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 to death, even the death of the cross.”
The Son of God, from eternity, had a position of equality
with God. Nevertheless, He willingly set this equality aside,
that He might take on an identification with mankind in order
to pay the penalty for man’s sin. It was through obedience
and suffering that He experientially entered into this position
as Saviour, though He could have come into it an easier way,
as it was rightfully His because of who He was, “...the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation
Even so, He submitted Himself to the disciplines and the
testings of life, that He might qualify through “experience,”
as well as by His “identity,” as our Savior.
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by
the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became
the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.”
Jesus had settled this issue within His being, and His heart
was right toward God. Inwardly, He was determined to pay the
full price for the outworking of the will of God, though it
would cost Him His life.
“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.” Isaiah 50:4
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 this, the Father brought
Him forth in resurrection life and then exalted Him.
“Wherefore, God also has highly exalted Him, and given
Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of
Jesus, every knee should bow.” Philippians 2:9-10a
This name, “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21), identifies
Him forever with the redeemed for whom He gave His life. A
parallel to this experience can be drawn from the life of
“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 sees not as man sees; for
man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on
the heart.” I 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.”
This principle is exemplified in God's rejection of Eliab
and in the selection of David for the throne of Israel.
Later, David was severely tested when Saul turned against
him; but under extreme pressure David chose the Lord and His
ways. His experience during this time of testing is recorded
in Psalm 27:1-4.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall
I fear?...Though a host should encamp against me, my heart
shall not fear ... One thing have I desired of the Lord, that
will I seek after.”
God 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” (I Samuel 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” (Romans 9:13). 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 (Genesis 27:1-4). Jesus said that His meat was
to do the will of the Father (John 4:34).
Nevertheless, when under the pressure of intense hunger,
Esau despised the blessing of God and sold his birthright
to Jacob for a bowl of soup, a present, temporal satisfaction
(Genesis 25:29-33). 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 proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
While Esau was seeking meat for his father, Jacob deceived
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 with 400 men toward him.
Then Jacob humbled his heart before the Lord and asked for
His help (Genesis 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.”
He 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 Esau. His plan was that if Esau
destroyed the first group, he could take the second group
and escape. Then, an angel came and wrestled with, or detained
him during this time of extreme stress (Genesis 32:24-26).
Jacob could have thrust off the angel in order to leave and
protect his possessions, but he did not do this. Instead,
he detained the angel until he received a blessing from the
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 (The Lord) said, Your
name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince
have you power with God and with men and have prevailed.”
Jacob received a change of his 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.
“For the Lord God helps Me, therefore I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that
I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7 NAS