Keeping the Engraved Tablet of the Heart

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
    in the sight of God and man.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

“My son, keep my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you;
bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3-7; 7:1,3

“You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it—of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen… You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row;  and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond;  and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;  and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper… set in gold filigree.  There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes… So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the Lord.” Exodus 28:15,17-21,29

If the heart is the wellspring of life, then keeping the heart is vital to spiritual health and fruitfulness. Guarding it means imprinting it with God’s identity and protecting all it contains. There are certain things to write indelibly there as forever fuel for life. Israel’s priests wore the names of every tribe engraved over their hearts, bearing them before the Lord for remembrance of mercy effected by sacrifice. For the Christian under grace, God’s inscribed our hearts with His living word, both our salvation and lifeline for holy living. (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 4:4; John 6:63; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18)

How often do I refer to and draw on God’s impression on my heart? Does the fact that He counts me as righteous compel right thinking and behaving? How readily do I apply the promises of His word for courage to stand up, wisdom to speak, discernment and compassion to meet others’ needs? (2 Corinthians 5:21)

What foreign messages and mantras have I allowed to be imprinted on my heart that confuse or distort truth, sully honest perception or deplete genuine selfless care for those around me? Have I slipped into an identity as superior judge over those whose belief systems are counter to mine, and fail to look for commonalities under God’s redemption? What daily evidence am I exhibiting that His name and Word are daily borne in my choices, countenance, and counsel?

“Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart,
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new best name of Love.” ~Charles Wesley (1742)

Lord, imprint Yourself on my heart so indelibly that all I think, say, and do is under Your impression, with Your grace, by Your power, and for Your glory.

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