THE RIGHT HEART
By Lemuel Baker, PhD
While in Rome, Italy on assignment I visited three specific locations and as a result the recurring theme "the right heart" emerged. It is God's will that all Christians "hit the mark" as the Apostle Paul wrote to us in Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Hitting the mark is having the right heart consisting of right motives, the right attitudes and the right priorities. The right heart is a heart that is in positional but especially experiential right standing with God. The right heart is the headquarters and life source of an excellent spirit of Daniel 6:3 attributed to the Statesman Prophet and Bureaucrat Daniel as well as to the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:5 who referred to it as magnanimity. The excellent spirit has added features that include a well developed submitted to God intellect and mind, a healthy emotional life that results in Godly decisions, a pliable submitted will and Godly wisdom.
Saint Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum and the Mamertime prison underscore the theme of the right heart because of the attitudes of the Christians and Christian leaders who have become perfect examples and aids to our faith leaving evidence of their victories over paralyzing adversity. The spiritual strength, wisdom, faith in God and courage each displayed was cultivated in what I identified as the right heart each Christian should have.
The right heart is a gift from God that gives a true convert to Christ a spiritual and paradigm conversion that permanently places all of their affection, desire, love, faith and mental attention on eternal things, prioritizing heavenly rewards and those things important to God as first, far elevated above all earthly rewards and the best gratifications earth has to offer naturally.
The original apostles, the next generation Church Fathers and first century Christian Martyrs all possessed the right heart which enabled them to find the strength and courage to accept their negative situations with joy only because they could clearly see the will and plan of God as pertaining to each situation and anticipated Gods pleasure toward them because of their faithfulness. All placed an ultimate premium on heavenly treasure despising satan, worldly pleasures and fleshly pleasures. As a result of God's great grace each was extremely empowered or charged in their inner man with heavenly pleasures, that produced even temporal provision. The core of the right heart concept is both you, and God know you are 100% sold out to Him and there is no treason in your heart. You know your reward in heaven is sure and you know this reward is infinitely greater than any earthly satisfaction.
When I visited Saint Peter's square I immediately reflected on Saint Peter and his unmistakeable display of the right heart. Saint Peter's bones are allegedly buried under the Sistine Chapel although some believe his bones are with the bones of other Christians buried at the catacombs. He was crucified upside down in the Roman Colosseum 64 AD and accepted this cruel death as nothing compared to the glory of his heavenly reward that will last throughout all eternity. Peter's journey began when Peter realized that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, the Christ and Son of God.
Matthew 16: 13-20
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?
14 They replied, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
15 But what about you he asked. Who do you say I am?
16 Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
17 Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Standing in Saint Peter's Square located in the enclave of Vatican City, a city within the city of Rome, Italy it was inspiring to remember Peter, his conversion and his being given the spiritual understanding Jesus was not just a man but the Messiah and also keys of mature revelation of his authority as a believer and Apostle. Peter could only achieve full success completing God's will for his life because he possessed the right heart where all of God's plans are cultivated and from which all the issues of life are brought from that which is seen by the inner man to that which is seen by the natural eye fully manifested. Peter preferred God's will and saw his own desires a foolish.
The Colosseum brought to mind the many Christian martyrs who willingly, joyfully and confidently laid down their lives unto death knowing heaven had infinitely better for them than anything on earth. This is an attitude of a heart that is right. A martyr is a witness for Christ a lifestyle produced in the soil of the right heart. In the colosseum martyrs were willing to be stoned to death, crucified and thrown to the beasts referred to as damnatio ad bestia. In the colosseum emperor Nero would light Christians on crosses as human torches, emperor Trajan would throw Christians to be eaten by beasts. On one occasion around 107 AD Church Father Saint Ignacious was thrown to beasts by emperor Trajan and when it was all over his body was fully devoured except for a few bones. The Roman historian Publius Tacitus reported that the coliseum was an edifice used for bloody carnage many who were Christian martyrs.
The Mamertime prison the location set aside for the detention for convicted criminals awaiting execution. The prison has a lower level called Tuilianum named after it's architect that is twelve feet below ground, where criminals were lowered, dropped, forgotten about and filled with a stench. Both Apostles Peter and Paul were detained at the Tuilianum prison and were able to rejoice in this horrible situation only because they possessed the right heart. I noticed spiritual songs coming out of my spirit since I arrived in Rome, Italy and reflected on Paul and Silas who sang in prison in the Tuilianum that literally caused their supernatural release. That same anointing not only rests upon Rome but for all who desire the right heart.
The Apostle Paul exhibited the right heart when he joyfully stated "it became clear among the entire palace guards and everyone else in Rome that I was in chains for Christ." Paul also stated in his imprisoned situation the gospel was being advanced. See Philippians 1:13. Paul was sold out to fulfilling the will of God and prison was a part of God's plan thus prison was good only because it was part of God's perfect and divine holy plan. Paul rejoiced in God's will and treated God's will as all in all never entertaining any attraction to worldly desires.
The locations above reminded me of the wonders and deep benefits that bring great spiritual strength and joy to all of us who possess and treasure the right heart guarding our hearts with all diligence because out of the heart comes all the issues of life, Proverbs 4:23.
Ask God to give you a right heart today and enjoy the journey looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith.
See Videos on "The Right Heart" filmed in Rome, Italy