Heart Check

REVIVE: To regain consciousness of life: to become attractive or flourishing again.

1. To restore to consciousness [the quality or state of being aware – especially of something within oneself] or life
2. To restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state: bring back
3. To renew the mind or memory

I read this definition and immediately thought about the revitalization of the human heart. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my heart just feels… dead. I want to be moved toward compassion, humility, and love, and yet too often I find myself too exhausted or unmoved. So how do we revive a tired heart or passionless living?

Assess your heart situation.

1. Ask for eyes to see the condition of your heart.

“God, examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any bad thing in me.  Lead me on the road to everlasting life.”  Psalm 139:23-24, NCV

The example is set before us over and over again in the Psalms. When in doubt, we ask the One who knows.

“Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?”  Psalm 85:6, NLT

2. Examine your treasure.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21, NIV                                                                                 

Jesus loves faith-filled risk for the glory of God. There aren’t rules on how to spend your money… but there is always a choice: good or best. Our joy should come from God – not from stuff!  The challenge is to live for experiences, not possessions!

3. Examine your foundation.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27, NIV

Roof

I ask this question to almost every group that I address. “Is God your foundation, or is He your roof?” For most of my life I lived as if God were the roof over my life. He covered everything. He was at my private school, my church, in our family devotions, even in the music I listened to on the radio. He was a wonderful roof. But God longs to be our foundation. My life took a totally different trajectory when I consciously claimed Him as my foundation. He went from an after-thought to my first thought. That shift was brought real passion to my life and heart. So… “Is God your foundation, or is He your roof?” Big difference. The answer matters.

“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.” Luke 6:46-49, The Message

I know this list isn’t an all-encompassing answer… but it’s a start.

Examining,
Ginger

Revive

lifeguarding

Have you ever taken CPR or First Aid training before? I was a lifeguard for six years and had to recertify in them ever year. It terrified me. I’m not really a numbers person. I hate tests. And it’s never very calming to have someone saying, “The baby is dying” as you furtively try to recesitate the plastic baby mannequin. I was usually close to tears as I tried to remember if it’s 15 compressions to 2 breaths or 1 to 3 or did they do away with that this year?! It felt like the numbers were always changing. But you know what step never changed? Assessing the situaion.

Alway asses the situation. In order to determine if someone is choking, has an obstruction of airflow, has passed out… you check to see if they respond to touch and sound and then you examine them to see if they are breathing! The goal is to get them to take in oxygen – it’s necessary for everything in your body. The heart and brain require almost constant oxygen. (Airway, breathing, circulation!)

Ready for the spiritual application? The physical aspect of our heart requires maintenance. What we eat and how often we exercise play a role in the health of our heart. As we age we need more frequent examinations to make sure the heart is holding up under what can be years of abuse.  While it might take 30 years of damage to wear down your physical heart, our spiritual hearts can weaken in a very short period of time.

This week we are going to assess the situation. While we won’t be able to cure passionless living on our own, we do know the one with all of the answers. God is the one with the necessary tools and skills to revive our hearts.  He is the great physician and healer. “Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?”  Psalm 85:6, NLT

More to come.

Following,
Ginger