The Perfect Heart
by Andrew Farley
At salvation, God carried you through a spiritual heart surgery of sorts.
As a result, He doesn’t need to look at you through special “Jesus glasses.” No, He’s looking right at you, and He likes what He sees.
You’re not merely “clothed with Christ” like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You’re actually a Grade A sheep, through and through. In short, you’re not half and half. You’re not good and bad. You’re not new and old. You’re not righteous and wicked-hearted. Many living out this duality think they are their own worst enemy. You’ve probably said it yourself. But think about it: If the Bible calls you “a friend of God,” then how can you be your own worst enemy? If your new-hearted self is from God, then what kind of self is it? Would God cause you to be born of Him as someone who is bad, good, or somewhere in the middle? Jesus said that if even earthly fathers are givers of good gifts, how much more is your heavenly Father a giver of goodness (Luke 11:11–13)? Every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). So, if God gave you a new-hearted self, then you must be amazingly good! God could’ve chosen to live anywhere, and He chose you. You’re a perfect home for the Spirit of God Himself.
Once you realize you have a brand-new heart, you start to put the pieces together. Does your new-hearted self truly desire sin? Does God want you to wrestle it into submission to His wishes through the accountability program you just heard about, or the ten ways to “be radical” and “set yourself apart” offered in that trendy new curriculum, all the while pleading for Him to purify you and return you to His side?
No. All of a sudden, you realize none of that makes sense anymore.
You’ve seen the perfect you.
Remember: If you’re re-created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10), then what does that say about your design? You are good. And what does this say about your desire? You want good. You want what God wants. Here’s what Jesus had to say about how your heart connects to your desire:
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:43–45 NIV).
Jesus Himself says there are indeed “good trees.” That’s what you are. He goes on to say the “good man” does exist, and there is good in his heart. That’s who you are. There is good stored up within you.
Because you’re new in Jesus, you have a loving heart. Because you’re new in Jesus, you have a kind heart. Because you’re new in Jesus, you have a patient heart. You’re a loving and kind and patient person by nature. You carry within you all the qualities needed for life and godliness. All of this is true, because you’re the new-hearted self and bonded to Jesus Christ, who is your life.
An exclusive excerpt from The Perfect You by Andrew Farley.
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