Last spring, in the middle of the pandemic, I needed a yearly physical. Somehow I made it into the doctor in the lull between the initial panic and the spike that was to come. After a quick evaluation of my paperwork (and noticing that I was “getting towards that age”), the doctor conducted an EKG (Electrocardiogram) to make sure my heart was functioning well. He noticed a very slight abnormality and went on to order a stress test. (Note: Never do a stress test in a mask!) Everything turned out to be fine, but I appreciated that the doctor did not want to ignore the slightest possibility that something might be amiss.
You and I ought to exercise the same diligence when it comes to our spiritual heart. When the Bible refers to “the heart” it isn’t referring to that blood pumping muscle in our chest; the heart, according to Strong’s denotes “the center of one’s inner life, including mind, will, and emotions.” There are several ways to “check the heart” as it were. First, we use the very accurate instrument of God’s word. Throughout the scriptures, there are several “gauges” of how our heart is behaving. Are we bringing our thoughts into captivity? Is God’s word hidden in our heart? Are we deceiving ourselves? Second, we evaluate our choices and actions. Am I doing what God calls me to do? Am I showing people Jesus by my words and deeds?
In Proverbs, Solomon writes, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the issues of life (Proverbs 4.23). If our heart is off-kilter, our choices, our words, and our actions will vary accordingly. As we write through these scriptures this month, let each of us do some honest evaluations of our heart. Ask the Lord, as David did, to “Create in me a clean heart… and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
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