GOD WANTS YOUR HEART
“My son, give Me thine heart.” [Prov 23:26]
It is an instance of infinite condescension that God should say, “My son, give Me thine heart.” Notice the strange position in which it puts God and man; the usual position is for the creature to say to God, “Give me”, but here the Creator cries to feeble man, “Give me.” The Great Benefactor himself becomes the Petitioner—stands at the door of his own creatures and asks, not for offerings, nor for words of praise, but for their hearts.
Oh, it must be because of the great love of God that He condescends to put himself into such a position, and if we were right-minded our immediate response would be, “Dost THOU seek my heart? here it is, my Lord.” But alas! few thus respond, and none do so except those who are like David, men after God’s own heart. When God says to such, “Seek ye My face,” they answer at once “Thy face LORD, will we seek”: but this answer is prompted by divine grace. It can only be love that seeks for love.
Again, IT CAN ONLY BE SUPREME LOVE WHICH LEADS WISDOM TO SEEK AFTER THE HEART OF SUCH POOR THINGS AS WE ARE. The best saints are poor things; and as for some of us who are not the best, what poor, poor things we are! How foolish! How slow to learn! Does wisdom seek us for scholars? Then wisdom must be of a most condescending kind. We are so guilty, too. We shall rather disgrace than honor the courts of wisdom if she admits us to her school. Yet she says to each of us, “Give me thy heart. Come and learn of me.” Only love can invite such scholars as we are. I am afraid we shall never do much to glorify God; we have but small parts to begin with, and our position is obscure. Yet common-place people though we are, God says to each one of us, “My son, give me thine heart.” Only infinite love would come a-wooing to such wretched hearts as ours.
FOR WHAT HAS GOD TO GAIN? Brothers and sisters, if we did all give our hearts to him in what respect would he be the greater? If we gave him all we have would he be the richer? “The silver and the gold are mine,” says he, “and the cattle on a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee.” He is too great for us to make him greater, too good for us to make him better, too glorious for us to make him more illustrious. When he comes a-wooing, and cries, “Give me thine heart,” it must be for our benefit and not for his own. Surely it is more blessed for us to give than for him to receive. He can gain nothing: we gain everything by the gift.
Now I turn my text another way. WISDOM PERSUADES US TO OBEY THIS LOVING REQUEST. To take our hearts and give them up to God is the wisest thing that we can do. If we have done it before, we had better do it over again, and hand over once more the sacred deposit into those dear hands which will surely keep that which we commit to their guardian care. “My son, give me thine heart.”
Wisdom prompts us to do it; for first, MANY OTHERS CRAVE OUR HEARTS, and our hearts will surely go one way or other. Let us see to it that they do not go where they will be ruined. I will not read you the next verse, but many a man has lost his heart and soul eternally by the lusts of the flesh. He has perished through “her that lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.” Happy is that young man whose heart is never defiled with vice! There is no way of being kept from impurity except by giving up the heart to the holy Lord.
In a city like this, the most pure-minded are surrounded with innumerable temptations; and many there are that slip with their feet before they are aware of it, being carried away because they have not time to think before the temptation has cast them to the ground. “Therefore, my son,” says wisdom, “give me thine heart. Everybody will try to steal thy heart, therefore leave it in my charge. Then thou needest not fear the fascinations of the strange woman for I have thy heart, and I will keep it safe unto the day of my appearing.” It is most wise to give Jesus our heart, for seducers will seek after it.
There is another destroyer of souls. I will not say much about it, but I will just read you what the context saith of it— “Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine. They that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” Read carefully the rest of the chapter, and then hear the voice of wisdom say, “My son, if thou wouldst be kept from drunkenness and gluttony, from wantonness and chambering, and everything that the heart inclineth to, give me thy heart.”
It is well to guard your heart with all the apparatus that wisdom can provide. It is well totally to abstain from that which becomes a snare to you: but I charge you, do not rely upon abstinence but give your heart to Jesus; for nothing short of true godliness will preserve you from sin so that you shall be presented faultless before his presence with exceeding great joy. As you would wish to preserve an unblemished character and be found honorable to the end, my son I charge thee give to Christ thy heart.
For notice, again, that IF YOU DO NOT GIVE HIM YOUR HEART YOU CANNOT PLEASE HIM AT ALL. You may give God what you please, but without your heart it is all an abomination to him. To pray without your heart is solemn mockery; to sing without your heart is an empty sound; to give, to teach, to work without your heart is all an insult to the Most High. You cannot do God any service till you give him your heart. You must begin with this. Then shall your hand and purse give what they will, and your tongue and brain shall give what they can; but first your heart—first your heart—your inmost self —your love—your affection.
You must give Him your heart or you give Him nothing!