The word “heart” occurs 830 times in 762 verses in the KJV; different places have different counts due to different translations. But nevertheless, it is mentioned quite a lot. In Deuteronomy 4-18 alone it is mentioned 24 times, and in Psalm 119 it is used 15 times. Since what “were written aforetime were written for our learning,” (Romans 15:4) let’s take a quick look and see what we can learn about the heart in these books.
God wasn’t speaking about the physical, beating, blood pumping heart in our chest. This heart is the Hebrew word “lebab” which means “inner man, mind, will, heart, soul, and understanding”. It’s what we mean when we say “I love you with all my heart” or when we say “I’m heartbroken”.
Often in scriptures we find that God wants all of our heart, the whole thing, not just a part. He wants us to seek Him with all our heart, our whole heart; if we seek after Him with ALL we will find Him and we will be blessed (Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 119:2; Psalm 119:10). We want to find Him and we want to be blessed, but how do we do this? The absolute best way is to study about Him in His Word. To seek Him with all our heart means to jump into His Word with a heart that is willing to change where it needs to change. If we aren’t willing to do that, then we aren’t seeking with our whole heart.
God also wants us to serve Him with all of our heart (Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 11:13). Serve here means to work, labor, to make oneself a servant. Sometimes when I clean the house, I just clean the parts that look dirty. I only clean that which will be seen by others. I’m not working with my all of my heart here. When we serve God and only do His work when others are looking, we aren’t doing it with all of our heart. He wants us to work, serve and labor even when no one else is looking. Now that is ALL!
We also find that God wants us to love Him with all our heart (Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 13:3). How do we love God? John 14:15 and 1 John 5:3 says we do it by keeping His commandments. So if we are to love Him with ALL of our heart, we do so by keeping ALL of His commandments.
God wants ALL of our heart because He knows we can’t just give Him a piece (Matthew 6:24). If we just give Him enough to get by, we aren’t really doing what he wants. We aren’t giving Him our ALL.
Kristina and her husband, Justin, serve with the church of Christ in Fairfield, IL where her husband is the preacher. Kristina is a stay-at-home mother to their three kids.