I watched a sermon this early morning on a changed heart. Steve Furtick talks about real lasting change has to happen in your heart in his sermon 3 Habits of a Healthy Heart.
What does it mean to have a contrite heart?
The Bible speaks many times of a contrite heart. Isaiah 66:2, the Lord says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
Psalm 51:17, David writes, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
You find it with verses that also speak of humility, brokenness, and a healthy fear of God’s Word. So what exactly does it mean to be contrite?
According to the IBE, (International Bible Encyclopedia) “A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt.” The Hebrew and Greek words often translated “contrite” actually mean “crushed, crippled, or broken.”
When we as people stop justifying our wrong choices, when our eyes are truly open to our sin, when we humbly accepts God’s righteous condemnation of sin, contrition is present. It is when our actions speak so much louder than our words. It is when we become real and transparent. A contrite heart wants to listen and obey God . The more we fall in love with the Lord, the more we will WANT and DESIRE to do things that please him.
A contrite heart offers no excuses and shifts no blame. A contrite heart throws itself upon the mercy of God, knowing that it deserves nothing but righteous wrath (Isaiah 6:5; Psalm 41:4). STOP for a minute, rewind, pause , ponder this… NO EXCUSES AND SHIFTS NO BLAME. So not the norm today.
The place of contrition is a blessed place to be. God says, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15). Those with a contrite heart are promised a dwelling place with God. Their broken hearts will be made new.
A contrite heart does not take the forgiveness of God for granted. It is grieved over its own sin and contrition is a key to true repentance. Without it, we are like the proud Pharisee, going through the motions of religion but harboring arrogance in our hearts.
As Pastor Steven reminds us again, lasting change happens in the heart so that a new mindset is formed. It is where the beautiful transformation starts to happen. It is where His light starts shining through.
It is up to God to mould, transform, and sanctify us as we journey through this earthly life. But, we have a part to play also. We have to be willing. We have to take action and humble ourselves before the Lord.
GOD MAKES ALL THINGS NEW. He takes a broken and contrite heart and restores the JOY of our salvation. We have to bow down before we can ever be raised up. C.S. Lewis says, “We are taller when we bow.” It reminds me, humility before honor.
Still learning at 51 years old, the best way to heal a broken heart is to give God ALL the pieces. Thank you Lord for never giving up on me even when I have given you so many reasons to walk away. Forgive me of my yesterdays and today is a new day to take one step closer to you.