The next several blogs will be titled “Spiritual Heart Attack”. Any heart attack can be lethal or at the least debilitating. If you survive one, you must change some habits to stay alive. Proverbs 4;23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” If you want to avoid a spiritual heart attack, you must watch over your heart. How do we watch over our hearts? First of all, it is not a one time action, it is ongoing. We are to be watching over our heart. Then, we are to do it diligently. That means with effort, constancy, intentionality, and with purpose. We watch over our hearts by regular checkups, watching what we put into our hearts, uprooting bitterness, anger, or depression, and exercising our hearts.
Let’s talk about getting regular checkups. 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” Heart health begins with honest introspection and conversation between you and God. Have you put your faith in Jesus, not just knowing about Him, but really asking Him to be in control of your life, to come in and do a thorough cleaning of your heart and to make you a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)? If you have done that, are you keeping a watch to make sure your heart remains pure before God? Do your actions and speech display a heart of forgiveness, mercy, and grace? Are your desires in line with God’s word? Are you daily seeking God’s way and His presence–spending time in His word and in prayer? Is your heart grateful? Content? Full of praise and adoration?
If you answer no to any of these questions, then it is time for a change of heart, or else you will have a spiritual heart attack! You will have a sick heart which will make your body and mind sick as well. The cure for a weak or sick heart is renewing the heart by repentance and replacing old thoughts with new ones! Repentance is turning away from the old lies, sin, and attitudes and moving towards forgiveness, renewal, wholeness, and joy. By replacing old thoughts with new ones, you will be transformed (Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8)! There is no shame in asking for help from a counselor, a pastor, or an older Christian. I needed help to overcome a life of abuse and hidden anger. I do not regret the time I spent with a christian counselor rooting up old thought patterns and seeking new ones through God’s word. Just as Moses needed Aaron and Hur to help him hold up the stick to obtain victory over his enemies (Exodus 17:12), we need friends and counselors that we can be honest with and that will hold us accountable.
It is never too late to start healthy habits that will strengthen your heart. Only God can give your heart new life and health. There is no sin too deep that Jesus’ death cannot cover. There is no emotion too great or action too bad that God cannot forgive. Examine your heart. Ask God to reveal to you if there is pride or anger or bitterness there and then repent and renew by letting God’s love in. He will heal you from the inside out!
Hint of the Day: If you are going through a hard time, remember God’s faithfulness in times past. He often tells His people in the Old Testament to “Remember”. Remember His faithfulness in taking them out of Egypt, in establishing them in a new land, in defeating their enemies, in providing for their needs. It does our hearts good to “Remember.” Try writing down the times that you have seen God’s hand throughout your life. Then praise Him for those times and commit your today to Him in trust and faith. End in praise. Remember that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.