As you may know, my family’s cardiac history is not great. So my alarmed primary care doctor sent me to a cardiologist. After the consultation, even the cardiologist was concerned – wanting to make sure I am not a “time bomb”. So they decided to do an immediate echocardiogram – taking pictures of my heart. Don’t worry, the echocardiogram revealed a typical 41 year old heart with no apparent blockages. The analysis of the pictures seemed to include measurements of atria and ventricles as well as the speed of blood flowing through them – all key stuff I am sure to cardiologists and patients. But while I was laying there listening, I kept thinking of the idea of what does God see when He looks at my heart?
I am pretty sure the echocardiogram, while very perceptive in its own right, did not pick up on the spiritual state of my heart. Instead, as Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”
Hopefully, the Lord finds some of the following:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).” Meaning that through faith in Christ – the hardness and stubbornness and pride are fading and my heart is becoming more pliable and flexible and responsive to God’s ways over my ways. Very interesting that hardness of heart spiritually and hardness of heart physiologically (arteriosclerosis) are both destructive.
Because, the kind of heart God is interested in, the kind of heart He can really work with is, “The sacrifices (worthy worship) of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:17).” Though I am sinner, may God, through the Holy Spirit, also find a growing humility, repentance and contrition for those times when my heart is turned away from God. But also for those times when life has broken my heart, may I see the loving stitches from the hand of God sewing it back together. A heart that looks more and more like a vessel that is willing to be used and poured out for God’s Kingdom and for others.
So that more and more, “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above (Colossians 3:1).” As our walk with Christ lengthens and deepens, our focus is less on the world and more on “things above” – in other words, on God’s priorities, on accumulating treasure in heaven rather than on earth, and on eternal thing rather than temporary stuff.
Then I can be better equipped to “…love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Peter 1:22).” I don’t always get it right, but so often, my heart overflows with love for others. A sacrificial love that desires to give hope, healing and grace to as many people as I can reach and touch.
Perhaps more than anything else about our lives, the Lord is concerned with the state of our hearts – our spiritual heart health. Clearly, God is not looking for perfect hearts – they don’t exist. But by the Word, God’s “TheoCardioGram” is looking for – hearts that belong to Him and that continuously try to make more room for Him by clearing away sin and obstacles; a heart that is broken by sin and life but is always being renewed and knows a joy and peace that nothing in this world can take away; a heart that is increasingly focused on the things of God; and a heart that is loving others richly and deeply and freely so that they will come to know God’s heart.
If your TheoCardioGram comes back in good shape – that’s great! If you are concerned about the spiritual state of your heart – no worries – God’s great heart and hands can reach, restore and renew the hardest, coldest, most broken hearts. Better than stents and surgeries and statins and other therapies – ask Him in prayer this very moment about your heart and His “therapy” can start immediately!