God, The Heart Turner
King David said, “Guard your heart because out of it flows the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4). The heart is a tricky little rascal. Sometimes it cooperates with your mind. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it wants to do the will of God. Other times it wants to do the will of the flesh. The heart… the heart is an enigma. How can it function per usual whether we fill it with love or with hate?
How does it have the capacity to open and shut? How can it be warm one moment but turn cold at in other instances? How does it grow and shrink? How does it soften and harden? The heart… the heart. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
God. God can understand it.
He speaks in the language of heart. He knows exactly what to say to it. He knows exactly who or what to bring to it. God, the constructer of man and of their hearts, knows how to turn hearts in whichever direction He desires.
I’ve been reading Ezra lately, and the entire book is loaded with messages. But I think what I loved most about it was the confirmation that God can not only aid us, but he can turn people’s hearts to aid us.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
(Ezra 1:1 NIV)
As I continued to read, it was obvious that God and God alone prompt King Cyrus to do what he did. King Cyrus stated that the God of heaven requested him to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem. The children of Israel were in Babylonian captivity and their beloved city was destroyed due to their disobedience. But the time had come for God to restore them.
So, God moved King Cyrus’s heart. King Cyrus ordered the rebuilding of the temple to be financial supported by the royal treasury. In total, the children of Israel ended up with tons of silver (No…literally tons. I’m not exaggerating), tons of wheat, hundreds of gallons of wine… it was just a tremendous surplus of plenty.
And whatever was left over after the temple was rebuilt was at Ezra and the children of Israel’s disposal. What would possess King Cyrus to do such a thing? This did not benefit him in any shape, form, or fashion. The Israelites and their God should have meant nothing to King Cyrus. The Israelites were merely his captives.
Yet, he ordered the rebuilding of their city. He demanded that they were financial supported. He even ordered the surrounding governors to stand down and to not interfere with God’s work. In fact, King Cyrus ordered that if anyone stood in the way of their rebuilding, they were to be put to death.
All of this support? And from the king who could not be overruled? A king ordering to help captives in this manner? It was such an overwhelming support. It was 100% only done by God turning King Cyrus’s heart. The children of Israel did face opposition while building the temple. They were even ordered to stop when they were governed by a new king. But God changed the heart of that king too.
And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
(Ezra 7:7 KJV)
I wonder what God whispered in King Cyrus’s heart to turn it? I wondered the same thing about the king in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was only a cupbearer. Yet, the king ended up doing very much the same thing that was done in Ezra for Nehemiah. He was financially supported to complete a work for God.
I also thought about Joseph and how no matter where he was—whether in prison or the palace—he had favor with God and man. Joseph was only a slave. Yet, Pharoah favored him. That favor eventually landed him in the position of 2nd in command in all of Egypt.
I also thought about Daniel and how he was also favored in the eyes of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king esteemed him ten times greater than any astrologer or magician in the entire kingdom. This esteem also eventually landed Daniel over the entire province in Babylon.
Do you see how God has the power to change the hearts of people who have the power, authority, and finances to make His plans for us come to past? It’s utterly amazing. Being that the heart is such a tricky thing, being that we can’t even control our own hearts at times, it’s such a divinely spiritual thing that God can change the heart of someone. God also changed the hearts of the Egyptians.
If you recall when the children of Israel were scheduled to leave Egypt, the text says in Exodus 3:21-22 that God would make the Egyptians favorably disposed towards the Israelites. All the children of Israel had to do was ask their neighbors for their silver, gold, and clothing and the Egyptians gave it to them with no questions asked.
Again, the Israelites were slaves… and the Egyptians just gave them their possessions. I can imagine that the Egyptians had no clue why they were giving their possessions over to people they deemed beneath them. This is a testament to how powerful the concept of God turning people’s hearts truly is. And didn’t God do it with the Apostle Paul too? No one can go from being a persecutor of believers to being a believer themselves unless God does something to change their heart.
Turning the hearts of man, whether they are inclined to the heart turn or not, is just a clear testament of just how supreme and omnipotent God is. I’m just in love with the assurance that God will change the hearts of those around us if need be. That means there is nothing on earth that is impossible for us to achieve or receive if God wants us to have it.
If it’s according to His will, God can put us in full view of prominent people to bless us. If it’s in His will, God can get someone to completely fund our kingdom work. Please understand that King Cyrus made a decree for the children of Israel to build Jerusalem. Meaning God fixed it so that it was the law for the Israelites to have funds to complete God’s work.
Oh, goodness! Imagine God placing you and the work of your hands so strongly upon the heart of someone that they deem it as a law to bless you. But you know what’s even crazier? God making a commandment to Himself to bless you.
Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
(Numbers 23:20 KJV)
In this text, a man named Balak wanted the children of Israel to be cursed. But God told him via Balam that He was commanded to bless them. God had binded Himself to bless the Israelites because He made a promise to them. Now imagine God telling you the same thing. Imagine Him telling you that He has binded Himself to bless you. Well honey, you don’t have to imagine it. You can read it for yourself.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
(John 10:10 KJV)
Although the enemy comes to curse you, God has come to bless you. He died to bless you with an abundant life on earth and an eternal life when this life is over. Think about God lowering Himself to death just to bless you. If He was willing to die for you, surely God will turn hearts for you.
Reader, find rest today in knowing that if need be, God will turn the hearts of kings for you. He can cause your enemies to bless you. He can write it upon someone’s heart to be favorably disposed towards you. And the fact that God would do that for us, that He would touch other peoples’ hearts to bless us, is more than what we will ever deserve.
I will bid you all a farewell. I just wanted to give my spill on God and how He confirmed and reaffirmed in His Word that like the pages of a book, He turns the hearts of man. He is a favor giver, and He aligns us for blessings every day. We just need to be in place and walk in obedience to receive it.
That’s all folks. Have an amazing day.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.