A LOYAL HEART
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV)
Amaziah the king of Judah was undoubtedly one of the most unpredictable and unstable kings in the Bible. The Scripture records that “he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.” (2 Chro. 25:2 NKJV).
Sometimes Amaziah would listen to God’s voice and obey God’s law, but at other times he would despise, disregard and disobey God’s voice.
On certain occasions Amaziah would gladly serve and worship the true and the living God, but at other times he would choose and set up his own gods.
No one could predict accurately the next step or action of Amaziah – whether he would obey or disobey God, or whether he would serve God or idols.
Sadly, many people today, like Amaziah, are very unpredictable and unstable in their walk with God and service to God.
The Scripture rightly diagnosed Amaziah’s inconsistency and instability in his walk and service of God as a heart condition or disease. He was said to possess a disloyal or imperfect heart.
2 Chronicles 25:
1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart. (NKJV).
It is absolutely impossible for anyone to walk with God steadfastly and serve God faithfully without a loyal heart and a willing mind.
This is why David admonished his son, Solomon to serve God with a loyal heart and a willing mind.
1 Chronicles 28:
9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (NKJV).
What are the symptoms or manifestations of an imperfect or disloyal heart?
Let us examine the life of Amaziah!
The first obvious symptom of an imperfect heart in Amaziah was his selective obedience to God’s voice.
Amaziah chose when he wanted to hear or listen to God’s counsel, rebuke, correction or warning.
Before going to the battle against the Edomites, Amaziah listened to God’s counsel from the mouth of a man of God who said to him, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel-not with any of the children of Ephraim.” (2 Chro. 25:7 NKJV).
Although Amaziah had paid hundred talents of silver to one hundred thousand mighty men of valour he hired from Israel, yet he obeyed God’s voice and therefore discharged the troops to go back home. That was an occasion when Amaziah obeyed God. But it wasn’t his lifestyle!
If obeying God is not your lifestyle or normal practice; your heart is imperfect!
However, after the LORD had given Amaziah victory over his enemies, he had no more interest in hearing or obeying God’s voice, counsel or rebuke.
Even when God sent a prophet to Amaziah to rebuke and correct him for his foolishness in setting up and bowing to the gods of the people he had defeated in the battle, he would not listen.
Rather, Amaziah rudely retorted, saying, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?” Then the prophet ceased, and said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.” (2 Chro. 25:16).
You cannot obey God’s Word continually without a loyal heart and a willing mind!
Like Amaziah, it is the people who don’t have a loyal heart and a willing mind that are selective in their obedience to God’s word. They choose when and what to obey from God’s Word.
They are quick to turn their ears away from sound doctrines, truths, rebukes and corrections. They love and crave for fables, flatteries and eulogies of sycophants.
If your heart is not panting for the whole counsel of God’s Word, it is a glaring symptom that it is an imperfect heart!
The second symptom of an imperfect heart in Amaziah was his partial devotion or consecration to God.
Amaziah went to the battle against the Edomites in the name of the LORD God of Israel and with great faith and confidence in God.
Although God gave him victory in the battle as He had promised, yet Amaziah returned home to worship the gods of the people he had defeated in the battle. What foolishness!
Foolishness is bound up in an imperfect heart!
The Scripture records, “Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.” (2 Chro. 25:14 NKJV).
Like Amaziah, many people today have made gods out of the victory, the wealth, the riches, the job, the ministry, the partner, the children, the promotion, the success or breakthrough that God has given them.
This is a plain manifestation or expression of an imperfect heart!
It is an imperfect heart that is responsible for your spiritual apathy, lukewarmness, complacency or indifference to the things of God after your heart’s desires or prayers have been granted by God.
In an imperfect heart Jesus Christ is not the only Lord; rather, there are multiple lords or masters. This is why people with imperfect hearts are unpredictable and unstable. You cannot tell which master they will choose to obey in a situation or at a time.
Beloved, it is indeed wise to pause now and critically examine the kind of heart you possess. God wants you to walk with Him and serve Him with a loyal heart and a willing mind (1 Chro. 28:9).
It is a futile exercise to seek to walk with God or serve God with an imperfect heart that will always cause you to be selective in hearing, listening to, or obeying God’s Word, and cause you to fashion a god for yourself out of whatever God has given you.
As seen in the life of Amaziah, an imperfect heart is a great impediment to pursuing and accomplishing God’s purpose, and it will ultimately result in death – eternal separation from God in hell (2 Chro. 25:27).
But how do you receive a perfect or loyal heart to walk with God acceptably?
Through the New Birth!
A new and perfect heart is a gracious gift of God to the believers in Christ!
Friend, if you turn humbly and wholeheartedly in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ today, believing and confessing Him as your personal Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit will carry out an instant spiritual transplant on you. He will remove your old and imperfect heart and give you a new and perfect heart.
A new heart is one of the blessings or benefits of the New Covenant.
26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (NKJV).
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” (NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I receive today the gracious gift of a new and loyal heart that You offered me in and through Christ Jesus, in Jesus’ name. Amen.