The signs of physical heart disease are relatively easy to identity and in some cases to even reverse. If you were to see a cardiologist he would be sure to ask you several questions to determine the health of your heart. What are your eating and exercise patterns? Have you felt in chest pain? Are you easily out of breath? Have you felt any tightness in your left arm or shoulder? It is far more important to determine the state of one’s spiritual heart. The Word of God repeatedly stresses the importance of the heart. Perhaps the best known text in this regard is Proverbs 4:23, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
What are some of the signs of heart trouble for the professing saint?
Several come quickly to mind.
The first is drifting from a position of fervent love for the Savior. We are all familiar with our Lord’s words to the church at Ephesus wherein he warns them concerning their having ‘left’ their first love. The word translated as left brings with it the notion of drifting, of slow, subtle movements which now result in one being far from the shore. When love for Christ has grown cold, it is the most significant sign of heart disease.
A second sign is a loss of appetite for God’s Word. The scriptures picture the Word as food for the soul. It is pictured as sweet food, delightful food. It is described as a source of wealth and riches beyond compare. If our Bibles are neglected through the week, barely if ever ‘nibbled’ upon, if the preaching of God’s Word to your soul is not a priority to you, then there is something seriously wrong with your heart.
A third sign to highlight is a growing disinclination to fellowship with God’s people. Our modern evangelical society has emphasized the matter of ‘a personal relationship’ with Jesus to the extent where the need for the church has virtually been eliminated. If we would ‘cling fast to the Head’ we will find our arms wrapped around his body by necessity.
A fourth sign of a heart in trouble is a sense of ease with sin. Rather than making war with sin, rather than seeing sin the way that a man should see a tumor in his body or an invader in his home, we make light of sin and barely register grief toward its presence and its effects Jesus came to save us from sin’s presence and power just as surely as it’s guilt.
A fifth sign of spiritual heart disease is a heart that is fixed on earthly joys and pleasures above heavenly. God has, to be sure, given us all things to enjoy. He delights to give good gifts to His children. But if our hearts are enamored with the gifts, if our greatest joys and heartaches have to do with the passing things of this world, rather than on those things which are lasting and eternal, we have serious heart work to do.
A sixth and final sign that I would highlight is a cool indifference to the eternal state of the unbelievers around us. One of the surest signs that we do not really believe the orthodox truths that we profess (that man has an eternal soul which must live forever in one of two places and that Jesus Christ offered in the gospel is the only hope for sinful men) is how we think of, feel toward, and interact with unbelievers.
Take your heart to the Great Cardiologist, discuss your symptoms with Him honestly and fully. He has all the remedy you need!Jim Savastio, Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville