2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”
Nine times that statement ‘perfect heart’ appears in the Bible. It refers to whether they did or did not walk before God with a perfect heart. King David prayed for his son, Solomon, to have a perfect heart.
1 Chronicles 29:19 “And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.”
Others prayed knowing God desired a perfect heart.
Isaiah 38:3 “And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.”
David knew that a perfect heart pleased God.
Psalms 101:2 “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”
So what does it mean – this word “perfect“? Webster’s has many definitions:
PER’FECT, adjective [Latin perfectus, perficio, to complete; per and facio, to do or make through, to carry to the end.]
1. Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; having all that is requisite to its nature and kind; as a perfect statue; a perfect likeness; a perfect work; a perfect system.
As full, as perfect in a hair as heart.
2. Fully informed; completely skilled; as men perfect in the use of arms; perfect in discipline.
3. Complete in moral excellencies.
Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfectMatthew 5:48.
4. Manifesting perfection.
My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Perfect chord, in music, a concord or union of sounds which is perfectly coalescent and agreeable to the ear, as the fifth and the octave; a perfectconsonance.
A perfect flower, in botany, has both stamen and pistil, or at least another and stigma.
Perfect tense, in grammar, the preterit tense; a tense which expresses an act completed.
So, let us look in more detail:
Can my heart be finished, complete and without defects? I am a sinner, that much is true. Given the opportunity, I will choose sin. I know I will never be totally finished and complete until I reach Heaven. But I can choose in which direction I will head.
To dive head first into the cesspool of sin or set my heart to do as God commands are polar opposites. Most important, then, is the direction of my heart.
Can my heart be fully informed and completely skilled?
I can choose to hide my head in the sand and let the world pass me by, or open myself to be a perpetual student. A famous preacher once said, “Every man is my teacher” meaning there is something to be learned from everybody. Being students of the Word of God allows us to seek new things, see God reveal more of Himself to us and begin to find that our God is so deep, so wide, so high and ultimately beyond finding out. I must purpose to have a teachable spirit.
Can my heart be complete in moral excellence?
Purity. Integrity. Honesty. Transparency. These are just some of the characteristics of one who desires to have a perfect heart toward God. In today’s world, the struggle to maintain a perfect heart has some extreme challenges.
Images are thrust before us at such a fantastic rate. It becomes difficult to filter every one to keep our minds from seeing nakedness, witnessing violence, being exposed to gossip and lies. If we don’t cleanse our heart on a regular basis, we will soon be so full of the world that God has no place.
Desiring to be pure in heart means we must hate what is opposite.
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Lastly, can my heart manifest, or reveal perfection?
A person striving to be honest will more often than not be honest in all their dealings. A person desitring to be pure will avoid those things that dirty their heart and mind. A person who desires a perfect heart will purpose to keep themselves in a right position before God and readily get back on track when the slightest deviation takes place.
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
David, known as a man after God’s own heart, said this:
Psalms 101:2-3 “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
With David, it was not a passing thought; something nice to know… but it became a defining principle in his life. Not only was a presonal axiom for him to live by, he taught it to his children. Not every child is going to turn out perfect and not every parent is going to do right all the time.
But the question remains: in what direction is your heart pointing? Is it set like flint to follow God? Or do we make provision for the flesh? We must start our week properly with our heart in the right direction.
Any compromise and our enemy will work hard to capitalize on our weakness. Let us take the time this morning to get our heart right with God and set it in the right direction.