31 January 2013

Heart Condition

The most important priority you have in life is taking care of the internal condition of your heart…

Our spiritual heart affects literally every single area of our lives. It makes our decisions, determines our direction and controls our choices. When a person, object or habit has our heart it impacts everything we have, say and do. Who you are now, where you are going, what your doing and why you speak is all dependent on your current heart condition.

Our spiritual heart is to be closely looked after and guarded at all costs. If you were to have your door open at all hours of the day in an unsafe city known for stealing, violence and crime, would you sleep at night? Definitely not. But this is what a person’s life looks like when the door to their life is open for all the world to come in and out. They are moved by their circumstances and emotions which go up and down - everyday!

Our heart is the open door to every area of our life – emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially and relationally. No wonder Proverbs exhorts us: ABOVE ALL ELSE, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do! (4:23) How sad that people choose to carry things in their heart for decades refusing to let go of the pain of the past; not just for others sake but for their own.

Similarly, I heard a story about a man requiring a heart transplant. He was a happy and friendly man who didn’t touch alcohol, but the heart the doctors put in him the medical history of the deceased discovered after that they were an alcoholic and struggled with anger issues. Weeks after the operation the man was struggling with alcoholism and battling strong emotions of anger towards his family. Is there a connection?

1) Deceitful Heart

Jeremiah 17:9-10 - The human heart is the deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.

Our heart can be incredibly deceiving and wicked when we live for self and sin. Our sinful nature is to have a dark and rebellious heart when sin takes root within us. Human nature can be incredibly wicked and commit acts of total depravity. Of course we would never believe we might do something evil, until circumstances and life’s pressures squeeze out what is really inside of us.

What will take you out of the faith more than anything is the hidden insecurities, anxieties, fears and evil cravings within our hearts. It seems with every year God is always doing a good and mighty work within us each year. To get the garbage out of us through the trials, storms of life and wilderness seasons behind closed doors.

Christianity isn’t behaviour modification – it is a heart transformation. When we are saved God promises to give us a new heart and a new mind to live for Him and to set us free (Ezekiel 36:26). From this place is a journey of God healing and cleaning our hearts so we can draw near to Him closer every day. 

2) Whole Heart

Luke 6:45 - A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

Scripture abounds it seems with specific references to the importance of our heart. The NKJV has 923 references to the heart in the bible alone!

What is inside our hearts is very important to God. The heart and the spirit are closely connected and it is our spirit that connects us to Him. Your heart and thoughts can keep you from God’s best because they are so powerful. When Jesus said if we desire within to hate our brother or to have lust towards someone it is no different than doing it in real life (Matt 5:21-30). Furthermore, Job in his greatest trial said ‘what I feared came upon me’ (Job 3:25).

What we align in our heart will eventually become our reality. Depression, misfortune, poverty and sickness follow those with a sick heart. In contrast, joy, peace, blessing and creativity are the atmosphere of heaven which follow you when you have a healthy heart. For as a man thinks on his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

3) Heart for God

Acts 13:22David was a man 
after God's own heart, because he ruled the people according to the Divine will.

David had a heart after God's own heart and was used powerfully in his generation. A heart after God is to stay happy, holy and humble. God is looking all over the world for those who are genuinely after His own heart. In all truth God doesn’t need you to have anything to be chosen; just a willing and surrendered heart, flexible and soft to do whatever He calls you to do in life.

You will know what’s really inside your heart when you look in the mirror of God's Word (James 1:27).
A man who looks himself in the mirror but forgets and walks away unchanged is a fool. It takes great humility and discipline to look and examine yourself and change areas that are hindering you in life.

Truly thank God that He doesn’t give you all the self centered desires of your heart, which if He said yes to them all would have ruined you. The three highest priorities God has for you right now is Faith, Character and Capacity. All of these begin with the heart and He has the perfect plan to orchestrate them in your life to grow!

4) Sick/Healthy Heart

Proverbs 13:12 - Hope deferred makes the heart sick

Deep wounds and inner scars can keep us far from God. Likewise, pride, lust, greed, unforgiveness, depression, anxiety, fears, bitterness, hatred and idolatry are all brick walls that keep us from a blessed relationship with God. A cold heart is insensitive to His presence and deceived of His character. If God has to offend our minds to expose our hearts He will.

It makes perfect sense that psychiatrists and modern medicine earn billions of dollars trying to fix and heal people’s broken hearts. Their outer body is working perfectly fine but on the inside their heart is either seriously sick, broken, limping or dying. Their emotional world is a mess and they have no control over what they think or do.

Put simply, YOU CAN NOT AFFORD A SICK HEART in life. Your negative internal world will not bring success or victory to your external world. However, there is hope. If your heart is sick or not in good shape, God is the Master healer and cleaner for your greatest possession. 

Prayer is a heart condition more than anything. It changes you first which will impact your circumstances second. I have found God doesn't speak to you at times when our heart condition is far from Him (disobedience, cold, dead, deceived, bitter, unbelief). All of these are barriers that are like loud noises keeping us from hearing from the words of our Father.

But good news! God doesn’t see you today, He sees who you can become. The first step is to get in touch with our true Heart Condition, see it for what it really is and surrender it to God. Remember: Salvation comes by surrendering our hearts to Jesus first. Out of this place salvation will come to all other areas of our lives.

Finally, God is not looking for a perfect heart – He is looking for a directed heart. When we surrender our hearts to Him we are in a place He can use us and set us free in the areas we are sick or not whole. What’s more God knows what in our hearts but He loves you the same. Let this encourage you today and desire each day to make sure you living with a Heart Condition that is happy, holy and humble. 

No comments:

Post a Comment