Each of us has a heart beating within us. And the physical heart we have is essential for us to sustain life. It circulates and pumps blood throughout the body. So, without our physical heart, we cannot live. There are other parts of our body we can not live without, such as our head. But today, we are talking about our heart. We’ve seen people live without their legs and arms, but without a heart, we will die. The heart is one of the most vital organs of the body. Did you know on average, your heart beats 37,843208 times each year? By the time you are ten years old, your heart has beaten 378432000 on average. As we get older, our heart continues to beat, and it is the organ that keeps us alive.
So our physical heart is significantly important to us, yes, but did you know we also have a spiritual heart? And just like we need to take care of our physical heart, we also need to care for our spiritual heart, which requires caution. Let’s read what the Bible says about our spiritual heart.
“26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.”
The spiritual heart will live forever and long after our physical hearts die. Notice, though, the heart the Psalmist talks about in the scripture is not the literal heart that beats in your chest and pumps blood in your body. The word heart is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to our inner being. It’s that part of us that constitutes the seat of our intellect or emotion and our will. Our conscience and personality also make up part of our spiritual heart. Our spiritual heart is important and something that we need to treat with care.
I want to share with you how vital our spiritual heart is to God. This account in the Bible occurred when God sent Samuel to Jessie’s house in search of a new king. The story tells us that God chose himself a king out of “The house of Jessie,” and God sent Samuel to anoint His new king. Before Samuel went, God gave him specific instructions to help him recognize the new king.
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
So when Samuel arrived and explained to Jessie the reason for his journey, Jessie called all his eldest sons and paraded them before Samuel. These were the sons Jessie thought God would see fit to be king. Samuel admired the fine men, but God did not choose either of the sons present as the new king.
“8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.“
Jessie and Samuel soon find out that God had chosen his youngest son David, who tended the sheep in the pasture. David was the only son that Jessie did not parade before Samuel. Incredibly Jessie never even considered calling David out of the field.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
You see, as humans, we tend to look at people through our human eyes. We often judge people by what we see with our eyes because all we can see is what’s outside. But God, our Lord Jesus Christ, looks deeper than the outside. Humans look at outward appearance and tend to notice things like how someone combs their hair or the color of clothes they’re wearing. But this scripture teaches us that God doesn’t just look on the outward. He looks into that deeper inner part of man. That’s why it is essential to ask the question, how is your heart, your inner being? Are you protecting and caring for your inner heart?
“20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The Proverb writer is challenging this young person to listen. My son, listen to what I am saying but don’t just hear the words; take what I told you to that most inner part that lives within you. Then he commands the young man to keep thy heart. This Proverb is a command the writer gives each of us. Then the writer finishes it with all diligence meaning pay particular attention to this. So he is saying to him, more than all else, to watch over and protect your spiritual heart. You must preserve and keep it because from within your heart comes divine direction for your life. Our heart is the source and basis of knowing God’s will, so we must protect it more than anything.
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
The Proverbs writer is saying that the inner part of us affects our thinking. If your heart is bent away from God, your thinking will be affected negatively. In Bible times, when men went to war, they put coats of armor on their bodies to protect themselves. The breastplate of this armor protected the heart. Going up against the enemy was dangerous because the enemy’s goal was to spear the men through the heart so they could kill them. God’s people fought this physical battle continually against their enemies. Today the war is spiritual, and we have an enemy whose goal is to destroy our spiritual heart. That’s why The Bible tells us in many places that we need to protect our hearts. Let’s see what the New Testament has to say about our spiritual heart.
“21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
These are Jesus’s words speaking here. He told the people where your wishes are, where your desires are, if that’s where your treasure is, your heart will be there with it. That’s why it is important to guard your heart. If you are putting your treasure into the things of this world, the fun, the drugs, the alcohol, the things that negatively affect us. In that case, then it will negatively affect your spiritual heart. God is calling us to protect our heart, this spiritual being, this inner part of us. Do you realize that other people can learn what’s in your heart by your actions?
“18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”
Jesus told the people here that you can know someone’s heart by their actions. Young people, how is your heart, what comes out, and what do others see out of you? When mom or dad wakes you up in the morning, are you grouchy? What if you get caught doing something that you shouldn’t? Do you lie? When I was young, the devil would present a lie as the best way to get out of trouble. I don’t know if you have parents like mine, but my parents always seemed to know when we were lying. Our actions tell others what’s in our hearts.
What about our habits? Do we hate people? Are we continually fighting? God is looking into our heart, we think He only sees the outside, but God is looking right into that inner part of us.
There are a few things you can’t do to make your heart better. You can’t go to church; although going to church is good and necessary, just going to church does not automatically make your heart better. As we’ve said before, there must be a change. This heart that we were born with, telling lies, hating, hitting our brothers and sisters, God wants to change.
The Proverbs writer teaches us that deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil.
“20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”
Anxiety and worry are also in the heart.
“25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
Proverbs 14 teaches us that those who don’t know God are filled with their own ways. If we turn away from God, we will be filled with our own ways and emptied of God.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
A heart filled with its own ways becomes proud and haughty. And then the heart will start to display those carnal actions or sins that we would not have done before.
“5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
“12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”
So God wants us to protect our hearts so He can dwell within and help us live a clean and pure life. Jesus is standing at your heart’s door; He is knocking and asking, “Can I come in?'”
“20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Jesus tells us that He wants to come into our hearts, and He wants to live within us. That’s why it is so vital to guard your inner heart. Guard this place where God wants to dwell. Do not let the enemy of our soul penetrate your heart and destroy the good God wants to do. God loves each of you, and we pray that each one will know the blessing of God living within.