The heart of the matter is truly the matter of the heart. Matter is what something is made of. Prior to salvation our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked as Jeremiah 17:9 states. Heart in Greek is transliterated as kardia meaning: inner life, mind, will, intention, and character. It is the place of volitional desire or the spiritual organ of decisions made from desire. God wants our hearts and not that beating organ within your chest. All throughout scripture we observe a emphasis on the heart of man.
There is a difference between admiration and adoration. Anyone can admire God but few desire and adore God. This desire comes from the heart. In the book of Acts 7:39 it describes how Israel turned their hearts back towards Egypt. This is indeed why they didn’t enter into Canaan. What does it mean when it says their hearts turned back? Israel was delivered from physical bondage in Egypt and passed through the Red Sea into the wilderness. Although they had been delivered from captivity in the physical sense, their hearts were unchanged. They began to complain about the conditions in the wilderness and their hearts looked back toward their captor.
This caused a wandering of 40 years and most died in the wilderness. God wouldn’t allow an Egyptian mindset to dwell in Canaan. What needs to be seen in this lesson is that they had left Egypt physically but not mentally. They had yet to surrender their hearts. Many of us go to a church but have yet to surrender our hearts to become a member of “the” church. When we repent, it means to have a change of mind and to turn from sin to God. This process involves the heart. Our desire must retire from sin and aspire to righteousness.
When we hear the word of God it pricks our heart as it did in Acts 2:37. It is the quickening sword of Hebrews 4:12. Once God has lacerated our heart, he plants a seed and when we repent he will water it with His Holy Spirit and the heart becomes His abode. Galatians 4:6 tells us where the Spirit is sent. He is sent into the hearts of man. When He dwells in our heart he transforms it from a stony heart to a heart of flesh. Many of us are resisting arrest and need to come out with our hearts open and allow God to take us captive into freedom.