We receive Christ in our spirit, since our spirit is the organ created by God for us to contact Him and receive Him (John 4:24). But after receiving the Lord into our spirit, He as life wants to spread and grow into all the parts of our inward being – He wants to make His home in our heart (Eph. 3:17) and spread in our mind, emotion, and will.
This is where the problems start – our heart has a lot of problems! Our emotion is not fervent for the Lord but loves many other people and things. Our will is so weak in choosing the Lord and so strong in choosing to do other things. Our mind is not “thinking God” but has all kinds of fallen thoughts, doubts, reasonings, etc.
The Lord wants to grow in us, and on His side there’s no problem – the seed of life is all-inclusive. We need to cooperate with the Lord and deal with our heart so that Christ may grow in us.
Dealing with our Heart for the Lord to Grow in us
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8). For the Lord to grow in us and for us to see God, we need to be pure in heart. For us to enter into the kingdom of the heavens we need to be poor in spirit, but for us to see God and allow Him to grow in us, we need to be pure in heart.
Christ as the seed of life has been sown into the soil of our heart, and now He wants to grow in us. We need to give Him more room in our heart so that He can increase in us and gradually possess every part.
Even though all the believers have received the same divine life at the time of their regeneration, the level of growth in life differs according to the level of cooperation each one gives the Lord to deal with their heart, so that the Lord may grow in them.
How much did the Lord spread in our heart? How much ground did we give the Lord in our thinking, our feeling, and our choosing?
We need to not only exercise our spirit to touch the Lord but also deal with our heart by opening to Him and removing all the barriers and hindrances to the growth of the seed of life in us.
In Matthew there are many verses who speak about the many problems and categories of heart, starting from the need to be pure in heart to having a heart that loves the Lord (see Matt. 5:8; 6:21; 11:29; 12:34-35; 13:15, 19; 15:8, 17-20; 19:8; 22:37).
Providing a Good Soil in Our Heart for Christ as Life to Grow in us
In Matt. 13:1-23 we see the parable of the sower (Christ) who went out to sow the seed (Christ) into the earth (our heart). Our heart toward the Lord and His word can be likened to four kinds of soil.
First, our heart can be the hardened heart – the soil by the wayside, hardened by worldly traffic. Second, our heart can be a stony heart, having a good ground on the surface but beneath the surface there are many things that can’t be touched or seen yet they hinder the growth in life.
The third is the cancerous heart – the anxieties of life choke up the growth in life, and they take away all the space both above and under the ground.
The fourth is the good soil, a soil tilled and dealt with, and the seed can grow and bear fruit.
Our heart is hardened by being in the world and allowing the world to tread on our heart and harden it. Our heart can have hidden sins, ambitions, desires, purposes, and thoughts – and these don’t allow the Lord to grow in us. Also, the anxieties of life and the deceitfulness of riches grow in our heart and eats up the space until there’s no space for the Lord.
The problem is not with outward things, our job, the things in the world, entertainment, etc – it is with our heart! Our heart gives room to these things, the anxieties, riches, etc – until there’s no space for the Lord!
The soil of our heart is very important – if the heart is not properly irrigated by spending enough facetime with the Lord, it will give space to many other things. We need to take care of our heart and deal with the problems in our heart so that the Lord would not be restricted in His growth in us.
Where our Treasure is our Heart will be also
First of all, for us to have spiritual light and revelation, we need to have a pure heart (Matt. 5:8). Going further in Matthew we see that “where your treasure is, there your heart be also.” (Matt. 6:21)
What is our treasure? What do we love and treasure and are looking forward to spend time with? The Lord recommends us that we would send our treasures in the heavens, so that our heart would also be in the heaven (Matt. 6:20). Our treasure needs to be Christ so that we may set our heart on Christ.
Our heart is not naturally inclined to love the Lord and choose Him – rather, our heart is deceitful, and we have no idea what our heart wants. But we need to actively choose to spend time with the Lord, focus on Him, allow Him to shine in us, and love Him to the uttermost until He becomes the treasure of our heart.
Our sticky heart may love and treasure education, clothing, money, gadgets, internet, etc. but as we spend time with the Lord, He will become the treasure of our heart. Also, pray to Him and tell Him about your heart. Just open and say,
Lord, I give You my heart. I want to cooperate with You to deal with my heart so that it will be a good soil for You to grow in me. Lord, keep my heart always true to You. Remove any stones that hinder the growth in life. Lord, become the treasure of my heart. I want to love and appreciate nothing and no one else. Lord, I refuse to be anxious – I cast all my cares upon You, because it matters to You concerning me. Lord Jesus, grow in me! Make Your home in my heart!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Andrew Yu’s sharing and portions in, Collected Works of Witness Lee (year 1970, vol. 1, pp. 367-390), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, ITERO spring 2013 “The Experience, Growth, and Ministry of Life for the Body“, week 3 entitled, The Urgent Need of the Growth of Life and Growing in Life by Dealing with the Heart.
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Oh, strengthen my spirit, Lord Jesus, / Oh, strengthen my spirit, I pray; / Oh, strengthen my spirit with power / And spread to my heart today. / Into my heart, into my heart, / Spread into my heart, Lord Jesus!
# O that Christ may make His home my heart, / Spread Himself in every part! / Saturate and life impart! / That with all saints, I may apprehend / All the vast dimensions of my loving Christ.
# Bless’d are the pure in heart, / For they shall see our God; / The secret of the Lord is theirs, / Their heart is Christ’s abode.
- Pictures credit: instagrams by me here and here.