Is God’s word written on your heart?

Because God’s laws are for our good (Deuteronomy 10:13) we need to write them on our heart. A Bible on our bookshelf is not enough, or even in the memory of our phone. To guide us spiritually, God’s word must be in our heart.

What does it mean to have God’s word in your heart?

God’s word dwells within you and is the guiding force of your life: you know it, understand it, respect it, love it and practice it willingly.

Old Covenant people were to have God’s word in their heart.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). To do this we must know God’s word.

“You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul” (Deuteronomy 11:18). We store valuable data carefully. Do we store God’s word in our heart and soul?

“For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). If God’s word is in our heart, it will also be in our mouth. What does a football fan talk about? Football! Someone with God’s word in his heart, speaks about God’s word.

“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart” (Psalm 37:30, 31).

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). When God’s word is in our heart, we know what pleases and displeases Him, and we want to please Him.

“My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:1-3).

God’s people were told repeatedly to write His word on their heart, but most did not do so.

Few under the Old Covenant had God’s law in their heart.

Although God sent prophets to call them to repentance, although the faithful encouraged their unfaithful brethren to know the Lord, few of the physical descendants of Jacob had God’s law in their hearts.

Thus God proclaimed: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,’ says the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ says the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

New Covenant people have God’s law in their heart.

This prophesy was fulfilled by Jesus Christ who came to bring God’s New Covenant for the whole world, founded on personal faith rather than physical descent, and to be the true sacrifice for sin: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘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,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more’” (Hebrews 10:14-17). [See also Hebrews 8:10-12.]

Christ had God’s law in His heart: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the Book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart’” (Psalm 40:7, 8).

Because Jesus was sinless, He was qualified to bear the punishment for our sins, and to replace the Old Covenant with the New: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Under the New Covenant, by definition, God’s people consist of those who have God’s law in their heart: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘“Who will descend into the abyss?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)” (Romans 10:4-8).

How can we have God’s law in our heart?

We must prepare our hearts to receive the word. In the parable of the sower, God’s word bears fruit only in good and noble hearts (Luke 8:15).

Of King Rehoboam it is said: “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:14).

Ezra, on the other hand, “had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it” (Ezra 7:10).

Our hearts must be receptive. God told Ezekiel: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears” (Ezekiel 3:10).

The word of God must be received: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

It is not enough to attend religious services each Sunday. The law of God must be written on our hearts. Paul told the believers at Corinth that they were a letter of Christ, “written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3).

When God’s law is written on our hearts, it permeates our whole being: it influences our thoughts, words and actions.

Bad things may not be written on our heart.

Our degenerate society is always ready to write its godless opinions and materialistic principles on our hearts. How is this done? Mainly through the media, schools and social contacts.

To have God’s law written on our hearts, bad influences must be avoided and resisted. We must be careful what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. We must be careful who our friends are: “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV).

We must also be careful who our virtual friends are. People in films can easily influence the way we think and feel. Even the “good guys” are often rather bad. Much of this evil influence is insidious. Immorality, for example, is presented on television, in films and at school as normal, acceptable behavior, and is falsely portrayed as having no bad consequences. This is inspired by the devil.

What if someone rang your doorbell each evening, came in and spent the whole evening in your home using worldly language and showing indecent pictures to your children?

As a Christian, would you not show him the door and tell him he was not welcome? Yet, many Christians welcome such a visitor into their home each day. His initials are T.V.

The Internet is also an enticing source of evil influence.

“Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27). If we eat garbage, we get sick. If we fill our mind with garbage, we will have a sick mind. If we look at pornography, we will develop a pornographic mind. If we fill our heart with vanity, our life will be in vain.

On the other hand, if we fill our hearts with the word of God, we will be healthy and strong spiritually. Let us rededicate our hearts to God.

Time is required to write God’s word on our heart.

If God’s word is in our heart it will also be at the heart of our day. We must redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). This means that we must spend our time profitably.

Most of our day is unavoidably occupied with routine chores. Only a small part can be spent any way we wish. How do we use this prime time? Absorbing God’s word? Or do we waste it in self-indulgence?

To allow God to write His word on our hearts we must attend services and Bible studies regularly. We need to read the Bible or listen to Bible recordings each day. If our daily schedule does not allow this, maybe we ought to rearrange our schedule. We might also dedicate larger blocks of time on certain days to taking God’s word into our hearts.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).

May the word of God permeate our hearts to provide spiritual guidance for our lives. May God’s word be in our conversation. Let us teach His word to our children, talk of it when we are at home, when we ride in the car, when we lie down, and when we rise up. Let us write the commands of God on the tablet of our heart. Only then may we call ourselves the people of God. Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive