Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. ESV Proverbs 4:23
In both life and our spiritual formation, we often get wrapped up with so many things that we forget to check our own state of being. Moms are (rightly) obsessed with their children, we all have jobs that demand much of our time. We maintain relationships (friends, family, neighbors, coworkers) to the best of our abilities and attempt to keep our oil changes and our grass mowed. All of these things are good things, and we can glorify God in all of them. Much of our spiritual formation involves how we interact in these areas. However, the greatest aspect of our spiritual formation resides in the state of our heart. For that reason, I like to take every Saturday to spend some time evaluating the state of my heart.
Solomon reminds us the springs of life flow from our heart. Jesus agreed, explaining our words and actions flow from our hearts. While we may try to change what we say and what we do, the reality is that we will always do what our heart leads us to do. If we want to change our words or actions, we have to change our hearts first. Of course realizing this is the first step, actually doing it is the second. While we can effect limited action change, only the gospel can truly change our hearts. Our belief in Christ’s death and resurrection empowers all heart change.
We see change by asking the Lord Jesus to search our hearts and see if there is any part of our hearts that turn us away from Him. As we seek His guidance in our hearts, He begins to root out the evil parts and replace them with a passion for His name and His glory. Bit by bit, our hearts are transformed into His image, and then the springs of life that flow from our hearts are truly the life Jesus intended for us to live. We can embrace life fully, knowing our desires come from Him and that He is placing His desires within us. Hence, a one-day-a-week heart check is really only the beginning.