3/8/16: Heart Check-Up
When our youngest son Mark was a little boy, he struggled with asthma attacks. When an episode was building in his little body, he would tell me, “Mommy, my heart hurts.” I would get the stethoscope and listen for the wheezing of his lungs. Of course, his heart was fine, but because he couldn’t breathe, he felt his chest tightening and he attributed the cause of the pain to his heart. We’d immediately go into our routine of medicine and breathing treatments to bring everything under control so he could have relief from his “heart pain.”
What would God hear if He put His holy stethoscope up to our spiritual heart? Would the sound be the clear lub-dub of valves and chambers working as they should—prayers breathed effortlessly and consistently, pure thoughts flowing, and righteous actions being planned? Or would He hear wheezing causing our hearts, and by extension His heart, to hurt?
How does spiritual wheezing occur? Jesus says, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” Mark 7:20-23 (NKJ). When God listens to our hearts, does He hear these things?
- Are our thoughts toward one another less than pure?
- Are we considering or involved in adulterous or fornicating behavior?
- Have we murdered or plan to murder anyone physically, emotionally, or psychologically? (This would include every type of premeditated killing from abortion to destroying a person’s character.)
- Do we steal and covet, jealously not wanting our neighbor to have that which we don’t have?
- Are we wicked (depraved and plotting iniquity), deceitful (crafty and prone to laying out bait), or lewd (filthy by mouth or action)?
- Do we set our vision and decide that we are bound and determined to hurt others?
- Are we full of blasphemy, pride, and foolishness, railing against God, and generally refusing to submit to Him in any area when we know He’s right?
When we refuse to agree with God about any issue, we fall into one of the categories above and the result is our own defilement. Our heart position results in action that keeps us from the presence of God. Anywhere that is away from God is hell and darkness.
Spring into action like I used to do with Mark. Perform a heart check-up and then heart surgery if necessary today. Start a spiritually heart-healthy lifestyle. Here’s the medicine. Pray with the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV).
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at http://www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at http://www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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