By Chika Ojiaku
I heard a devotional message relating to the heart that resonated with me on many levels, but more striking was the call to action. It highlighted the fact that for such a small organ, about 11 ounces in weight, it pumps enough blood daily to generate enough energy to drive a truck up to twenty (20) miles. By the same token, a malfunction of this same organ, can shut the whole body down.
The Bible describes the heart in many different ways that suggest it is the command center of our lives because it acts as the center of our emotions, thinking and reasoning.
Psalm 73:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.
1 John 3:20 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
Luke 6:45 English Standard Version (ESV)
45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
The message concluded by recognizing that given its vital role, protecting the heart of a Christian against any attacks including spiritual heart attacks is wise.
Here are six ways I am learning to fortify my heart against attacks with spiritual nourishment:
- Quiet Time – Spending time daily reading and studying the word and it does not have to be anything complex. It could be something as simple as using a devotional of choice (Our daily Bread – www. odb.org).
- Christian Programming – Listening to a Bible based Christian radio station during your commute or even listening to a sermon Podcast while taking the train.
- Praise and Worship – Listening to a Bible on CD or and Praise and Worship music which I have found soothing and uplifting especially on a dreary or chaotic day.
- Bible Study or Prayer Group – Join a small Bible based study group or and Prayer conference call group and actively participating in the study of the God’s word or and prayer. With today’s technology, video and teleconferencing does not require everyone to gather in the same physical space
- Church Ministry – Serving in a ministry at church and fellowshipping with others in your service to the Lord.
- Heart Check-ups – Constant Heart Checks with God along the course of the day – By asking what is my focus, what I am I feeding my mind, what am I surrounding myself with and removing myself from the equation so God can do His work in me.
These options are not mutually exclusive and by no stretch of the imagination is this an exhaustive list.
All or some of these activities have helped me at different times to cultivate the habit of investing daily in my relationship with God. The devil is quick to attack your heart and your mind when you begin to make God a priority.
Have I slacked off and sometimes still do slack off? Yes.
However, just like working out, where your body becomes conditioned to exercising the muscles in the different parts of your body to the point where you can see and feel the difference, and in some cases, you do not feel right when you skip more than a few, likewise your heart and mind gradually become used to this mental and spiritual exercise; this special time with God to the point that when you skip that time, you miss it enough to where you strive to get back into your regimen soon enough before you begin to lose your fire, strength, muscle definition, discipline and desire.
But why would you want to cultivate the habit of spending time with God? Simple Answer – Attacks.
Remember, in the beginning when I shared a bit about the daily devotional message and protecting the heart from an attack. For a physical heart attack, we try to eat right, weighing the good fat against the bad fat choices, exercising, and of course getting the regular medical checks ups. As Christians we strive or should strive towards minimizing the impact of spiritual heart attacks, because truth be told those are sure to come if we live long enough.
The good or not so good thing is that we just do not know when it will happen. Similar to heart attacks also known as the silent killer, a spiritual heart attack is a gradual process. We may not see visible signs or consequences of neglect right away, such that when it does happen we are caught unawares. But we are not helpless nor is our situation hopeless, because in feeding our minds with God’s word, we are building spiritual muscle; building our strength in the Lord our God such that we arm ourselves with the tools to defend ourselves not if the attack but when it does happen.
Our loving Father in Heaven through his word in the Holy Bible tells us in Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. This should be encouragement to you and I because what that tells me is that there is no better time than this year, this month, this day, this moment in total submission to heed the call to action;
Begin to make spiritual nourishment part of your daily diet and watch the Lord do what only He does best, take care of your heart and love you to the fullest measure. AMEN.
Chika Ojiaku is an attorney by training that loves writing, reading, traveling and a great adventure. You can read more articles from her at: www.thescarletredishrack.wordpress.com.