The word “heart” is used in the Bible and in human relations to refer to “a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities.” Hearts can be “stolen,” or even “broken.” Our hearts matter to God because “the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Where our hearts go, everything else follows. When our hearts wander away from God, our performance doesn’t matter. Just imagine a person who knows that the spouse is cheating on her, then deep in the night—he shows up with a bouquet of flowers. Do you think that the wife will be excited at the flowers? Of course not! The woman may like the flowers (don’t all women do?) but the heart of the man who has brought them has problems. If our hearts are stolen from God by the things of this world, what we do no longer matters to Him. As a matter of fact, our actions become detestable to Him. God loves us so intensely that when we turn away from Him, His heart is broken.
How can we guard our hearts? We need to be intentionally committed to our relationship with God.
- We should do the things that rekindle the love and keep our hearts burning with passion for Him. Spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, worship, studying God’s Word and applying it to our life situations, generosity, fellowship and many others, can help us to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.
- Secondly, we need regular heart checkups. David asked the Lord “search my heart” (Psalm 139:23). It is easy for sin to creep into our hearts. Attitudes such as pride, ungratefulness, unforgiveness can easily endanger our spiritual health. We need to go the Lord in prayer and in light of His eternal Word allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the condition of our hearts.
- And thirdly, we should repent when we discover anything in our hearts that grieves God. Repentance means admitting our waywardness, turning away from it and, by faith in Jesus Christ, turning to God for forgiveness and restoration.