The Heart Mandate

heart nebula

The famous “Heart Nebula”

Like Abraham Lincoln, we need two sources–the written and the internal. This may sound “new,” but it’s actually as old as Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other Old Testament prophets.

In Deuteronomy, Moses preaches his last sermon. In it, he exhorts God’s people to keep God’s commandments “in your heart” (6:6). He’s speaking of a connection between the inner source material and the outer (legal) source material.

We have to have both sources, not just one. Yet how often we  forget the second source. In Scripture, however, God repeatedly points to both. In fact, He makes a big deal about the condition of our heart, where His Spirit can instruct and lead us.

This reality gets even more emphatic in Jeremiah 31:31-34 when the prophet describes the New Covenant. He describes the work of Jesus by saying that God is going to do something to resource this mandate. It’s something new. This is what it is, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”

We see this yet again in Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26, which says, “I will take out their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

Our heart mandate brings the two sources together. It’s how God designed us to operate. We have the written source material. And we have an interior resourcing. Both are promised and prophesied in the Old Testament prophets.

Other verses to read and ponder:

  • 1 Samuel 13:14 (about David)
  • Mark 12:30 (by Jesus)
  • Ephesians 3:17 (by Paul)

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