I took a nice run along the ocean yesterday morning and I was trying to push my pace a bit by increasing my usual speed. Therefore by the time I finished with my run I was pretty tired and my heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was going to leap right out of my chest. I do this every once in a while because I think it’s good for my heart, (what do I know?) lol.
Now if I told you of my families medical history, you would probably agree that according to statistics, I have a very good chance of having a bad heart. Meaning that my family has a high rate of heart disease. Both sets of my parents parents had heart disease and have either had a bypass surgery or passed away from a sudden heart attack. The same is true for my dad and his two siblings.
Now if you just looked at the cold hard facts and how genetics played into that, the statistics wouldn’t look very promising. But with all the advances in modern medicine, there are so many preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the chances of heart attacks and heart related diseases.
I liken my family’s medical history and my propensity toward heart disease similar to that of our spiritual lives. Because of Adam and Eves sin, we are all given this “genetic” bad heart, it is a sickly heart that is bent towards sin.
But thankfully when we become a believer in Christ Jesus we are given the spirit of Christ, which creates in us a “new heart.” The bible states that he removes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). The heart of flesh is the Holy Spirit that Christ places within us. He is the one who gives us the renewed heart and mind of Christ and the will and the desire to do what pleases God.
The picture here is a beautiful one. The heart of stone is a bad heart. It’s cold and rocky, it’s unfeeling towards the things of God. But when God gives us a new heart (through the power of the Holy Spirit) our heart becomes a heart of flesh. It is now a good heart, a vital beating organ. A organ to which it’s truest desire is to beat with the heart of God.
It is only through Christ’s spirit working within us that we are able to submit to God through obedience and transformation of our old heart takes place. The new heart is there, but we have to work to keep it in order and functioning properly.
Once we have this new heart, immediately there is a battle being raged against it. The enemy wants to take back territory that now belongs to God and he’s not about to go down without a fight. The attacks against our heart begin. Its our old nature (the flesh) struggling against our new nature (the spirit).
Our heart is the Holy Spirit’s abode. In Proverbs 4:23 we are told to . . .above all else guard our hearts. We guard our hearts by filling our minds with Gods word, and by walking in obedience to him. We also do this by daily renewing our hearts and minds with the things of Christ. Our mind is what filters what we put into our hearts and if we are not filling our mind with the things of God, our hearts will get clogged (just like clogged arteries) and it will eventually, if left unchecked, lead to some life threatening heart attacks.
I love the passage in Ephesians 5:19 where it talk about singing and making music in our heart to the Lord. To me we make the music unto him by daily choosing to be dead to self (and the things of the world) and alive unto Christ (daily living for Him). Our life is our spiritual act of worship unto Christ. I liken it to listening to a Christian music station. We set the dial to God and tune into Him, keeping our thoughts and minds filled with the things of Him and in fulfilling His purposes for us.
We all make daily choices as far as what we can do to keep our hearts healthy state. The things we CAN control are exercise, the foods we put into our bodies and also by having regular medical check-ups. It’s the same in our spiritual life. We need to exercise our spiritual disciplines and feed ourselves upon the things of God, and to keep a watchful eye on the things we allow in our hearts. We have an amazing Great Physician who is wonderful in diagnosing and helping preventing fatal heart attacks! May we call on Him today!
Thank you Father God that you give us new hearts, renewed hearts, good hearts which want to do what is pleasing to you. Help us in daily making the effort to guard our hearts for you. Help us to be all that you designed us to be and to live our lives as music unto you with hearts seeking to beat to the cadence of your drum. Thank you dear Jesus how you work in each of our lives in unique and intimate ways. Thank you for your amazing love for us. You are an awesome God and we love and praise you. All Glory to you King Jesus! AMEN