“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Wholehearted, by Dale Bastian

As I was praying for a person I know who needs a breakthrough in their life, the Lord gave me the following picture.  I saw a person surrounded by four brick walls thus imprisoning them. Each wall had a name written on it. One wall was named “Lies”; another was named “False Accusations; another “Discouragement; and the last one was “Fear & Confusion.”  The person inside this prison had a sledge hammer which had the name “Word of God” written on it. However, the person was weary and weak and not able to swing the hammer with much force or intensity. Outside were a number of people who also had sledge hammers which also had the name “Word of God” written on them and they also had a battering ram with the same name “Word of God” written on it. The people outside were making progress in breaking through the wall, even more so when four of them picked up the battering ram and in concerted effort attacked the wall (see Mark 2:2–12). During this whole process the people outside were able to get bread and water to the person inside and were speaking encouraging words to them.

The person in the prison represents a Christian. The people outside are fellow believers who are willing to use the Word of God in prayer to help their fellow Christian obtain a breakthrough. They were also encouraging the person to not neglect spending time to eat bread and drink water. That is, communing with Jesus who is the Bread of Life and the Living Water; and the One who can strengthen and deliver them no matter what the situation.

Many Need a Breakthrough
How passionately and whole-heartedly are we praying, interceding, and warring on behalf of other believers whom the enemy has imprisoned by these, and other walls of resistance? And not just believers but the unsaved as well, who are trapped behind these same walls. They do not have the Word of God with which to attack the walls, neither are they receiving strength from the Bread of Life. Theirs is truly a hopeless situation to which we, as believers, are called to bring hope and deliverance.

A friend of mine, Randall D. Kittle, was preaching on being a 100-fold Christian. He used the example of five people in the Bible who were wholehearted for the Lord. Caleb is an example of someone who followed God wholeheartedly.  
“But because my servant Caleb has a different attitude and has wholeheartedly followed me, I will bring him to the land he already explored. His descendants will possess it” (Numbers 14:24). From this passage, we learn that Caleb followed wholeheartedly. Randall went on to explain that “King David sought the Lord wholeheartedly; Abraham obeyed God wholeheartedly; Peter depended on the Lord wholeheartedly; and that Paul wholeheartedly hungered for God.”

Wholeheartedness Brings Breakthrough
As I was meditating upon these things, I sensed the Lord saying, “Wholeheartedness brings breakthrough.” The word “wholehearted” is a compound word made by combining “whole” and “heart.” The word “whole” means: “all; complete; unimpaired; unbroken; uninjured; sound.”  Several definitions for the word “heart” are: “the vital part; the seat of the affections and passions; the seat of the understanding; the seat of the will.” Therefore, we could say to be wholehearted is to be complete in all vital parts.

If you have been a believer for any length of time, you’ve probably heard at least one sermon from Revelation 3:16 about the dangers of being lukewarm. The Lord’s desire is for us to be either hot or cold. In your own experience think of how refreshing it was to have a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day or a cold glass of tea on a hot summer day. Both were refreshing given the circumstances in which they were received. But when did you ever crave a lukewarm drink?

Similarly, when our spiritual lives are lukewarm we make God sick and He spits us out of His mouth (see Revelation 3:16). God created the entire universe and all that is in it by the Words of His mouth. He speaks blessing and healing to us by the Words of His mouth. To be spit out of His mouth is to be removed from His words of protection and life.

Just as the Lord hates lukewarmness when it comes to loving Him, so I believe He hates half-heartedness when it comes to serving Him. Yet when have you heard a message on the dangers of half-heartedness? This condition is absolutely deadly. You have probably heard it said that someone was doing their work but that their heart wasn’t in it. They were only going through the motions with no enthusiasm. They lacked Z.I.P. — Zeal, Intensity, and Passion. How many Christians does this describe when it comes to their worship, prayer-time, reading the Word, and doing acts of service? 

Half-Heartedness is Fatal
The human body is designed such that it is impossible to live with just a half of a heart. I once worked with a man who had one lung removed as well as part of the other lung. He was able to still function. But that is not the case with a heart. Which half of your heart would you be willing to part with? The upper half? The left half? Maybe the back half? I am being facetious because without a complete heart you cannot live.
So too in your spiritual life if you are not wholehearted you will experience spiritual death … you will be a lifeless Christian. Symptoms of half-heartedness include: lack of zeal; lethargy; lack of conviction and dedication; laziness and complacency. Those who exhibit these characteristics will not experience God’s breakthrough power. To think you can serve God with half of your heart is utter folly. Isaiah gives us a picture of these kinds of people when he says,
“The Lord said, ‘These people claim to worship me, but their words are meaningless, and their hearts are somewhere else. Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized’” (Isaiah 29:13).

God is Looking for Wholeheartedness
In order for God to show Himself strong on our behalf and to provide breakthroughs, we must be wholeheartedly giving our lives to Him.  “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).  The word “perfect” in this verse is also translated as “whole” and “complete” and is used when referring to building an alter for the Lord by using “whole” stones (see Deuteronomy 27:6). To the person whose heart is “whole” the Lord promises to show Himself strong on their behalf!

We are also called to be a whole-hearted people, that is, people whose hearts have been made whole and no longer broken by sin, bitterness, hurts, and pains; a people who have given over their hearts to Jesus and allowed Him to bring His healing power to mend their brokenness. Having a heart that is healed of wounds and is whole and beating with life is probably the first breakthrough that we can experience!

If you are not wholeheartedly serving and living for the Lord, examine yourself to see what it is that is preventing you from doing so. Learn the paradox that in order to have a whole and complete heart you must first rend your heart in Godly sorrow and repentance. Then God will mend and heal your heart. If you have had Jesus bring wholeness and healing to your heart, and you are following Him fully and completely with all your heart, then you can anticipate huge and mighty breakthroughs in every area of your life.

Dale Bastian is a part of Living Water Publications and attends Freeport Mennonite Church in Freeport, Illinois. With a solid biblical background, keen prophetic insight, and a compassionate heart, he brings clarity of vision and a call to become more Christ-like to the Church. Dale and his wife, Dana, live in Dakota, Illinois.

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