When we repent of our sin and rebellion against our God, accept the His plan of salvation through His sacrifice of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and open our hearts to His Love, Word and Holy Spirit transforming power, we are free to do our part. What does this mean; how does it look? How do we discern the heart of a good godly soldier?
Matthew 15:16-19 (AMP) 16 And He said, “Are you still so dull and unable to put things together? 17 Do you not understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But whatever word comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders, verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming.
Our God is not impressed with our own words or works in and of themselves. In the operation of our faith and its accompanying speech and works, our God is most interested in the condition of our hearts. It is possible to say and do “good” things from an evil heart, and miss heaven altogether:
Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV) 21 Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
A HEART THAT DOES THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
The heart of a good godly soldier is a heart that believes our God is who He says He is, that He is willing and able to do what He says, and that He does it for ALL who diligently (purposefully and consistently) seek to learn and apply His character, nature, power, and authority, HIS WAY (Hebrews 11:6). Mark, chapter 4 provides analogies of the conditions of the human heart (ground), after hearing the Word of God (seed).
THE LUKEWARM HEART
This heart is not awake to God; being unbelieving, disinterested, unenthusiastic, disapproving, lazy, indifferent, non-committed, unconcerned, and unresponsive.
Mark 4:34 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow, and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Mark 4:15 These are they by the way side, where the word is sown, but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
The seed of the Word of God does not even enter this heart; this heart does not take the Person or Word of our God seriously. This is the heart that half hears God, a heart whose “love” is halted (stalled, in neutral) between the love of the world and God, because it wants His blessing and power without His disciplines, instructions, or guidance (Matthew 22:37).
This heart is awake to God to a measure, but has not fully embraced the Faith, Focus, Crucifixion, Resurrection Process. Therefore, it does not yield to the instruction of our God in an area (or areas).
Mark 4:56 Some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Mark 4:16-17 These are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
This heart lacks the proper nutrients (sincerity, respect for, revelation of, or faith in God) to maintain the seed of the Word of God until His Truth takes root. The spiritual stones of self will,fear, pride, and the like resist the instruction and/or convicting power of our God’s Word. Simply put, this heart is capable of producing and maintaining goodly fruit, but its unrepented attitudes, appetites, and lusts resist the instruction and/or convicting power of our God’s Word. This heart picks and chooses what it will allow to grow in it, rather than fully accepting and nurturing the seed of God’s Word.
This heart is awake to God and has sincere desire for God. However, it lets go of its faith under the pressures of life, OR after receiving a measure of God’s blessing, it fails to purposefully and consistently crucify flesh and honor God. This failure opens the door for satan to capture it in the web of the love of money (gain) and/or the lust for pleasure/comfort.
Mark 4:18-19 These are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:7 Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Have we discerned our heart can be good and godly in one area, but lukewarm, stony, or thorny in another? How does satan gain access to our hearts? We fail to (1) trust God with our cares and concerns while continuing to believe His promises, (2) exalt and trust in Him rather than our own gifts, abilities, or blessings and (3) make our relationship with Him our first priority.
Our failure to nurture the seed of our God’s Word with purposeful, consistent thanksgiving, right confessions, praise, honor, and obedience to Him, opens the door for the world and satan to penetrate our protective spiritual armor and distract us from our focus. Our focus should be trusting and pleasing God through His Word.
THE GOOD HEART
The good heart is a humble heart, that believes our God is God, that is He is able and willing to do all He has promised, AND that He will do it for all who purposefully and consistently believe!
Mark 4:20 These are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Mark 4:8 Other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some, an hundred.
Faith, humility, and patience in the only True and Living God, for Whom it is impossible to lie is the combination that gets manifestation. This heart embraces the Word of God and nurtures what it hears with thanksgiving, right confessions, praise, honor, and obedience, until the Word produces the things hoped for, the things our God has promised (Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 6:12). Such is the heart of the soldier of Jesus Christ. We may live our lives in joy and peace, knowing our God’s Love and power never fails, if we only believe.
KEEPING A GOOD HEART FOR THE WORD OF GOD
(1) We must give our lives to God purposefully and consistently, as living sacrifices. He is looking for an open, obedient heart. He is looking for a “Do with me as You will” heart. Judge all things by His character, mind, will, power, and authority.
(2) Faith and fasting conquers and overcomes the worldly desires, appetites and lusts of our bodies, getting our souls (minds, wills, and emotions) under control, quieting them so that we can hear and do what our God’s Word and Holy Spirit says to us.
(3) Spending quiet time with God, away from the responsibilities of life and the cares of the world quiets our soul: our mind (thought lives), our will (decision-making abilities), and emotions (our feelings) so that we can hear and obey God.
(4) Praying in the Holy Spirit (in tongues and with understanding) builds our faith in God. We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us to pray and relax in His care and guidance (by faith). Our spirit man is our divine hook up to God, we are strengthened and built up in our inner most being by His Word and Presence. We must trust Him without fear; He keeps His promises.
Faith begins and builds on what we hear (on where the will of our God is known (Romans 10:17). When other voices (the other people, the noise of busyness, the distraction of technological devices …) fill our lives, we become more influenced by them than what our God has to say.
Our hearts (spirit) will only make wise decisions when we put our God, His Word/will, and His Holy Spirit first. We will enjoy peace when we embrace how much He loves us.
Jesus Christ our Lord is the highest-ranking officer, second only to our Heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (NLT) 24 After that the end will come, when He (Jesus Christ) will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under His authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under His authority,” that does not include God Himself, who gave Christ His authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under His authority, the Son will put Himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave His Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
Our Heavenly Father established Jesus Christ as His right-hand man (Hebrew 12:2). THERE IS NO REBELLION IN THE THIRD HEAVEN; our Sovereign God evicted satan and every other rebellious being (1 John 5:7; Luke 10:18). Though he is utterly cast out and evil, satan dare not further rebel against God, but he does all he can to keep us from the knowledge that we have victory over him and his rebellion (all evil belongs to satan).
We are the Body of Christ, charged to enforce Jesus’ completed work and defeat of satan and darkness; we are anointed and appointed to decree, declare, command, and demand that every knee bow and tongue confess His Lordship, TO THE GLORY OF OUR GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER (Mark 16:17-18, John 14:12; Philippians 2:2-11). We must do so from a heart that purposely, consistently, and sincerely desires His will.
KNOW THE HEART BY THE FRUIT
The Scriptures uses types, shadows, and symbols to explain the mind of our God. Let us consider analyzing the heart of spiritual mules (jackasses), goats, and wolves. We must understand darkness plants corrupt seed into unguarded hearts (Proverbs 4:23), to drain energy and overthrown interpersonal and intra-personal success on both the individual and corporate levels of ministry.
The mule heart is ignorantly complacent or smugly self-satisfied, which manifests as the unwillingness to commit or participate in anything. It is the sterile, fruitless offspring of the donkey and horse, it is equipped to run for God, but chooses to follow its own mind. Its nature is stubborn and unwilling to yield to truth, which manifests as the resistance to change or correction; they are unteachable, generally get along with the select few, and resists Truth steadfastly. They are lukewarm, being mostly motivated by the dangling carrot or cube of sugar (self-pleasure and accolades). (Sounds Pharisaic, doesn’t it?)
The goat heart struggles with pride or ungodly confidence and dependence upon one’s gifts and abilities, which manifests in extreme independence and relentless ambition. It has no respect or regard for God’s Word, His Holy Spirit, authority and delegated authorities. It selfishly butts against truth until unconscious, which manifests as arguing and complaining until its strength and resolve diminishes. This heart condition leads a reprobate thoughts, decisions, and behaviors, as satan removes it from its the path of destiny. In worst case scenario, this heart begins to work with satan to hinder or shipwreck others. It is self-deceived; refusing recognize its own fruit, it is in utter denial (Romans 1).
The wolf heart struggles with lawlessness. It is a sneaky chameleon, resisting the headship of our God, being god unto itself, which causes it not to respect nor trust anyone; it will bully relentlessly to get its way. It is a greedy, lustful heart that is never satisfied, which manifests in compromise. It is not willing to pay the price for what it wants, but uses others without remorse or conscience (Acts 20:29).
THE GOOD GODLY SOLDIER FOLLOWS THE LION AND THE LAMB
Jesus Christ is The Lion of Judah, our Fearless Champion (Revelation 5:5), and The Lamb, our Humble Servant slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit transforms our lives into that of a son of the only Living God, as we yield our lives (spirit, soul, and body) to Him. We do so by embracing the full Persons of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ AND by believing, thinking, speaking, and behaving in alignment with His Truth. We take on the heart of THE Good Godly Soldier! Hallelujah!
Hear the joy of our heart cry, “Thank You for making us one with Jesus Christ, with You and Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the ability to walk with the sober estimation of who we are; we know it is You Who has made and are making us, and not we ourselves. Any good thing to be found in us, or said about us, is because of You alone. We give to You all the praise, honor, and glory!
Thank You for the ability to walk in Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the ability to know Your Voice from any other; Hallelujah!” We align our confession with Your Truth declaring, “We have the heart of THE good, godly soldier, Jesus Christ, our Lord. He has made us enforcers of His completed work at Calvary. The will of our God be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Hallelujah!
Father God, We love and trust You. Do all that is in Your heart, today and every day as You prepare the Body of Christ, for His return. We believe we receive even before and as we pray, because we pray according to Your will, in Jesus name and it is so!
AMEN, AMEN, AND AMEN!