The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 11

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life".

[Prov.4: 23]

There is a principle by which God enables us to receive understanding. That principle is "first the natural, then the spiritual". Jesus spoke in parables so that his hearers could learn about spiritual things through the natural analogies that he used.

We are all fully aware of the importance of the physical heart; not only in terms of 'life and death' but also in terms of the 'quality of life' that one can enjoy. Scientists tell us that, at the age of forty, the heart has already beaten about 1.5 billion times! When the heart muscle stops working it is then too late to change one's lifestyle. The symptoms of a failing heart (like blood pressure, irregular or abnormal pulse, tiredness, to name a few) alert us to the need for remedial action - such as more exercise, better eating habits and the avoidance of stress. What is 'remedial' is not something alien, but the return to what was proper in the first place! In addition, we may need to get some "outside help", and so we may take some form of medication to assist the healing process.

What is true of the natural heart is also true of the spiritual heart. It is a vital spiritual organ. It also needs to be kept in good shape by proper eating, exercise and the avoidance of stress. It too needs 'medicine' when it is ailing. It has throbbed millions of times with our thoughts, desires, anxieties and choices. It has been burdened with the responsibility for prompting our speech, and effecting our behaviour and response to our circumstances ('the issues of life'). It doesn't take a scholar to see that the quality of our lives can be enhanced by a regular 'spiritual heart' check!

Here are some useful checks that I came across for keeping our spiritual hearts fit:

(1) Check our weight. Are we carrying too many burdens and anxieties? Jesus said, "do not worry about tomorrow".

(2) Take our pulse. This means examining our attitude to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Do we return to a 'normal' pulse rate quickly after experiencing stress (the sign of a strong heart)?

(3) Check our blood pressure. Are the things we are trying to push through greater than our resources to handle them? In other words, are our anxieties greater than our trust?

(4) Check our diet. Are we feeding regularly on the life-giving nutrients of God's word? Or are we eating "junkfood'?

(5) Are you getting 'outside help'? The word of God is to be taken as medicine.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues