Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me.

Psalm 51: 10

 

Heart disease is a killer, both men and women die from it every day; entire floors of hospitals are devoted to its treatment. There are drugs, diets, exercise programs, and stress management plans that are intended to increase heart health and to overcome the existing bad effects of our lifestyles. This is all good stuff; God wants us to take care of our bodies; yet, none of this deals with the most fundamental of issues.

 

When people do not know God on a personal basis, when they have not surrendered their minds and hearts to Him, their orientation is toward the darkness that is evil in nature and that exists in a state of perpetual death. When we are at this place in life, God’s response to the plea in this Psalm is to ask us to come to Him, accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and accept Him into our lives. 

 

After we have come to the place where we do know God on a deep and an intimate basis, we still need to look to Him for direction, orientation, and the strength to live in a righteous manner. It is as if our arteries begin to become blocked by the build-up of plaque that is the result of misdirection, selfish ambition, hurtful interaction, and lustful desires; our heart muscles are weakened by the stress of attacks by evil, and our best intentions for preventative exercise and for eating a healthy diet are subverted.

 

The first step to take in seeking to rebuild a healthy heart comes by recognizing the need; talk with God about the issues and the aspects of life that are distracting you from looking Him squarely in the face; share the pain and the frustration that is creating stress; and allow the voice of the lord access to your mind and to your heart so that truth can drive out the misinformation that Satan has been planting there.

 

Like all life change and improvement programs, this process takes time, and it won’t always go perfectly. In my experience, the unfortunate aspect of all of this is that I am the one who makes the decisions about following the health plan, and I have a bad track record of inconsistency. The best aspect of it all is that God never quits on me. He always puts me back on the program, and when the heart-felt pains that result from my inattention come back, the Lord eases the guilt and the sorrow, and He even helps me lift my tired feet to start me on my heart muscle strengthening walk with Him.