Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Health of Your Spiritual Heart

I work at a church and of late have had multiple discussions on the seemingly lethargic attitude of the average church member. This observation is neither new nor singular to my group but it washes across those who seek daily to add to the kingdom of God and minister to humanity. Everyone has an opinion and here is mine. The health of the individual spiritual heart reflects the spiritual attitude. Active or lethargic, or somewhere in between, your spiritual heart health can be observed in your displayed existence.

This is not the question of being ‘saved’ versus ‘lost’ nor being’ fruitful’ as a result of a mature Christian. All those who have accepted Christ as their savior have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; John 14:1 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. Similar to other analogies of a maturing Christian I would suggest that our spiritual heart, that which only God and we truly realize, fluctuates in health with the choices we make and the deeds we do. Though no one can see our spiritual heart its health can often times be sharply displayed by our actions or the means of our existence. Luke 6:45, The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

As we age, grow and change our life and spiritual life are affected by our choices and circumstances. To mature as a disciple of Christ our choices and circumstances will have purpose and meaning and we will be more than a reed pushed around by the wind. It would seem the lethargic Christian may accept Christ as their savior but not as the author of their life story. An unhealthy heart receives an infusion upon acceptance of Christ into our lives and then fluctuates within the average to ordinary range as is evident by what we say, the choices we make and how we exist.

What does your life indicate the health of your spiritual heart is? Do you live in average but spike towards extraordinary or live in mediocre and dip towards unhealthy? We are the only ones that know the true condition of our spiritual heart but the world is often given more than a glimpse at the true condition: the angry hand signals while driving, our time at the food bank, the small, unknown indiscretions at work, at night, out with friends, our years as a mentor, our nasty comments to the cashier, our trip to help disaster victims.

We fluctuate with circumstances and the choices we make. As we mature in our walk with Christ and allow Him to be the author of our life story we begin a regular fluctuation between ordinary, extraordinary and astonishing. Donald S. Whitney is author of one of many spiritual resources with his book Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. Those questions are: Do you thirst for God? Are you governed increasingly by God’s word? Are you more loving? Are you more sensitive to God’s presence? Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others? Do you delight in the Bride of Christ? Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you? Do you still grieve over sin? Are you a quicker forgiver? Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?

Make the determined effort to take the steps towards spiritual maturity and let your heart live spiritually between extraordinary and astonishing.