Prognosis: An Enlarged Heart

29 Remove from me the way of lying, and grant me Your law graciously. 30 I have chosen the way of truth: Your judgments I have laid before me. 31 I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! 32 I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart. 

—Psalm 119:29-32

Today we’re reminded of the capabilities of the Word of God, but also there’s a descriptive element included here that highlights the majesty of the one Book that is truly authored by God found in verse 30: the way of truth. The psalmist calls upon the Lord to use His Word to free and cleanse him of the most common sin of all mankind: lying. What an open and honest admission and request! He states that He has thoroughly examined the judgments and commandments of God, and that he’ll cling to His testimonies. “Running the course of God’s commandments” reminds us that these are directives, not suggestions. Our steps will be ordered on the path God wants us to take.

Psalm 37 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. . . . He is ever merciful and lends; and his descendants are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore” (vv. 23-27). The fruitfulness of following the ordered steps of the Lord according to His Word will have a trickle-down effect that will impact even our descendants! The end result? “You will enlarge my heart.” This may not be a good thing medically, but it’s a wonderful thing metaphorically! “Enlarge” means “to broaden or make room for.” God sees our hearts. He knows what’s in them. Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). The capabilities of the one Book that is truly a holy Book is this: Only the Word of God has the capacity to change a person’s heart so that it might make room for His Word and, through that, change a person’s ways.

The subject is the Word, which is described as the Way of Truth. Shouldn’t we realize that the way to a changed heart is through the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and who is the Word? Jesus speaks to us through the Gospel of John: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And . . . I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. . . . ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:1-6).

The only way to having an enlarged heart that can receive the Word and be strengthened and revived is through Jesus. There’s no other way to the Father but by Him, and no other book gives us the truth about Him. Jesus is the One the Father sent, the One the Holy Spirit followed after, who hung on the cross paying the penalty for our sins, who gives us access to the Father and grants us the indwelling Spirit, who revives and strengthens us by enlarging our hearts to receive the implanted Word. Ask yourself honestly: Are you doers of the Word or hearers only? Have you truly asked Jesus to be your Savior? If you haven’t yet been revived and strengthened to run the course of the commandments but you’re willing to have that new life, you can! You just learned from the one Book that is able to change your heart and turn your life in the right direction. Don’t wait. Go humbly before Him, confessing that you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, and ask Him to enlarge your heart that you might receive His life into yours. You’ll never be the same again. An enlarged heart is the best prognosis you’ll ever get.

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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