Since love flows out of our hearts and is expressed through our actions towards another then the one who loves understands the great importance of guarding the heart. Same thing as “garbage in garbage out” except it is “love in love out”. What comes in is what will go out.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
Since God is the source of love and His love is pure then our greatest need in life is to know Him and to experience His love moment by moment. If we will do this then out of our heart and life will flow the love of God.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
However, our hearts are deceitful and we will even deceive ourselves. When one is deceived they do not realize that they are deceived. That is the meaning of deception. Satan is a liar and seeks to deceive us through our hearts by making temptations seem so appealing just as he did with Eve.
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
However, it is not until we have given into the temptation and fallen into the devil’s snares of death that we realize we have been trapped. Once we are trapped in the snares of death then we go into a downward spiral.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:14-16
A Christian has been made spiritually alive but his soul can still experience death through sinning. The death that he experiences is not any different from the death that the nonChristian experiences. The nonChristian lives in a perpetual state of death but the Christian can still experience death to the soul and that is through the guilt, regret, depression, etc.
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Colossians 3:25
It is not until we come to the Lord will we be cleansed of our sins. The nonChristian needs a total cleansing. When we come to Him for salvation then He cleanses our conscience through His Holy Spirit and His Word and purifies our hearts so that we can see Him again and experience His great love.
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I Peter 3:21
The Christian needs their conscience to be cleansed through confessing their sins for when they sin while they are the world.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
IF we do not guard our hearts and keep a clear conscience then our view of God become distorted and we want to ultimately blame God for what is happening in our lives. We do not doubt His power but we doubt His love.
With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted. Psalm 18:26
The Bible says that the way of the guilty is crooked.
The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. Proverbs 21:8
When we do not have a clear conscience and there is guilt in our heart then we start to see God as twisted and our actions will also become twisted towards those whom we should love. The one whom we should be loving starts not to understand our actions and their responses become different and then begins the downward spiral in the relationship.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
A double minded person does not have a pure heart. A double minded person is one who says to himself, “Should I do this or should I do that?” They go back and forth on what they should do. The double minded person will not receive help from the Lord until they confess their sin to the Lord and surrender their heart to Him and He cleanses it.
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5
The Lord wants us to pursue love with all people. However, we need to have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere heart. These are characteristics of the heart and must characterize our lives in all of our relationships. When we have these qualities then God’s love will fill our lives and hearts and will flow through us to others.
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
We will see the Lord and will want to be like Him. We will be secure in our relationship with Him and will not be fearful of what other think of us. We will be able to consider others more important than ourselves. We will not feel the need to control others because we will be filled with the Lord and His love for others. It will be Jesus Christ who controls us.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. II Corinthians 5:14,15
The outcome will be far greater than what anyone can imagine. The Lord can do far more than what we can ask or think when we guard our hearts, live by faith, keep His Word and allow Him to live through us according to His power which works in us.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21