The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?
Our heart is the very seat of our soul, the core of our spiritual being. While flexing your spiritual muscle brings balance and stability to your life, remarkably, complacency creates imbalance and instability. Within its deep chambers lives our loves and hates, joys and sorrows, gratitude or bitterness, and it houses the choices we make in serving God, or choosing otherwise. We cannot have it both ways, it’s either God’s way or our way.
Within our heart flows rivers of Living water or stagnant pond scum. We are given a free will by our Creator to choose a healthy heart or continue living with heart disease. With a sick spiritual heart, the body suffers and like contagious disease, sickens everyone around. A spiritually diseased heart wreaks havoc on the physical body and can manifest itself in depression, unforgiveness and hatred for God and others. This unhealthy quagmire is a downward path of destruction!
The Word shows us how to see the health of a heart in Matthew 7:18-20, “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
Time for your spiritual heart test: Do your actions, desires, intentions, words, and motives, demonstrate a heart pleasing to God? If not, what are you doing about it? “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God sees it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly things we say and do. Who do we think we are fooling, the neighbor, the coworker, or maybe our family? Maybe you are still holding the grudge, when actually it has a hold on you, strangling your joy! God wants to heal your sick heart and all you need to you is repent and turn away from your old ways of doing things! God loves you more than your neighbors, coworkers, and even your family.
Have you forgiven that person who hurt you so deeply? It seems every Hollywood movie has a measure of revenge in the plot, but God has a better way. God knows he is equipped to handle these types of situations and we need to hand these problems over to Him. Bitterness clogs the arteries in our hearts and prevents the good health and joy a healthy heart brings. God knows and sees it all. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Let God do His job!
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:12-13
When we sincerely repent and ask God to forgive us, he heals our hearts from the ravages of disease from wrong choices and wrong motives. He wipes the slate clean with the blood of Jesus, and gives us a new heart and a fresh start. I am so thankful for God’s forgiveness of our sins. Did you know when we forgive others there are tremendous health benefits? Studies have found that forgiveness helps lower the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; reducing blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and pain.
God hears it all. God records every word said and someday, Judgement Day, He will hit the play button. (Matthew 12:36) What tumbles out of our mouth says so much about the health of our heart. Cussing, careless words, unkind comments, all speak volumes about the heart of the speaker. Why is it so cool to be cruel? What happened to please and thank you?
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
God knows everything about us. What we hide from the world He sees. We may give Him access to compartments A and B, but what about the serious secrets we shield from everyone? His desire is for us to draw close to Him, without reservation. “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10.
On this side of heaven, we know, for both men and women, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. To keep the heart healthy, we need to keep it moving. Instead of saying, “I am going to exercise three times this week”, be specific and intentional, “I am going to exercise Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 8:30-9:30,” or whatever times fit your schedule. If you need accountability, and who doesn’t, join an exercise class, (Love to have you in my class) or invite a friend out for a walk.
Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an annual heart checkup. If it were up to me, everyone would get an echocardiogram test. This test uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This test allows your doctor to see your heart beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the test to identify heart disease, or in my case, holes. It may save your life, it did mine!
God is in the business of mending broken hearts. Isn’t it time you get off the couch of complacency, choke the life out of careless living, and start moving your heart in God’s direction? “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13