Our hearts are the hubs of our souls. As our physical heart can signal the brain and alter our emotional responses, our spiritual heart has much the same effect. Heart signals increase attention, perception, problem solving and memory. Erratic and disordered heart rate patterns limit our ability to think clearly, remember events, learn and make life decisions. Under stress, our increased heart rate can lead to impulsive and unwise decisions. We think more clearly when under less stress. Our thinking, ambition, emotions and moral decisions are affected when our a spiritual hearts are strong and steady. Unguarded hearts affect our entire being. Heart signals become distorted leading to clutter invading our spiritual lives.
Our heart is the problem when growing in a deeper relationship with Christ. The division of what is in our control and where God is allowed sends unhealthy signals from our heart to our spirit. We allow outside influences, complacency, comfort, distractions, and busyness to distort healthy spiritual heart signals. The time evaluating our heart, figuring out what lay in the crevices, the spaces the Holy Spirit should be occupying, takes us out of our comfort zone. Healthy growth happens when we are outside our comfort zone and are speeding quickly into uncomfortable territory. Not really where we want to go, but desperately need.
A common heart matter is the lure of prosperity. We are bombarded with go, go, go, gain, gain, gain. How many times do we hear from others that pay increases, a new car, and a new job are blessings from God; or a sickness, an accident, and being demoted are attacks of the enemy? Society’s focus is prosperity, looking to God for material and financial gain.
Living as a wife of a Major League Baseball (MLB) coach there are many times the lure of more and prosperity is very powerful. A wife comes into the ballpark with a new Louis Vuitton purse, another with Prada shoes; little Cam with his iPad, or the Tesla in the parking lot. We cannot afford these things, nor do we need them, but the desire for the next best thing crashes our spirit like an avalanche of large rocks falling from a mountainside. We pray Lord give my husband a raise. Or we rationalize, a little more debt won’t hurt.
We don’t have to be in the MLB to find ourselves wanting what others have. The neighbor puts in a new sprinkler system, and their grass becomes like the country club golf course, or they buy a new car, new fishing boat, leather sectional or go on a great vacation. Whatever the item desired may be, the neighbor, friend or family member will get it. We all want to fill our materialistic urgings. Those desires fill our minds while we get farther and farther away from God’s desires for us. They fill the spaces of our souls where the Holy Spirit should freely roam. The desires become all consuming, robbing us of the power the Holy Spirit.
How can we get past those desires? “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). His love for us is amazing, and His power in us is immeasurable. His power guides us away from our desires to His. Growing closer the Christ fills us with His power and refocusing our desire to His not our own. Changing our heart signals from self-focused to God’s power takes us to a place of completeness in Him.
Are we making ourselves available to Him? Have we filled our lives with desires of prosperity, not allowing our spirit to be available to Him? Have busyness and distractions pulled us away from Jesus?