This week under the theme ‘The secret of God’s presence,’ we will look at another two passages from the Bible and they are 1 Chronicles 29:19 and Psalms 119:80.
First, the author of first Chronicles writes these words by King David, “Give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandment, thy testimonies, and thy statutes… (1 Chronicles 29:19). The psalmist also said, “Let my heart be sound (Perfect) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed” (Psalm 119:80).
We see David, in his parting commission, laid it upon Solomon to serve God with a perfect heart, because God searches the heart. It is nothing less than the heart, the whole heart, a perfect heart, that God wants.
Very shortly afterwards, in David’s dedication prayer after the giving of all the material for the temple, He turns again to this as the one thing needful, and asks it for his son as a gift from God. “Give Solomon my son a perfect heat.” The perfect heart is a gift from God, given and received under the principles which rule all his giving. It is given as a hidden seed to be accepted and acted on in faith.
The command, Be Perfect, comes and claims immediate and full submission. Where this submission is yielded, the need for divine power to work it into our hearts becomes the motive for urgent and earnest prayer. The word of command, received and hid in a good and honest heart, becomes the seed of this divine power.
God works His grace in us by stirring us to work. So the desire to listen to God’s command, and to serve Him with a perfect heart, is a beginning that God looks to, and that He will himself strengthen and perfect.
The gift of a perfect heart is thus obtained in the way of the obedience of faith. Begin at once to serve God with a perfect heart, and the perfect heart will be given to you.
The perfect heart is a gift from God, to be asked for, to be obtained, by prayer. No one will pray for it earnestly, perseveringly, believingly, until we accept God’s Word fully that it is a positive command and an immediate duty to be perfect. Where this has been done, the consciousness of the utter impossibility of attempting obedience in human strength will soon grow strong.
And the faith that the word of command was simply meant to draw the soul to Him who gives to us what He asks from us will grow.
The perfect heart is a gift to be obtained in prayer. David asked the Lord to give it to his son, Solomon, even as he had prayed for himself long before, “Let my heart be perfect in thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:36).
Let all of us who long for this blessing follow his example. Let us make it a matter of definite, earnest prayer. Let each of our son and daughter of God say to the Father: “Give your child a perfect heart.”
Let us, in the course of our meditations in this book, turn each word of command or teaching or promise into prayer, pointed, personal prayer that asks and claims, that accepts and proves the gift of a perfect heart.
When the seed begins to root, and the Spirit gives the consciousness that the beginning of the perfect heart has been bestowed with the whole-hearted purpose to live for God alone, and then let us hold on in prayer for the perfect heart in all its completeness.
A heart perfect in its purpose toward God, this is only the initial stage. Then there comes the putting on of one grace after another, the going, from strength to strength, on to perfection, the putting on, in ever-growing distinctness of likeness, the Lord Jesus, with every trait of His holy image. All this is to be sought and found in prayer, too. He who understands what perfect in purpose is, will pray to be perfect in practice as well.
In the words of Hezekiah, we see that there are two elements in the perfect heart: the relationship to God, and obeying His Words.
I have walked before thee with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight” (2 Kings 20:3). David speaks of the second of these in his prayer, “a perfect heart, to keep thy Words.” The two always go together: walking before God will ensure walking in His Words.
The apostle James went on to say, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17), the gift of a perfect heart too. James also says, “But let us asks in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6).
Let us be sure that in the believing, adoring worship of God there will be given to the soul that is set upon having it, nothing less than what God Himself means by a perfect heart. Let us pray the prayer boldly, “Lord, give your child a perfect heart. Let my heart be perfect in your testimonies.”
By Rev. Eric D. Maefonea