I’ve been thinking about the heart.
There’s a reason the Lord wants us to “guard it above all else.” (Prov. 4:23)
There’s a reason it’s described like “soil,” a place where things grow. (Mark 4:1-20)
Here are some thoughts…..
- An unguarded heart is the devil’s play-ground.
Like a devious child transferring bad words at recess, is the devil with seeds of dissension and self righteousness to the unguarded heart. Not everything is supposed to get to our heart. It’s supposed to be guarded. In the event seed slips through, we are instructed to capture it. (2 Cor. 10:5) When we ignore commands like these, seed takes root, and heart conditions grow- unchallenged.
- Seasons of change and challenge are the proving-ground for the condition of our heart.
Like a stress test reveals the point at which your physical heart begins to beat irregularly, so does a season of change or challenge. Do you know the number one symptom of heart disease in men? Death. We may think we are in perfect health. Heart issues are tricky business, though. Bitterness, resentment, anger. These are serious and can grow beneath the surface for years before they are detected. Seasons of change and challenge often prove the level of heart health we actually have .
- Heart murmurs are often caused by serious under-ground issues.
Exodus 16:2 (NET)
“The entire company of Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron in the desert.”
Heart murmurs are literally a sound. Sometimes they are innocent. More often, they are caused by a serious underlying heart condition. When we grumble and complain it is many times evidence of more sinister things at work within our hearts.
- Healthy hearts beat on common-ground.
Unity. Humility. These are sounds of a healthy heart. Much more can be heard as you get close, but nothing as loud as the beat of unity and humility. Interestingly, along with our heart, unity is also something we are commanded to protect. We don’t create it. It’s a gift from our creator and we are instructed to “keep it.” (Ephesians 4:3)
We are stewards of both our hearts and unity.
We can prepare for our impending “Stress Tests” by examining and strengthening our hearts often.
“Let us examine (think about) and probe (investigate) our ways, And let us return to the LORD.”
Questions to help examine the heart…..
1. Am I diligently guarding my heart?
(Do I find out if something is truth before I let it take root?)
2. Am I currently in a season of challenge or change?
(Proceed with caution.)
3. Is there any murmuring going on in or around me?
4. Does my heart beat with unity and humility?
(Do I submit to authority only when I agree? Read Phil. 2:1-11)