Importance of the Intent of Our Heart
Wade E Taylor
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not
robbery to be equal with God; But made Himself
of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of
a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even
the death of the cross" Phil 2:6-8.
The Son of God, from eternity, had a position of equality
with God. But Jesus willingly set this equality aside, that
He might take on Himself an identification with mankind in
order to pay the penalty for man's sin.
He experientially entered into this position as our Saviour
through obedience and suffering, although Jesus could have
come into it in an easier way. It was rightfully His because
of who He was - "The Lamb slain from the foundation of
the world" Rev 13:8.
Jesus submitted Himself to the disciplines and the pressures
of life so He might qualify as our Saviour through experience,
in order to become the Righteous Judge, tested in every point
as we, yet without sin.
"Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by
things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He
became the author of eternal salvation unto all them
that obey Him" Heb 5:8-9.
The miracle is not so much that Jesus died on the cross for
our sins, but rather that He made it to the cross in order
to die. He was determined to pay the full price for the outworking
of the will of God.
"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not
be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a
flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" Isa 50:7.
Because of His obedience to the will of the Father, Jesus
humbled Himself and became the Lamb of God upon Calvary's
cross, and then died in our stead, shedding His blood that
our sin might be cleansed. Because of His perfect life and
obedience, the Father brought Him forth in resurrection life
and exalted Him.
"Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given
Him a name which is above every name; that at the name
of Jesus, every knee should bow ...” Phil 2:9-10.
This name, "Jesus" (Matt 1:21), identifies Him
forever with the redeemed for whom He gave His life.
David also was chosen by the Lord and was severely tested
before he ever sat on the throne.
"And it came to pass, when they were come, that
he (Samuel) looked on Eliab, and said, Surely
the Lord's anointed is before Him.”
“But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his
countenance, or on the height of his stature;
because I have refused him: for the Lord
seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on
the outward appearance, but the Lord looks
on the heart" 1 Samuel 16:6-7.
Samuel would have chosen the one who outwardly appeared to
meet every qualification. However, the Lord revealed a different
method of qualification - the intent of the heart.
David was tested when Saul turned against him; but under
extreme pressure, he chose the Lord. His experience during
this time of testing is recorded in Psalm 27:1-4, as he hid
in a cave while Saul’s army was outside seeking to kill
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom
shall I fear? ... Though an host should encamp
against me, my heart shall not fear ... One
thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I
The Lord saw that David would choose Him in the difficulties
that he would face, and later declared him to be "a man
after His own heart" 1 Sam 13:14.
Another example of this principle is revealed in the choosing
of Jacob, a deceiver, over Esau.
"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Rom
At first glance, this Scripture seems to indicate that "divine
approval" is an arbitrary choice made by God. However,
the Lord's choice is based upon a divine principle.
Outwardly, it appears that Esau should have been the right
choice. He was the firstborn, and when his father requested
meat, he willingly went to get it for him (Gen. 27:1-4). Jesus
said that His meat was to do the will of the Father (John
Nevertheless, when under the pressure of intense hunger,
Esau despised the blessing of God by selling his birthright
to Jacob for a bowl of soup. Jesus faced this same test of
hunger in the wilderness, but refused to turn stones into
bread, in order to feed His hunger.
"...man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God" Matt 4:4.
While Esau was seeking meat for his father, Jacob was busy
deceiving his father into imparting the blessing to him rather
than to his brother. But later, when Jacob was under intense
pressure, the true quality of his character came forth.
Jacob had fled from Esau and was now returning home with
all of his possessions. In Genesis 32:6-8 he was told that
everything that he owned was in jeopardy, as Esau was coming
toward him with 400 men.
Rather than taking things in his own hands, Jacob humbled
his heart before the Lord and asked for His help (Gen 32:9-12).
"And he took them and sent them over the brook,
and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left
alone; and there wrestled a man with him until
the breaking of the day" Gen 32:23-24.
Jacob sent all of his possessions toward Esau in two separate
companies, and then remained alone to see what would happen
when the first group came to him. His plan was that if Esau
destroyed the first group, he could take the second group
But an angel came and wrestled, or detained, him during this
time of extreme stress (Gen. 32:24-26). Jacob could have thrust
off the angel in order to leave and protect his possessions,
but instead detained the angel until he received a blessing
from the Lord.
Because Jacob's heart was set toward the Lord, he put the
Lord first when under intense pressure. Therefore, he was
changed by the Lord.
"And He (the Lord) said to him, what is your name?
And he said, Jacob (deceiver). And He said, Your
name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel;
for as a prince you have power with God and with
men, and hath prevailed" Gen 32:27-28.
Jacob received a change of nature, along with position and
power. Esau, who had sought rather to satisfy the present
hunger of his stomach, lost out.
God deals with us according to THE INTENT OF OUR HEART. That
is, according to what we truly desire to be. The present state
or condition in which we find ourselves will be changed by
the Lord, if we truly put Him first, and then trust Him.
"To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me
in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set
down with My Father in His throne.” Rev 3:21.