Whenever our Father speaks to us about our hearts, it is always an invitation to intimacy. He never expects us to isolate ourselves and somehow exert enough force on our hearts to make them acceptable to him.
He is not just our God, but also our Father and Maker. He understands the intricacies of our hearts, and he knows that we have no power to change them. Only he has that ability.
Our Father’s method for transforming our hearts is not like the instructor who lectures and assigns homework to be done independently. Instead, he pulls us into his embrace and reveals his heart to us. That moment of revelation becomes our moment of transformation, in which our heart becomes like his, not through our work, but through our relationship of love.
So when Proverbs 17 describes the kind of heart required for reigning in life, it also describes the heart of our Father. Here are some of the highlights from The Passion Translation:
• A “purified” heart (v. 3); a heart that has been refined through the fire of God’s jealous love
• A “humble” heart (v. 10); a heart that delights in understanding
• A truthful, rather than a “perverse” heart (v. 20); a heart that never lies and always tells the truth
• A “cheerful” heart (v. 22); joy in our hearts releases healing to our souls and bodies
• An “understanding” heart (v. 27); a heart filled with God’s peace at all times
These descriptions are a gateway to revelation, but only intimacy with our Father will impart these virtues to our heart.
Choose one of these five virtues of the heart and meditate on how your Father embodies it to the fullest. Ask him to reveal himself to you in this way so that you may become more like him. Journal about your experience.