Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spiritual Anatomy

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -- Proverbs 4:23

The heart gets mentioned with great frequency in Scripture.  It’s probably one of the most common words, and it is almost always metaphorical because there is no better shorthand way to get at this thing.  The pump in my chest is the spring of my physical life.  The physical heart quickens and sustains the body.  It’s a good idea to protect the physical heart with armor if one is going to go into battle. 

Our spiritual life, too, has a source and a wellspring.  As with the body’s blood pump, it is wise to protect and guard the heart from the arrows and missiles of fear, worry, and anxiety.  In Ephesians chapter 6, we have the well-known passage about the whole armor of God, the primary pieces being the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shield of faith.

To protect the heart, requires that we vigilantly turn our eyes inward toward the Lord who is seated there.  We have to mix metaphors a little but not really.  The heart is the temple, the sanctuary, or the holy place of God’s dwelling.  The temple exists to teach us about the heart. 

As blood flows out from and back to the physical heart, so the life of God radiates from His presence in the spiritual heart.  The outflowing red bloods cells bear life-giving oxygen, a result of in-breathing, or inspiration.  The cells return through the lungs carrying the products of metabolism, including carbon dioxide to be expelled. 

The life of God carries with it grace and mercy, wisdom and love and joy.  As that life returns, it bears thankfulness, worship and praise to be offered up to the Lord by the Spirit. 

This is our most vital connection.  Everything else can pass away, come and go, succeed or fail, and we will be all right.  Weeping or laughing, this is my life.    


Anonymous said...

Eastern Orthodox view the heart, not the head, as the wellspring of thought. The original Scripture has been mistranslated so that heart has become mind.

mushroom said...

That makes sense to me.