Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart… — Acts 2:37
I love that phrase… pierced to the heart.
It’s just like God to get to the heart of the matter, isn’t it?
It’s your heart, after all, that is the most precious to God.
It’s not the stature of a man that God considers… it’s the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
It’s not the most popular or the educated that God’s eyes search for… rather, He searches for the heart that belongs to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Only God can pierce and fashion your heart (Psalm 33:15).
Only He can show you the condition of your heart along with the adjustments that need to be made to it and only He can change it.
A pierced heart is tied to the emotion of sorrow and it this feeling of sorrow that precedes and must precede repentance — the change of the mind that leads to a changed way of living.
God must ﬁrst get to our hearts before there can be any change in our lives, for it’s from the heart of man that all the issues of life ﬂow (Proverbs 4:23).
That means that everything in our lives has come from the place of our hearts.
But how is the heart pierced?
The heart is pierced by the word of God.
It was the word of God by the Spirit through Peter that caused the hearts of his hearers to experience sorrow over their crucifying Jesus.
Similarly, it was the word of God by the Spirit written through Paul to the Corinthians that caused their hearts to be ﬂooded with grief (2 Corinthians 7:9).
This type of sorrow — the kind that causes someone to be grieved over what they did or over what has been secretly motivating them and how it has aﬀected the heart of God — is according to the will of God.
It is completely natural to weep and mourn and experience sorrow within your heart when it has been shown to you by the Spirit that something is present that doesn’t belong (see James 4:1-10).
In all honesty, that is a normal response for any person who has learned that they have hurt the One they love.
The grief the person experiences isn’t for their own heart… it’s for what they did to the heart of the One they have deep aﬀection for.
In fact, the bible says you are blessed if you mourn (Matthew 5:4). Why? Because it reveals a sincere desire to be pleasing to God. It conveys your wanting to be close to Him and to be like Him in all ways. It communicates that you are grief-stricken over how your actions and motives wounded the heart of Jesus.
Having a pierced heart is a good thing because of what it produces.
If you were to ask me what it is that I have been feeling and experiencing with God lately, I would tell you it’s a pierced heart.
The closer you get to the Light, the more the hidden recesses of your heart will be exposed — this includes your thought life and motivations.
This Light has not come to condemn you, but to save you.
The salvation of Jesus is all encompassing. There is nothing He cannot set you free from.
He makes you free indeed.
His deliverance is thorough.
If He illumines ‘it’, it’s because He wants to deal with it.
When we fail to understand the nature and heart of the Light, we will withdraw from it.
Embarrassment and shame over what’s been revealed and the fear of being punished for it will send you running from the Light rather than towards it.
In the Light, there is life (John 1:4).
There is no life in hiding… no life in running.
There has been much that has been shown to me over the last few months concerning the contents of my own heart… things I never would have thought existed.
This experience has worked a deeper humility in me… a humility that invites the grace of God to free me of certain things and empower me to walk in the freedom it produces.
My encouragement to you, dear reader, is this: Don’t be surprised if you begin to experience a similar piercing. If you truly desire to be like Him in all ways… to have the very attitude of Jesus Himself, then we can expect to encounter such things.
Intimacy with the Word will cause His words to bring sorrow to the areas where our hearts need pierced.
It’s a part of the process of becoming Christ like from the inside out.
This piercing, this sorrow is what produces repentance that leads to salvation — not just the kind that promises you eternal life… but also the kind that brings freedom to the deepest places of your heart.
This repentance will cause you to think like heaven and to live more like the One you love.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries