“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
According to the World Health Organization, the number one cause of death globally is heart disease. It ranks ahead of cancer, respiratory disease, and stroke. Sadly, many of those deaths are preventable if we give proper attention to our health and make certain lifestyle changes.
Heart disease is an age-old problem. Not the type that damages our health, but the one that devastates our soul. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some type of scan that would detect the onset of spiritual heart disease? Actually, there is. It’s the Word of God.
In I Chronicles 28:9, David admonished his son, Solomon, to “know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.” Perfection speaks of completeness. It does not mean we will never fail, but it does mean we will maintain right motives and undivided loyalties. Solomon started well, but he later allowed others to turn his heart away from the one true God.
“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (I Kings 11:4)
Unfortunately, this has happened to many more than Solomon. It can happen to us. Unless we are vigilant, it is easy for things in our life to pull us away or destroy our relationship with God. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” But there is a heart scan that can detect disease if we allow it. “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins” (verse 10). The meaning of search is to examine thoroughly. The perfect heart will desire and welcome this deep examination by the Lord. It will help us keep our heart healthy and not be deceived by the enemy of our souls.
What are the characteristics of a healthy heart? Here are some indicators we can use to check our heart’s condition.
- Loves God completely (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- Obeys God’s Word (Psalm 119:3 4)
- Trusts God for guidance and direction (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Seeks God passionately (Jeremiah 29:13)
- Repents and turns back to God (Joel 2:12)
Can we, like David, declare, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed” (Psalm 57:7)? His heart was established, steadfast, determined! It is important that our heart be fixed—established—on things of God “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Lord, I know if I’m not careful that my heart can deceive me. I invited You to search me daily to be sure I’m not allowing unhealthy attitudes and actions to draw me away from You. Reveal any sin I’ve allowed to take hold and bring me back into a right relationship with You.