What is the most important part of your body? My chiropractor insists it is the spine, because we’ve designed replacement or enhancement surgeries for other parts. Nobody gets spine replacement surgery, he says, so you better take care of yours. And well.
The Bible says the most important part of you is your heart, but not in a physical way that argues with my chiropractor. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). “Above all else.” Most important.
Think of this heart as a hinge. It is not your soul, the essence of spiritual life that is uniquely you and everybody has one. It is not the fist-sized organ in your chest pumping physical life through your veins.
The Bible uses the word “heart” as the connecting point of the spiritual and the earthly in you. The hinge that brings God and everything about him residing in your soul together with the earthly, physical, emotional, biological and environmental realities of your life.
Your environment, circumstances and experiences are not the most important thing in your life. But the hinge that connects your environment, circumstances and experiences is. The hinge—your heart—that connects them to God, to God’s Word, to everything about God that you believe (Proverbs 3:5).
“Everything you do flows from it.”
You cannot give way to blaming all of your struggles on external factors. You must acknowledge that when your heart is rusty (dirty, sinful, 1 Corinthians 10:6 or James 4:8), corroded (hardened, Ephesians 4:18), or misaligned (lost, 1 Samuel 17:32 or Numbers 15:39), the blessings of God do not influence your environment as much as they could.
We too easily, and too often, try to fix life’s problems by focusing on our experiences and environment, which are really not the problem but symptoms of the problem. The problem is our heart, which diagnoses those symptoms improperly (Psalm 25:17).
And God himself fixes that. He has “put his Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). God comes to live there. At the intersection of the spiritual and the earthly, the pivot point of everything in our environment like the gateway to our entire life, God is there.
Go to him more than you go to work. Know him better than your March Madness bracket. Spend time with him more than social media. Trust him more than yourself. Let him handle your fears and shame, they’re too much for you. By faith accept his free forgiveness through Christ.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts” (Philippians 4:7). When God diagnoses all of your environmental experiences and symptoms, they simply are not as troubling (1 John 3:20).
PRAYER: Oh, God, when you are bigger in my heart, problems are smaller in my life. Forgive me for focusing on external problems, and grant me peace where it matters most. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Work through the Bible references in this meditation. Why are they included in that position? How do they prove the point—and perhaps tell you a little bit more?