The 3 Parts of the Heart

Photo by Brady Campbell

Photo by Brady Campbell

God has given us our hearts.

The heart is the core of our need, how we think, our will and of course, our feelings. Our heart is complex, thrilling, intoxicating and often seems to be at odds. We love with our heart, are often led by our heart and yet, we know we can’t always trust where the heart takes us. Our heart, though complex is given to us as humans, to make us unique and beautiful.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Our heart’s capacity to feel and experience emotions is frequently referenced in the Bible.

I made the widow’s heart sing. (Job 29:13)

You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. (Psalm 4:7)

We know the heart’s capacity is thinking, choosing, and feeling, the heart is also described as capable of yearning, desiring, and thirsting.

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (Psalm 20:4)

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

If anyone is thirsty, let her come to me and drink…streams of living water will flow from within her. (John 7:37-38)

God places ultimate importance upon the condition and direction of the heart. 

The heart describes that inner self that either worships or serves God or turns away from God to pursue its own selfish and self-centered directions.

Our hearts are to lead us to Jesus.

The heart leads us to our Savior. The heart leads us astray. The heart causes us to make choices that are selfish or altruistic.

As we better understand our hearts (our inner world), we can bring them before God more completely as we grow to understand His ways.

Have you heard this saying. “I just got hijacked by my feelings.”

You have these emotions and feelings, you don’t want to be controlled by them, but sometimes you feel helpless and utterly under the control of your feelings.

God’s desire is for us to live out of our redeemed hearts.

I choose to believe that God is who He says He is.

We were created to need God. This is our thirst. Our longings. This thirst speaks of a need in our deepest heart that requires us to be dependent on something or someone outside of ourselves.

We can quench this thirst by superficial means, through substitutes, and so can temporarily keep our hearts form seeking and finding true satisfaction from God.

Nourishing our souls leads us to find true satisfaction in Jesus. Not in anything else. Not in anyone else. Only in Jesus.

Visualize the thirst being the core, or center of our heart.

Our rational hearts.

The rational side of our hearts is the mind or thinking. We have this great ability to gather information, form conclusions, develop personal beliefs, and think rationally about that information and those beliefs.

In Christ we have been given the potential to transform our minds with the opportunity to learn and be directed by actual truth. It is the mind that develops beliefs about how the thirst is met in our lives.

Romans 12:2

Our hearts to choose.

The second part of our heart is the will, or choosing. We were created to choose. To satisfy our thirsts, we choose what we believe will accomplish this and then we choose behavior that is based on those beliefs.

God always gives the believer all that is necessary to choose obedience and to glorify Him.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Our emotional hearts.

The third part of our heart are emotions or feelings. Emotions are the capacity to feel sensations that range from joy to sorrow in response to the experiences of life. Jesus wept over Jerusalem and rejoiced with friends at a wedding.

The experience of the full scope of emotions is often stunted in our lives because we close or harden our hearts to protect ourselves from the pain of sorrow. But in so doing, we also cut ourselves off from the exhilaration of joy because we limit the level of our involvement with God and others.

Brothers and sisters in Christ. May we not be afraid to understand our hearts and the capacity our hearts have to choose to be filled by God or be filled by anything else. In anything else, we are left void. We. Are. Left. Empty.

Tomorrow’s post, “Our Thirsty Hearts,” I will go in greater detail of how God has created this thirst for His greater purpose.

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31 Days of Living a Nourishing Healthy Life

Notes were taken from Developing a Discerning Heart (Entrust).

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