** Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ** Proverbs 4:23
The past few days we have talked about our need to examine what we are doing with our eyes, our words and our feet and how we use each of them can influence someone for good or for evil. What we do with them can also build or destroy our own reputation. Because *man looks on the outward appearance*, the only way someone can decide what kind of person we are is by what he or she can see or hear in us.
As others are looking at us from the outside in, the Lord is looking in the opposite direction. He knows what is going on in the depths of our hearts. He may see us looking at something we shouldn’t but He also understands that we might not have made a commitment to personal integrity or purity. He may hear us say some unkind or non-edifying declarations, but he also knows that we have not made peace with our own jealousies or envies or arrogance or spitefulness. And when He watches us go down the road of being an expert on others sins and what they deserve for them, He knows that our feet are carrying us farther and farther away from His mercy and grace.
2 Peter tells us to add virtue to our faith. It is not enough to ‘say’ we believe in the Lord. We need to have some visible markers that prove that our heart has changed and having the Lord in our life has changed who we are. So, the Lord looks past our words and our actions and our vision and gets down deep into our heart to find the root of our bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and selfishness.
Of course, open heart surgery is not easy, painless or free. It needs to be done by experts. It comes at great personal cost and with a long recovery period from all of the cutting into such a sensitive area. But it is worth it. Once all of our arteries and veins are cleaned out, and the weaker areas are fortified with Holy Spirit stents and new valves, we have more energy and clarity about what is important in life and the visible signs of a new and improved heart show on the outside as well as the inside thanks to the Great Physician as Head Surgeon.
The Lord is more interested in healing us from the inside out so that the changes and the improvements are long lasting. He will repeat His surgery procedure again and again until He is sure that all that clogs up a good healthy heart has been eradicated. Eventually His life blood will be able to flow through us without anything to slow it down or contaminate it. It will take many surgeries, over much time, but each surgery will be more successful than the last one. And our heart will be healthier and stronger and will have a greater influence over our eyes, our words and the paths that we choose.
None of us can say that we have had our last surgery. There seems to already be another one on the calendar for each of us. We don’t know the exact date. Maybe it will even be today.
** Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. ** Solomon knew that he needed some heart surgery. And that his son would be needing some as well. Jesus knows today that each of us has an appointment with the divine heart surgeon. We don’t need to be afraid. A healthier heart will give us a better, more fruitful life. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
** I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. **