It's undeniable: the new covenant, accomplished through the work of Christ, means that we have new hearts. Our hearts are good. Or God's a liar. Until we embrace that stunning truth, we will find it really hard to make decisions, because we can't trust what our hearts are saying. We'll have to be motivated by external pressure since we can't be motivated by our hearts. In fact, we won't find our calling, our place in God's kingdom, because that is written on our hearts' desires. We'll have a really hard time hearing God's voice in a deeply intimate way, because God speaks to us in our hearts. We'll live under guilt and shame for all sorts of evil thoughts and desires that the Enemy has convinced us were ours. God will seem aloof. Worship and prayer will feel like chores.
Of course, I just described the life most Christians feel doomed to live.
Now listen to Jesus:
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. (Luke 6:44-45, emphasis added)
Later, explaining the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus says,
The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:15, emphasis added)
Jesus himself teaches that the heart can be good and even noble. That somebody is you, if you are his. God kept his promise. Our hearts have been circumcised to God. We have new hearts. Do you know what this means? Your heart is good. Let that sink in for a moment. Your heart is good.
What would happen if you believed it, if you came to the place where you knew it was true? Your life would never be the same. My friend Lynn got it, and that's when she exclaimed, "If we believed that . . . we could do anything. We would follow him anywhere!"