“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets
are gone out into the world.”—1 John 4:1
“…they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
—2 Thessalonians 2:10,11
In the researching I’ve done and am doing, I continue to run into phrases that
are troubling because I do not find the words, the phrases or the concepts
in the Bible. Today’s post will discuss “Pursue the Heart of God” and
“Practice the Presence of God.”
Pursue, pursuit, pursuing
Verses with a form of pursue usually had to do with one’s enemy. The Hebrew word was also translated “follow after,” and several times there were verses that talked about “follow after righteousness,” and one that said “…pursue peace,”
but there were none that said pursue God or pursue God’s heart.
“I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did
I turn again till they were consumed.”—Psalm 18:37
“Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.“—Hosea 8:3
Practice the Presence of God
The words “practice” and “practicing” are not in the Bible. Being in the
Presence of God is not to be taken lightly.
“As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.“—Psalm 68:2
“The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”—Psalm 68:8
“Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;“—Psalm 114:7
“…and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in
the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of
the Lamb:“—Revelation 14:10
“Heart of God”
There are only two verses that have “heart of God,” and in each case the person being talked to is prideful because he has “set his heart as the heart of God.” (Ezekiel 28:2, 6)
The Bible tells us about our hearts…and it is not a pretty picture. How can people with wicked hearts, even if they have been redeemed, even consider pursuing the “heart of God”? It is God who searches our hearts and understands our thoughts.
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.“—Genesis 6:5
“And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:”—Numbers 15:39
“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”—Jeremiah 7:24
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”—Jeremiah 17:9
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”—Romans 1:21
“…They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.“—Hebrews 3:10
Where did the idea of Pursue God’s Heart come from?
I am wondering if the idea of “God’s Heart” is related to the “sacred heart” of Mary or Jesus. Perhaps you would be interested about the possible pagan roots of this concept. Here is a short excerpt from Hislop’s Two Babylons.
“…It is not very long since the worship of the “Sacred Heart” was first introduced; and now, everywhere it is the favourite worship. It was so in ancient Babylon, as is evident from the Babylonian system as it appeared in Egypt. There also a “Sacred Heart” was venerated. The “Heart” was one of the sacred symbols of Osiris when he was born again…borne in the arms of his mother Isis.”
“…the fruit of the Egyptian Persea was peculiarly sacred to him, from its resemblance to the “HUMAN HEART.” Hence this infant divinity was
frequently represented with a heart, or the heart-shaped fruit of the Persea,
in one of his hands…
“As the boy-god, whose symbol was the heart, was recognised as the god of childhood, this very satisfactorily accounts for one of the peculiar customs of the Romans. Kennett tells us, in his Antiquities, that the Roman youths, in their tender years, used to wear a golden ornament suspended from their necks, called bulla, which was hollow, and heart-shaped.
“The veneration of the “sacred heart” seems also to have extended to India, for there Vishnu, the Mediatorial god, in one of his forms, with the mark of the wound in his foot, in consequence of which he died, and for which such lamentation is annually made, is represented as wearing a heart suspended
on his breast.
“It is asked, How came it that the “Heart” became the recognised symbol of the Child of the great Mother? The answer is, “The Heart” in Chaldee is “BEL”; and as, at first, after the check given to idolatry, almost all the most important elements of the Chaldean system were introduced under a veil…
“Now, the worship of the “Sacred Heart” was just, under a symbol, the worship of the “Sacred Bel,” that mighty one of Babylon, who had died a martyr for idolatry; for Harpocrates, or Horus, the infant god, was regarded as Bel,
“When Bel, however was born again as a child, he was, as we have seen, represented as an incarnation of the sun. Therefore, to indicate his connection with the fiery and burning sun, the “sacred heart” was frequently represented as a “heart of flame.” So the “Sacred Heart” of Rome is actually worshipped as a flaming heart, as may be seen on the rosaries devoted to that worship…”
Correcting Error with the Bible
Reminders on Who God is
“For our God is a consuming fire.”—Hebrews 12:29
“God is not a man, that he should lie…”—Numbers 23:19
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:24
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”—Isaiah 55:8
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isaiah 55:9
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
—1 Corinthans 2:11
“…for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”—1 Chronicles 28:9
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Seek God’s face
As so often happens with false prophets, they get God’s Words mixed up. We seek God’s face with our whole heart…we don’t pursue God’s heart.
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”—1 Chronicles 16:11
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.”—Psalm 27:8
“Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.”—Psalm 105:4
“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”—Psalm 119:2
“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.”—2 Chronicles 12:14
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:13
We abide in Jesus and His WORDS abide in us
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”—John 15:4
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Regarding the Presence of God
Jesus appears in the presence of God for us! And He is seeking us.
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”—Hebrews 9:24
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”—Luke 19:10
The Bible does not tell us to Practice God’s Presence, or Pursue God’s Heart to get closer to Him.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”—Acts 3:19
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”—Isaiah 59:2
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”—Isaiah 1:18
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”—James 4:8
“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”—Acts 17:27
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”—Psalm 139:23, 24
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”—Hebrews 4:12
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”—1 John 2:12