?

If your new-hearted self is from God, then what kind of self is
it? Would God cause you to be born of Him as someone who is
bad, good, or somewhere in the middle?

Jesus said that if even earthly fathers are givers of good gifts,
how much more is your heavenly Father a giver of goodness (Luke
11:11–13). Every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James
1:17). So, if God gave you a new heart, then it must be amazingly
good!

But if we’re not careful, our “Christian” message becomes:
You’re utterly sinful but you need to act righteous. You’re wicked, but you need to act holy. How’s that for setting someone up for failure, not to
mention the rejection of their own self?

God is not asking you to go against your very self in order to
act godly. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand
(Mark 3:25). You are not a house divided!

Think about it: If you’re re-created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10), then what does that say about your design? And what does this say about your desire?

Christ taught, “A good man brings good things out of the good
stored up in his heart” (Luke 6:45a). Jesus Himself says the “good
man” does exist, and there is good in his heart. If you are in Christ,
there is good stored up in your heart.

Yes, we still struggle with temptations from the world and the
power of sin. But you’re not the world, and you’re not the power of
sin. Yes, you’re getting your mind renewed (Romans 12:2), and
you’re still learning and growing (2 Peter 3:18). But because
you’ve been born of God’s Spirit, your new heart is your go-to
place in any moment. It houses Jesus Himself and in Him all the
qualities you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Every believer is new-hearted and bonded to Jesus forever. So,
if you’re in Jesus, you are good.

God “Crossed” Your Heart

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

(2 Cor. 9:7)

What does this say about your heart? It suggests the purposes
of your heart are good and fully aligned with God’s will. Say that
one aloud: The purposes of my heart are aligned with God’s will.

Paul says the goal of his instruction is love from a pure heart
(1 Timothy 1:5). How could that even begin to happen unless your
heart is new and pure? Likewise, Peter writes, “but let it be the
hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle
and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter
3:4). How could you afford to let it be “the hidden person of the
heart” if your heart were bad?

Romans 5 says the love of God has been poured into your
heart. Is the love of God residing in a wicked heart? Ephesians 3
says Christ dwells in your heart through faith. Does Christ dwell
in a dirty place? Galatians 4 says God sent forth the Spirit of His
Son into your heart. Did God send His Spirit to live in a filthy-hearted sinner?

In passages like these, God is essentially offering you a spiritual
X-ray machine. He’s showing you who you are on the inside.

God has done something radical to you – He “crossed” your
heart. Yes, He took your heart to the cross and gave you a new
one (Romans 6:6,17). And you will spend a lifetime and more
probing the depths of all this means for you.

God wants to convince you of this deeper truth about your
new heart. He will stop at nothing to reveal it to you. It is His
heart’s cry (and yours!) that you taste the essence of who you are
in Him and the beauty that is spiritually simmering just below the
surface. God longs for you to embrace and enjoy your new-hearted self—the perfect you.

Discover how to live from the new heart God gave you!
Order your copy of The Perfect You” on Amazon.com

Guest Bloggers

Guest Bloggers

Our guests on Steve Brown, Etc. and at KeyLife.org are awesome and you should read their stuff. From Tim Keller and Bryan Chapell to new friends and old, these posts will set you free. 

Guest Bloggers's Full Bio
Back to Top