Any difference between the spirit and the heart?

head-196541_6402Chronicles 25:2: And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart. (ESV)

What God wants is our heart, the whole of it. As we believe in Jesus as saviour we should also believe in him as Lord.

There is no allowance for half measure. Jesus said we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). We cannot be subject to the domination of God and mammon at the same time. We cannot be committed to the will of God and be self-willed at the same time.

Saul thought that he could be appointed by God and then do his own things afterwards. It doesn’t work like that. The pipe of water cannot pour our clean and dirty water. You cannot run forwards and backwards at the same time.

The psalmist prayed: give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name (Psalm 86:11).  That means the heart can be divided. In that condition, we get pulled in different directions, we go up and then we go down, we blow hot and cold, we are lukewarm, neither hot or cold. We are subject to too much external influence, times of inner peace interspersed with times of inner conflict. You feel saved today and unsaved tomorrow, ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. Not able to make enough progress, because of too much encumbrance.

The bible says that we should lay aside every weight and the sin which easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1-2). The man with a divided heart may have a sin that beset him on which he or she trips, impeding his spiritual journey. He is torn within.

There are also weights that people carry. This is in form of bitterness, lack of forgiveness, rigidity and fear. When these things are in the heart they created the condition for a divided heart, where commitment to self seems to cohabit with devotion to God, we proclaim Jesus is Lord but do not fully exhibit that in our lives.

Paul said that Timothy need to watch out for fear lest it invades the heart (2Timothy 1:6-7). He was advised to let love power and sound mind take root in his heart as he cooperates with the by the Holy Spirit. Fear divides the heart. The aim of the Holy Spirit is to be the sole influence in our heart, to colour our perception and determine our rightful relationship with God.

Paul wrote that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit, and no one by speaking by the Holy Spirit says Jesus is accursed (1Corinthians 12:3). And out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).

If we embrace the lordship of Jesus then it will be because of yieldedness to the Holy Spirit, we follow his direction, and are subject to his influence.

No one knows Jesus like the Holy Spirit, and when it comes to expressing allegiance to him (saying Jesus is Lord with our lives), it has to be through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will reveal his words and thoughts to us (John 16:13-15, 14:26). Through that we will know him and be transformed into who he is. He is called the Helper, and he helps us to love Jesus as we should. Therefore we need to give the Holy Spirit more recognition in our lives and highlight his work in us. He is God at work in us.

We need him because the bible says no man knows the things of God except the Spirit of God and no one knows the things of man expect the spirit of man (1Corinthians 2). And when we receive the Spirit of God we can receive the things of God because our (new) renewed spirit emanates from (is an extension of, is born of) the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-8). There is no limit to what the Holy Spirit knows about us. He knows that our hearts still needs to be worked on.

The question is: what is the difference between our spirit and our heart? Are they one and the same? Maybe not. I see it this way: the heart comprises the soul and the spirit; so the spirit is part of the heart.

picJesus said we need to love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul and mind, and in that specific order (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). This is because the mind is a component of the soul, as the soul is a component of the heart.

The heart is incomplete without the spirit. Paul called the heart without the spirit darkened (Romans 1:21, Ephesians 4:18). That means the light of the knowledge of God is not reflected there (2Corinthians 4:6), the presence of God is not manifest there, the name of Jesus is not glorified there, God has no dwelling there because God is light and in him there is no darkness at all (1John 1:5).

The sense of emptiness that the unbeliever feels is the result of the absence of the spirit there. The spirit is the spiritual animating factor in man, without which man became spiritually dead, with zero or negative native functionality in the realm of the spirit.

That emptiness man attempts to fill with sexual or drug addiction. Without the spirit man, is at best crippled, with the possibility but not the reality of a relationship with God, of being filled with the fullness of God.

The heart is cleansed from dead works, when the blood of Jesus comes into heart that is what happened. Your heart therefore becomes as clean as heaven. With the holiness of God there, we are made holy and the Holy Spirit is attracted there because he is Holy. A heart made holy by the blood of Jesus is red carpet for the Holy Spirit.

Does the holy state of the heart make it impossible for one to commit error? Not necessarily. Remember that the heart, and specifically the soul part, has learned some patterns of behaviour, there are some behavioural encoding, cultural and social conditioning, emotional programming, and experiential pre-settings.

That is why renewal of the mind (a component of the soul) is important (Romans 12:2).

The reason the focus is on the mind and not the will or the emotion, two other components of the soul is that, while the emotion can be moved and the will can be forced, the mind holds the key to long-lasting change and transformation.

2 thoughts on “Any difference between the spirit and the heart?

  1. Thanks for your opinion, I have learnt a lot but when it comes to the difference between spirit and heart, that’s not, heart is the core, a principal center of the spirit which is the library of man’s life experience. It is where the WORD OF GOD, PRAISE, REVERENCE, PRAYER, FEAR OF GOD, FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, REVELATION, WORSHIP, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, FORGIVENESS,GOODNESS,GENTLENESS, JOY etc to a saved christian are seated. To an unsaved, non_believer, the heart is seated with EVIL THOUGHTS, NURDERS, ADULTERIES, FORNICATIONS, THEFTS, FALSE WITNESS, BLASPHEMIES, UNCLEANESS,LASCIVIOUSNESS, IDOLATRY, HATRED, JEALOUSIES, ANGER UNFORGIVENESS, ETC. A divided heart is one having a mixture of these . For example a born again christian having FEAR OF GOD and yet does not forgive. That’s why we say being just born again is not enough but we should be sanctified by the word of GOD which is the truth for the transformation of our heart, soul especially mind, and the body. The Holy Spirit needs the word of God to accomplish His work, because God is Trinity and none of either the word, the spirit or God the Father works alone. GOD is the God of order, He works by order.


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