The Traffic Of Your Heart
What kind of traffic does your heart experience each day?
Is it trampled by evil thoughts, corrupt affections, pride, anger, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, or deep-seated hatred?
Or is it frequented by God's Sanctifying and Transforming Word?
The particular traffic that you allow determines the condition of your heart - whether it be a stony heart or a heart of flesh.
John F. MacArthur, Jr., a renowned Preacher and Author, once made this insightful remark concerning the heart - "Our Lord warns that the human heart can be so pounded and beaten down with the traffic of sin that it becomes completely insensitive to the gospel. This is the heart that knows no repentance, no sorrow over sin, no guilt, and no concern for the things of God. It allows itself to be trampled by an endless procession of evil thoughts, cherished sins, and ungodly activities. It is careless, callous, indifferent, never broken up or softened by conviction or sorrow for wrongdoing. This is the heart of the fool described in Proverbs..."
O Saint of God, stop a minute and ask yourself -
What is the condition of your heart?
Is it sensitive or insensitive to God's Holy Word?
Is it calloused through indifference to sin or is it softened through conviction for sin?
It all depends on what you have been allowing to pass through your heart on a Daily Basis.
Let's study for a moment the two conditions of hearts discussed in the Bible
Matthew 13:15 refers to the Hard Heart as one that "waxed gross." What does this mean? It is a heart that is callous, cold, unfeeling, uncaring, insensible, inattentive, and untouched. It is marked by sensuality and corruption. It causes the individual to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit as though he is half asleep or to be stubbornly resistant to the Truth of His Word.
The Prophet Zechariah described it in this way - "hearts as an adamant stone"(Zechariah 7:12). These were hearts that were as hard as a diamond. It is no wonder that they were so unyielding - causing the people to stop their ears from hearing the Word of the Lord.
In Matthew 13, we read about the "way side." This was one condition of the heart that was likened to a hard beaten path or highway which knew no plow. It also makes reference to the "stony places" as the condition of the heart being hard and rocky.
Such hearts either hear the Word and understand it not, or else they hear it but don't take heed to it. They do not allow themselves to be changed or ruled by it. It makes no impression on them. It doesn't profit them at all.
The Prophet Ezekiel referred to a people in such a condition as being "impudent" and "stiffhearted" (Ezekiel 2:4). They were incorrigible, self-willed, and rebellious. Their hearts were "stony"(Ezekiel 11:19) - meaning that they wouldn't or couldn't receive any impressions from the Holy Spirit.
The Book of Job refers to a hardness towards God whereby one stands in total opposition toward Him - resisting or withstanding Him on every turn(Job 9:4).
The Psalmist described such a hard heart in this way - "Their heart is as fat as grease..." (Psalm 119:70). This is a heart which is sensual, at ease, full of the world and its pleasures, and given over to vile affections. Because it is so, it is not sensitive in any way, shape, or form to the touch of God's Word or Spirit.
A heart that is "waxed gross," hard "as an adamant stone," likened to a "way side" or a "stony place," or "as fat as grease" - This is the heart that allows itself to be pounded and beaten down by the traffic of Sin. Hence, it is completely insensitive to the moving or touch of the Holy Spirit. It is deaf, blind, and dead to the things of God.
Stop a minute here, O Christian, and ask yourself a few questions -
Are you sensitive to the wooing and drawing of the Spirit?
Does the Word of God have a lasting impression on you every time that you hear or read it?
Have you allowed it to change you?
Are you stronger in Faith and Love and in your convictions than when you first got saved?
Are you more obedient?
Can you easily recognize God's Voice directing you in your everyday affairs?
Do you take correction easily?
Does the slightest sin bother you?
Are you quick to repent of any wrongdoing?
Do you avoid at all costs anything and everything that would be classified as being displeasing to the Lord?
If you cannot answer "YES" to all of the above questions, then there is a good chance that your heart is hardened due to the "unchecked" traffic that you have allowed to go through it over the past days, weeks, months, or even years.
How can you know if you have a "good heart"?
How can you know if you have "kept your heart with all diligence"(Proverbs 4:23) against any unclean, wicked, or evil traffic?
According to Matthew 13, a Good Heart hears God's Word and understands it. It receives its Truths and conforms to them.
The Prophet Ezekiel called it a "heart of flesh"(Ezekiel 11:19) - meaning that it was entirely for God - not divided or wavering in its commitment. It was capable of receiving impressions from the Holy Spirit that were lasting and life-changing.
One who has a "good heart" has an intense love for the Scriptures - "O how love I Thy law"(Psalm 119:97). All day long - whether while alone or in business with others - he opens his heart's door to the traffic of God's Holy Writ - "...it is my meditation all the day."(Psalm 119:97).
He easily receives its promises, commands, threats, or warnings, because he has a correct view of things - derived from his study of the Word - "Through Thy precepts, I get understanding..."(Psalm 119:104). He rejects the "endless procession of evil thoughts, cherished sins, and ungodly activities." His testimony is that "...I hate every false way"(Psalm 119:104).
He has taken God's "judgments" as his rule of life. There is no rebellion in his heart. Hence, he can boldly declare - "I have not departed from Thy judgments"(Psalm 119:102). Rather than entertaining the traffic of Sin, his heart and soul are filled with God - "How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"(Psalm 119:103). The Word is his guide - steering him away from the paths of destruction and danger to his soul - "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path"(Psalm 119:105).
Unlike the Hard Heart which is "careless, callous, indifferent, never broken up or softened by conviction or sorrow for wrongdoing," his heart is turned toward the Lord and spiritual things. He is resolved and determined to "perform" the law and to "keep Thy righteous judgments"(Psalm 119:106). In other words, he has bound himself with a vow to love and serve the Lord only and to defend the Truth.
What a striking Contrast this "heart of flesh" is to the Hard Heart which knows no - ...love or hunger for God's Word or spiritual things...obedience...departure from all Sin...or receptivity or flexibility in allowing the Word to guide its life.
Because those who have a "stony heart" do not derive "understanding" from the Scriptures, they resultantly have a perverted view of things.
O Saint of God, it is imperative that you stop everything and allow the Holy Spirit to do a search on your heart this day.
Do you have a "stony heart" which is resistant to God?
Are there areas in your life where you are fighting Him?
Are you hardened in demanding things your way?
Or is your heart soft and tender in His loving hands?
Have you willingly surrendered all to Jesus?
Is He truly Lord over all?
The answers to these questions definitely depend on the type of traffic that you have been allowing to pass through your heart.
Stop the traffic of ungodliness and allow only that which is godly to enter.
Keep a diligent check on its visitors.
And you will notice immediately that your heart will be inclined toward the things of God like never before.
You can be assured of it.
May God Bless His Word.