Test Your Heart for Maximum Cardiac Output
The Ten Commandments, sometimes called The Law, are a very powerful resource and tool. But they don’t have the power to save us. New life and true heart transformation come only through Christ’s perfect life, His sacrifice on the Cross and God’s amazing grace. In order to have our life saved, we need to diagnose the disease that’s killing us. And to get a diagnosis, we need a test to examine our hearts accurately. We frequently break The Law, and The Law shows us that we aren’t holy. Only the Trinity is holy. Going deeper, the Ten Commandments of the Law prompt us to see if something other than God is at the center of our hearts. They indicate if our hearts beat strongly following His or they are weak and something else determines their rhythm.
The Ten Commandments focus on our relationships with God and others. Here’s the bottom line: God and love. The first commandment calls for undivided faithfulness to God: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Because we have been created in God’s image, our relationship with Him is at the very core of our human needs and affects everyone we contact.
“Other gods” usually brings to mind a wooden or stone image or the proclaimed god of another religion. But there are subtler and more prevalent “gods.” Anything that takes our time, attention and allegiance is our “other god” if that thing takes our focus off Christ. It might be food, money, sports, sex or a high. It could be “nice” things like a job, a relationship, even marriage, kids or involvement in a ministry.
It is so easy to let your personal relationship with the Lord suffer, even by doing good things. A periodic self-evaluation and reality check can be enlightening. Even if you don’t take stock and correct, God certainly does. He wants your heart to beat well with maximum cardiac output. When He reveals your “other gods” and takes them away, life feels more acutely distressing than when you make the effort, find those “other gods,” repent and draw closer to Him on your own.
What’s true for physical health holds true for spiritual health. We use a scale, go for regular health checks, and monitor our blood pressure and heart rate. Having a spiritual heart test is even more important. It’s so easy to inch away from God and move toward another object of “value” without even realizing it. Recognizing these issues as early as possible saves us from the heartache, heart attack and distress that occur if we let disease settle in and progress.
Today, ask yourself these questions: Am I asking God for guidance or doing my own thing? Do I trust my job, another person or my own abilities more than I trust in the Lord? In what areas do I have the mindset, “my kingdom come, my will be done,” instead of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”? If you find that you have wandered off the path, confess, repent and begin to refocus on Jesus. When you keep your heart spiritually healthy, your mind and body stay healthy as well. Whether you have a strong heart that beats for the Lord or you have a weak one, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, forgive me for getting sidetracked and making other things or people a more important part of my life than You are. Thank You for the Law that helps me examine my heart. Thank you also for the grace You continually extend to me, even though I mess up and replace You with other impotent and selfish pursuits. How sad this must make You. Help me to refocus on Jesus and on my relationship with You. Teach me to treasure the wealth in it. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One to Whom I give my undivided faithfulness, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5
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