Spiritual Cardiology: Healthy-Heart Maintenance is a Fight!Sunday, July 29, 2012
We must fight with all our might to maintain the health of the two ventricles in our spiritual hearts. Promise and hope must be kept fresh and alive in order for our hearts to pump Spirit-oxygenated blood into our bodies so that we can be real living sacrifices for God (Rom. 12:1-2). We become transformed by renewing our minds.
We renew our minds with promise and hope, with the promises God has made and the character of His faithfulness to keep those promises. Here are three of the "standard" ways we do this. And as you'll see, they are standards which we have been taught to obey, yet almost always without the oxygen of promise and hope (which only leads to legalistic obedience, producing failure, leading to guilt).
First, we read our Bibles, but not in order to maintain closeness with God. We already have that through Jesus Christ!
We must read our Bibles with both eyes open. With one eye, we read every single passage with an eye to God's character. We want to see the faithfulness of God everywhere our eye lands in reading. This builds our faith in who God is. And with the other eye, we read every single passage with an eye to God's promises.
We want to see God making and keeping promises everywhere our eye lands in reading. This builds our faith in whatGod has done and will continue to do. That's why we read our Bibles.
Second, we pray, but not in order to maintain closeness with God. We already have that through Jesus Christ!
We pray asking the Spirit to open the eyes of our hearts so that we can know how much He loves us, like Ephesians 1:15-22 and 3:14-19 teach us to pray. Praying like this makes our primary interest that of knowing God and knowing that He is love and knowing that He loves us.
Also, we pray reminding the Father of the promises He has made so that we can see Him fulfill those promises. This is why and how Jesus taught us to pray without ceasing in Luke 11:1-11 and 18:1-8, with an attitude of persistent belief in His goodness and faithfulness. This again builds our faith in what God has done and will continue to do. It's why we pray.
Third, we attend fellowship together with other believers, but again not to have a closeness with God. We've already been given that in Jesus Christ!
We don't neglect gathering together with other believers because it is the channel God has ordained through which we receive faith and hope in what God has done for us in Christ (Heb. 10:14-25). Talking about these things, reminding each other of these things, and holding each other accountable to these things stimulates oxygen in our blood so that we believe in God afresh once more, which in turns enables us to obey with power and success once more.
About the Author: Rob is a entrepreneur in Statesboro, GA, where he envisions and pursues missional-shaped business for the kingdom. He and his wife Sherri have been married for 18 years and together have three sons and a daughter. Rob believes the mission of the gospel is summed up in four simple phrases: know God, obey Jesus, make disciples, and plant churches. This is the pursuit of his life, as well as the point of his blog.