In Genesis 1 we see just how powerful God’s speaking can be. The Holy spirit is hovering over the instrumental elements of water and earth, and then God speaks, “Let there be” and God’s good world comes alive; what was lifeless is now fertile, verdant, and vibrant. That new world now has the potential to grow into the telos, the purpose God has set for it. In a parallel way, we can see that when God speaks to the instrumental elements of our person, it has the same power to form something good is us and something inside of us comes alive—the human person is now suddenly fertile, verdant, and vibrant having the potential to grow and develop into their telos.
Examining Old Testament literature, we see that “lave”—the Hebrew word translated as heart always refers to the inner person. It is the core of a person, the center of their being. Paying close attention to the way heart is used through scripture, we see it is speaking to the executive enter of our being, the place where we choose, and where decisions are formed. Our thoughts/feelings influence the heart as to what it wants, but it is the heart that chooses
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Because we live from our hearts, God wants access to our hearts, to form them so that from them, we live into his purposes. But the heart is a realm of human freedom because God does not determine what we choose. We have to welcome him into our heart to influence, to speak, and to move us. When God is allowed access to our hearts, and we begin to choose, something that parallels his will, there is potential for a whole new direction to begin in our lives. A repeated choice can become a habit which becomes folded into our character, and our character is the sum total of all your habits. This is the work of spiritual formation, and it all begins in the heart with a single choice.
There are 4 primary ways that God speaks or interacts with our hearts:
The work of faith in us (Ephesians 2:8-9)—There is a way that God is previous to the choice of the human will to submit their life to God. God enables a heart enslaved to sin to respond, and it is simply the recognition that God is already working at the heart level in order to give person the ability trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Conviction—The Spirit brings conviction to the heart as to what is true, right, and good. We respond to the move of God’s spirit because God has already been working there. And this happens not just in the first days of our faith, but throughout our lives. The Spirit is always wanting to expose those habits that are trapped in false old ways of living, and introduce new ways for us to flourish as God’s people.
Empowerment (Galatians 2:20)—The Spirit works in our hearts to create in us the ability to desire the right sorts of things. One of the surest signs of the spirit in our lives is when we see a shift in the things we desire—it is as if our “Wanter” is repositioned to suddenly want what God wants.
Internal Resolution—It seems as if the Spirit can put a resolve in our hearts to go against what we have planned.
God’s speaking may be less about making decisions, and more about the character he wants to form in you. Through this process we begin to develop a person with a heart that is free, fully functional, and not at war with ourselves or God, but ready to co-labor with God