The Law, the Heart, and the Mind

Journal Entry// November 4, 2021

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 8:10 ESV

God’s laws have been placed into my mind and written on my heart. I often struggle with the role of the law in the life of a believer now that Christ has come and fulfilled the law. If there is forgiveness of sin, surely there is no need to focus so heavily on God’s law. But this passage counteracts my faulty view of the law and reveals not only the true nature of my heart, but the heart of God for me.

My heart and mind want nothing more than to focus on the things of this world and to be just like everyone else. Or at least like the version of everyone else that is pictured in my mind. My heart and mind are always pressing me to conform to the world, because it will make life easier. This I have no doubt is true in some ways. Conforming to the expectations of the world makes for a smoother ride in a lot of ways. Life would no doubt be a lot more comfortable on the outside. The veneer of happiness would be an easy mask to wear.

But God has not called me to an easy life where I go with the flowing stream of this world. Quite the opposite in fact. He has placed his law in my mind and written it on my heart. He has made obedience the mark of his people. Obedience not to the elementary ways of this world, by to the counter-cultural life in the kingdom of God. There is now within me the rule of faith and obedience. There is understanding of what is good and righteous. There is now what was offered to Adam and Eve in the garden, the ability to tell the difference between good and evil – light and darkness. Adam brought only the ability to do evil, God has placed his law in me and now I can choose obedience.

Why has God done this? So I can be with him and he can be with me. God’s laws fills me with understanding and discernment. I now know what it means to covet, to lust, to be angry, to steal. And knowing this I can choose righteousness. I can choose to love, honor, and obey the Lord with patience in humility.

He is with me and I am with him. This is the law within me, his Spirit dwells within me and has made his home in my heart. I am never at a loss for holy communion with my God. Even with all this I will still fail and disobey this law. But he is near… Bringing me to repentance and faith. Rejecting the darkness and embracing the light of his love and mercy and grace. Resting secure in his warm embrace.