Proverbs 4:23 says:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. NIV
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. NLT
Why do people “start” with such a passion, such a fire, such a zeal and end up with a mediocre complacent existence, more than living? Lots of that has to do with the condition of the heart.
Life is more than breathing. Its about adventure and living for Jesus. It’s about being authentic and being who God has made us and called us to be.
We have to have constant heart checks, it’s not easy to stay motivated and fired up but it takes grace from God and also intentionally stirring up that fire, stirring up that passion on the inside and doing the stuff that fuels that focus and enthusiasm in God.
Sometimes what takes us away from our destiny is that we have potential heart blockages and we need to regularly have heart adjustments to stay on track with the plans and purposes of God.
In the same way we take care of our natural heart to avoid ending up having a heart attack – we exercise, we don’t smoke, eat healthy, we eliminate the harmful lifestyle patterns – healthy hearts equal long healthy life – the same principal is true, we have to look after our spiritual heart and avoid blockages.
Out of our heart flow ALL the issues of life. Everything comes out of our heart. Passion. Relationships. Destiny. Spiritual. Emotional. Physical. Everything.
A lack of spiritual health can cause us to leave our first love. In Revelation 4:2 Jesus talks to the church in Ephesus and says I see all the good works you do, all the effort and ritual and outward stuff but this one thing I have against you, you’ve left your first love.
God wants us to keep on growing with our first love, to keep our heart in the right place. It all comes back to intimacy with Jesus.
A strong heart is the key to a long and effective Christianity. Our heart has to be beating with passion for Jesus and his purposes.
Often when things are difficult, or we’re struggling it is because often there is something unbalanced in our heart
When we leave our first love things like bitterness, hurt and offences can take root. Things can get complacent and complicated. Serving becomes a burden instead of a privilege and a joy.
It’s more important to have a real love with Jesus than do be doing awesome leadership things, to do the outward stuff but to not be passionate on the inside.
As Christians it is our first nature to love God with everything, but over time if we’re not really walking with Jesus and being intentional, things can build up and begin to cause blockages…
Here are 2 ways to identify the blockages – check our vital signs for these 2 things that can easily trip us up and make our first love evaporate
Matthew 6:33 says seek FIRST the kingdom of God… often our heart can become blocked when we make God second place… when we put other things ahead of God and make other things more important. No other person or thing will satisfy like Jesus does and Jesus will. Church is the most important thing you can be doing on Sunday from 10-12. We make time to binge on netflicks… but can we make time to binge on the bible? It’s important to remember that disciplines are not ends in themselves but means to the end of knowing God more deeply. If we seek God, we will find him because he wants to be found.
We can see this happen in marriages and relationships – you get married and its all ooooh wow and all that but if the couple don’t take time to develop their relationship and intimacy they can become bored with each other and then find adventure and excitement in emotional and physical affairs…. The same can happen with God. When we got saved I bet there was that oooh wow moment and that amazing first zeal… but then if we’re not intentionally developing our relationship then things can become dull and lose their meaning and meaningfulness.
We stir up that love by spending time with Jesus, reading his word, worship, talking with people who are fired up and spark things in you….
Likewise if you begin take someone for granted, you can begin to then become focused on the things that irritate us…. And not appreciate who the person is and how awesome they are… in the same way, if we take being a Christian for granted we forget the majesty of god, that he saved us, that Jesus died on the cross, that we can read the bible and have access to Christian music and great podcasts and resources and then take for granted church and even things that God is doing like healing and miracles… to keep our hearts alive and passionate we need to have an attitude of gratitude and awe, we need to never lose the wonder
Signs that we have a healthy heart is :
• that we are passionate about the things of God,
• that we’re positive and outwardly expressive of how awesome God is
• that we’re connected and engaged in serving
• that we’re living holy
• that we’re been intentional about growing closer to Jesus
How healthy is your heart today?