God is constantly searching for great hearts and when He finds them, giving them great help. He revealed this first to King Asa. God’s prophet informed Asa: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9). Modern translations and paraphrases help us more fully understand that verse:
“The eyes of the Lord flash back and forth over the whole earth to display His strength on behalf of those whose heart is full of integrity toward Him” (The Modern Language Bible, New Berekely Version).
“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (NASB).
“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (ESV).
Besides these renderings, context and language help us comprehend hearts “perfect toward Him.” In this passage God rebuked Asa for not relying perfectly or wholly on Him in a crisis. In an earlier crisis Asa succeeded because his heart was “perfect,” or because he “relied on the Lord” (v. 8).
Therefore, in this context perfect means perfectly trusting or relying wholly on God. Perfect is also translated from the Hebrew salem, meaning, “complete, full, finished [and thus safe and at peace].” Combining this information, this verse describes a heart completely relying on and loyal to God—full of secure trust in and love for Him, and finished in spiritual growth and training. Such a heart will always be safe and at peace in God, even in crises.
This describes Christlike Christians, committed disciples whose hearts are redeemed, spiritually mature and blameless. After their conversion, God steadily cleanses, reforms and enlarges their hearts through steady devotion, teaching, counseling and testing.
In time they become “perfect” or spiritually mature: fully conformed to the image of history’s greatest great heart—Christ! They live in blameless integrity by humbly examining themselves daily, quickly confessing and forsaking all sins. Let’s get more specific.
Not trusting their own righteousness, great hearts receive Christ’s righteousness by faith in His substitutionary death and resurrection. Like Asa, they “rely on the Lord” (2 Chron.16:8) in every difficulty, trusting fully in His wisdom, power and faithfulness. Sober-minded, they think humbly—not too highly of themselves, too little of God or too lowly of others.
Childlike in simplicity, they don’t desire worldly sophistication, yet love and pursue excellence. God-fearing, they respectfully pursue God’s Word and guidance and are not consistently wayward or rebellious. Meek toward God they’re easily bent to His will. Loving integrity, their honest confessions and right choices free them from immorality, dishonesty and hypocrisy. Fervent, they glow with Spirit-controlled, steady zeal for God and are rarely over-heated, cold, or lukewarm. Focused on kingdom plans, they don’t live for selfish ends. Faithful in duties, they don’t ignore responsibilities or stop short in their work. Loyal to Jesus, love binds them to Him and His people—sacred ties they’ll suffer for but never abandon. These great traits fill great hearts—hearts that are “perfect toward him.” Ours can be one. How can we be sure?
The greatest great heart—Christ—is in us: “This mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Our simple, consistent trust and obedience to God will release a growing manifestation of Christ’s great heart in our lives. Our heavenly Father is yearning for this manifestation. His eyes are “flashing” and “searching back and forth” daily throughout every continent, nation, city and church to discover great hearts.
He wants to “display His strength” and “show His great power” on our behalf—breaking or softening adamant enemies, opening ways of escape where none exist, answering long-delayed prayers, converting hopelessly sinful “Ninevehs,” raising churches and ministers long dead in unbelief and despair. Need this great help?
Be a great heart. By steady trust and obedience in every trial and triumph, release Christ in you and grow His great traits—practicing humility, reliance, integrity, fervor, focus and loyalty. Then be confident His help awaits.
Give a great shout—“The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad!” (Ps. 126:3)—joyfully anticipating your great help for great hearts!
Adapted from “Not by Bread Alone” by Greg Hinnant, copyright 2011, published by Creation House. If you are starving for fresh, sound spiritual nourishment, then this book is for you. These powerful, insightful devotionals are purposely longer than most in order to provide more depth yet be read in a few minutes. To order your copy click here.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 2/25/2013
This week thank the Lord that He is totally trustworthy and worthy of our faith and confidence. Ask Him to continue to “perfect” that which concerns you. Thank Him for revealing Himself more to you through His Word and presence in your life. Spend time rejoicing in His steadfast love. Lay all your burdens before Him with the faith that He will handle all that concerns you. Continue to pray for Israel and the Middle East when you pray for our own nation and its leaders. Ps. 126:3; 2 Chron. 16:8; Col. 1:27