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THE FIXED HEART

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, October 12, 2019

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed”
(Psalm 57:7; p. 626 Scofield).

“O God, my heart is fixed” (Psalm 108:1; p. 653).


The “heart” in these verses refers to the mind. It is not easy to have a “fixed” mind in these days of apostasy. But though it is not easy, it is simple. The solid Christian has his mind fixed steadfastly on the Bible. The solid Christian has his mind steadfastly fixed on the local church where he was converted and taught. The solid Christian has his mind steadfastly fixed on obedience to God and His Word.

David wrote Psalm 57 before he was made King. He was hiding in a cave from the demonized King Saul, who sought to kill him. In this confusing time, David determined that his mind and heart would be fixed steadfastly on obedience to God. The true Christian has a “fixed” heart, so fixed on the Bible and on God that he cannot be moved. The Apostle Paul said,

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10; p. 1212).

This unity is based on Christians whose hearts are fixed.

I. First, this unity is broken in a church when leading members are unconverted and carnal.

“The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14; p. 1213).

In essence there is no sin except sin of the mind. The Bible says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7; p. 1201). The carnal mind does not have enmity – it is enmity.

When the Scriptures speak of the “mind” they do not refer to the intellect alone. The mind of a carnal person is against God. That includes the personality, the will, the spiritual understanding, and the sympathies – as well as the intellect – all are naturally “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).

In the days of Noah God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. God saw what could not be seen on the outside. In Genesis 6:5, the translation is, “every imagination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5; p. 13). From this verse we see that sin has its roots in the mind – from there sin defiles the emotions, the intellect, and the will. In short – all sin entered in the mind, known in the Bible as “the heart.” That is why Jesus said,

“Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19; p. 1020).

“Evil thoughts” come before every act of sin. Few sins are committed before the thought is first incubated in the mind.

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Take John Waldrip for instance. His decision to help Chan split our church started with Waldrip thinking about what he thought were insults and wrongs I had supposedly done to him. Then, after months of brooding over my shortcomings, Waldrip saw the opportunity to do me harm. In this way his mind was prepared by the Devil to do his evil deed in helping Chan to split our church. The Bible says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7; p. 688). Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “Moral conduct...originates deep within the mind” (“The Blessedness of the Fixed Heart”).

Also, consider what Chan did. He went to Waldrip to get him to agree with him. Why? Because Chan knew that Waldrip was bitter against me. Chan thought about this for months, because Chan himself was bitter at me. Thus Chan hid from me his bitterness and plotted how he could “steal” some of our people. Dr. Tozer said, “The thoughts dwell on an act. This stirs the affections, which [finally] trigger the will to act. The sin that follows may be so obviously ‘of the flesh’ that no one would dream it began as a thought in the heart. The rich fool ‘thought within himself’ (Luke 12:16-21; p. 1092) and as a result took a course of action that cost him his soul” (ibid.).

A few women in our church were so agitated by the church split that they “thought within [themselves]” that I would harm their child, so they told their children not to speak with me. Thus, a woman like that forgot, and so did the son forget, what Jesus said,

“A man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth...mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:36, 37; p. 1010).

A mother like that forgot the words of Ephesians 5:24 – “As the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (italics mine; p. 1254). So her son was pulled back and forth – between the carnal mother and the spiritual father. At last he gave in to his mother, refused to hear his father and refused to hear the pastor. He left the church, and with the mother as his only guide, he followed her into a new-evangelical church. He loses the faith of his father and becomes a weak new-evangelical. Such a mother should follow the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She said of her son Jesus, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5; p. 1116). The Bible says,

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1; p. 681).

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20; p. 681).

“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself” (Proverbs 14:14; pp. 681-682).

Dr. Criswell said, “The ‘backslider’ finds his pleasures in going his own way (cf. v. 12) regardless of ethical considerations. The ‘good man’ is obviously in contrast (Isaiah 3:10)” (Criswell Study Bible). Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “All our acts are born out of our minds... This is clearly taught in the Word: ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life’” (Proverbs 4:23; p. 674). Dr. Criswell said, “The moral actions and attitudes of life are determined by the condition of our heart...the heart is the seat of one’s affections and the center of moral consciousness” (ibid., Proverbs 4:23).

II. Second, a real Christian does have power to control his thoughts.

Over the years, you will see the wisdom of rejecting emotions and feelings. The “fixed” heart goes right on obeying God and His Word. In time, men and women whose hearts are “fixed” will become strong Christians like Mrs. Hymers and Dr. Cagan. Those who go by their “feelings” will either apostasize, or at best, remain emotion-driven new-evangelicals and charismatics.

Dr. Tozer said, “God never intended that such a being as man should be the plaything of his feelings…the thoughts and intents of the heart are wrong, and as a consequence the whole life is wrong…read the Scriptures every day and obey them… The whole life will be tuned to sing the praises of Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (“True Religion is not Feeling, But Willing”).

Dr. Tozer said, “The will has the power to control the thoughts...If this were not so, Paul’s words to the Philippians would be psychologically untenable:

‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things’ (Philippians 4:8; p. 1260).

It is much more important that we think godly thoughts...than that we feel ‘spiritual.’ It is never safe to trust feelings. It is never safe to trust them. The safest man is the one who can say, ‘My heart is fixed, trusting the Lord’” (“The Blessedness of the Fixed Heart”).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE FIXED HEART

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed”
(Psalm 57:7; p. 626 Scofield).

“O God, my heart is fixed” (Psalm 108:1).

(I Corinthians 1:10)

I.   First, this unity is broken in a church when leading members are
unconverted and carnal, I Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7;
Genesis 6:5; Matthew 15:19; Proverbs 23:7; Luke 12:16-21;
Matthew 10:36, 37; Ephesians 5:24; John 2:5;
Proverbs 14:1; 13:2; 14:14; Isaiah 3:10; Proverbs 4:23.

II.  Second, a real Christian does have power to control his thoughts,
Philippians 4:8.