There are spiritual laws in our lives that God operates through.  Just like how God works through His physical laws God must work through His spiritual laws.  For example God can only minister to the glory of God in us that we have allowed Him to develop in us.  Many Christians pray and even beg God to minister His power and touch in their lives, but He will not because He is a God of order and operation.  It is our place to allow God to develop His glory in our lives as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.“ (2 Peter 3:18)  He then can minister to the work of God in our lives.  There is another spiritual law that I would like for us to look at in this article and that is God deals with us according to our heart condition. God is to us what we are to Him.  His heart condition towards us is always for the intentions that He has planned and purposed for our lives and He will do (short of directly twisting our arm into submission) whatever it takes to bring them to pass.  Everything in our lives is fair game for God to use.  And if God cannot get through to us with His mercy, longsuffering, and love then He will have to use wrath, punishment, strong discipline.  Now it is important to know God has nothing really to do with developing our heart condition. Our heart condition is our responsibility and reasonable service before God; it is a culmination of many spiritual and non-spiritual ingredients in our lives:  our personal understanding of God and His word, our experiences in God, our moral characteristics; honesty, attitudes, perceptions, faithfulness, integrity, our social life, our work ethics, even our friends and places we go.  Did you know there are some people you cannot hang around and some places you cannot go and still walk with the Lord? All of these spiritual and non-spiritual ingredients are poured into our heart and our heart condition is now formed.  I see this process play out every day of my life when I compare my wife Karen (my Sweetheart) and my self.  Karen has such a soft heart condition where it is not so in my life. She has such an air of naiveté about her where I am educated at the Masters level.  Karen almost always finds the simplicity in matters where I look for the more sophisticated.  Karen is brutally honest now I am honest too, but I seem to lean towards the gray areas more often.  In Karen’s case her heart condition has been developed (I believe) from her early Catholic beginnings (she still talks about Sister Theophane Marie) and her sense of always wanting to do the right thing from her parents, especially from her grandfather William Kreiss (we called him “Poppy Seeds”) who always told her:  pray every day, read your Bible, and go to church.  Now it is also important to know our heart condition can change according to the different ingredients we pour into our heart.  In Proverbs we read, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: . . . ” (Proverbs 23:7) In the Greek this verse is translated, “as a man opens the gate of his heart, so is he.”  As we open our heart to different things (good and bad) in our lives they are poured into our heart and our heart condition is changed from once it was. If we open our heart to wrath, bitterness, and the things of this world then we will pour wrath, bitterness, and the things of this world into our heart.  But if we open our heart to things that are of a good report and the things of God then we will pour things that are of a good report and the things of God in our heart.  The choice is ours not God’s to what we swing wide the gate of our heart.  The word “heart” here in this verse is “gate.”  All throughout the Bible the word gate is always a metaphor for a place of decision.  So too with our heart condition, what we decide to open our heart to, we will be that.
Sadly today often we (I have used the pronoun “we” which includes me) the Body of Christ have opened our heart to the things of the world and not the things of God. Thus, our heart condition towards the Lord is hard-hearted and our relationship with God is strained at best.  Before we can overcome Satan we first must be able, in God, to overcome our fleshly desires and our lusts for the world.  Unless we allow God to deal with “our lust” for the things of the world we will never be able to discover the victory (overcome) God has for our lives.  This is God’s intention for us to lead us into victory, but first we must allow God to deal with “our lust” through His dealings and judgments in our lives.  In James we read, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  (James 1:14-15)  This death that we take behind the gate of our heart will taint our heart condition and produce death in us.  It is not Satan causing this death in us, but our choices not to do what God has told us to do.  Remember, at the heart of the issue it is an issue of our heart.  And the choices we make develop our heart condition either towards God or away from God.
Our choices also impact on what we believe which helps to develop our heart condition.  Either we will have a soft, supple heart for God to work His words and ways into or a hard, stony heart that rejects His words and ways.  True belief has a manifestation – obedience and submission.  But sadly as I travel the world (especially in America) I find most Christians (as high as 70 to 80%) do not really know what they believe they are confused with what God says (both written and oral) and what denominations teach.  My friend attending a new Believer’s or new member class will never develop obedience and submission in our lives.  These types of classes only teach what the church (denomination) believes.  What is developed in us is the denominational church rules and regulations we must memorize, recite, and follow to be able to participate with a local body of Believers and this my friend will never do. The only way we will be able to come to the understanding of what God says and wants for our lives is when we crack open the word of God and allow Him to speak to us; then His words will become our words and we will take on an understanding of what God wants and how He wants things to be done.  In doing so we are developing our heart condition to be more like the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You know everyone believing the same thing does not make it right.  We have many denominations in the world with millions of followers all believing the same mistruths and unless they come out of this deception they will lose any work of God in their lives (God forbid) end up in spiritual places God has no intention for them.  Ultimately their final destination (God forbid), unless they allow God to open the eyes of their understanding and work in their lives, will be Hell led by religious leaders with a hard, stony heart conditions.
One of God’s great tools to help develop our heart condition and prevent us from ending in Hell is conviction.  What a precious blessing in our lives.  Conviction is God telling us we are going the wrong way and we need to repent (about face) and go the other direction.  James tells us, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist (flow in the opposite direction) the devil (slander, sin, evil), and he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:6-8)  In other words, if the devil (and all he is) is going in one direction we must go in the other direction and then we will be able to “draw nigh to God.”  We do not stand and say, “I resist you, I resist you in the name of Jesus,” oh no, we take the initiative and move in the opposite direction, the direction God is going.  Please remember, true conviction has few words it is a work of the Holy Spirit, where condemnation (what many Christians heap on the heads of their brothers and sisters) is a work of man with many words.  At times I am amazed at the length of an alter call.  Jesus never had an alter call, why do we?  If someone is really under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit you will not need to hold an alter call they will run at break neck speed to get to a place (may not be an alter at a church) where they can get free of the burden that sin has saddled upon them.  Conviction is a burden on the soul that enlightens our conscience and pricks our heart to the critical need to be reconciled back to God.  This is the message of the Gospel and it should be the only message of the church, our eternal need to be reconciled back to God then we can have correct fellowship with Him and man.  But many words and much speaking just heaps condemnation on someone, twisting their arm to do something they need to do, but do not have the weakness nor the strength of God in them to submit to God.  Often it is the words from others that support our self-life to reject the draw and prick of the Holy Spirit.  Let us keep quiet and let the Holy Spirit do the work He desires to do in our lives.  Let us be aware of the most blessed conviction in our lives.  In doing so we are developing a soft heart condition that will be open to the moving of the Spirit of God and His touch.
I often hear someone say, “let us give God glory” or “give God a hand clap praise,” how foolish.  Why do we think talent and ability can glorify God?  This is a selfish and self-seeking thought on our part.  These examples do not glorify God one bit.  My friend God does not care how well we sing, dance, or clap, how high we can jump, or how fast we can run. These are humanistic expressions of fleshly ability.  It is our obedience and submission alone that glorifies God. Why are we told we need to come to church to get refreshed or cleansed from the world.  Going to church will not do this my friend yet countless millions of Christians today believe this.  Only God can refresh our soul, mend a broken heart, or give joy when our lives have been decimated and destroyed before our very eyes. No need to go to church to receive God’s spiritual works in our lives God has picked out a wilderness of blessings for us.  But now we are to go to church to be equipped by the teaching of the word of God and to edify the local body by blessing someone. I wonder what our churches today would look like if people picked out someone in the church (before they come to church) who they wanted to bless in some way? I guess there would not be time for other things in church that do not bless or edify people. Why do we spend so much time singing and giving announcements about church activities in the service?  I wonder what songs we will sing in heaven?  I seriously doubt we will sing any Christian rock and roll or contemporary music, well then why do we spend so much time singing these types of songs in church?  Do we seriously think we will play electric guitars and key boards in heaven?  If not, then why do we play them in church today?  Music is very persuasive.  Please take a good look at how cultures; especially groups like the Nazi party, the communist Chinese, the Former Soviet Union, or any group that has manipulated people to do heinous things to other people used music to get people to follow them.  Everyone likes a good marching song with a quick beat and the church has capitalized on the power music has on our emotions. We think all of these fore mentioned things gives God glory, no my friend they all are only distractions to God’s desire for obedience and submission to Him.
Our heart condition will manifest our usefulness and future in God.  For those who have allowed God to develop in them a soft, delightful (pliable, malleable) (Psalms 37:4) heart condition their future in God is bright, but for those who have not allowed God to develop a soft heart condition in them the way ahead will be rugged, only hope (and God’s longsuffering and grace) to make a change in the right direction stands between God’s will and His best and spiritual loss and destruction.  Let us choose today who we shall serve with the right heart condition.