By Stephen L France
‘NOW FAITH IS THE ASSURANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE CONVICTION OF THINGS NOT SEEN.’ HEBREWS 11:1 ESV
Receiving a heart transplant is not only for old people…and it’s honestly the most important decision we can make.
Of course, when I refer to the heart, I’m not talking about the human organ, but the definition provided by scripture used to explain our inner workings:
‘Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.’ Proverbs 4:23 ESV
The heart is the core of a person and encompasses his/her personality, emotions, beliefs, intellect, will, intentions, and morality. (Romans 10:9 ESV) (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
The heart is also where our relationship with God is rooted.
I talk about a new heart because January—the month of New Year’s Resolutions—has just passed.
A New Year’s Resolution usually involves a form of improvement that may lead to a renewing of one’s thought process and performance in order to fulfil a specific ambition. Traditionally, it is also rather finite.
In comparison, the Christian lifestyle involves a daily renewing of the mind in keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, who’s given us a new heart after mature baptism; our rebirth. (Ezekiel 36:25-27 ESV)
It’s this new heart that fuels the transformation of our intentions to keep our mind on Jesus and his teachings found in the New Testament. This might be revealed in increased generosity, compassion, love, integrity, honesty, and humility.
Receiving a new heart from my baptism on July 26, 2015, unveiled God’s direct impact on my life. One huge change that occurred last year, was the removal of my frown; a frown that I’ve had on my face since I was eight years old and have tried to get rid of for 22 years with positive thinking, New Year’s Resolutions, and other mental techniques that all failed.
Last year, that frown disappeared during the summer. It felt like the peace that I’ve been seeking my whole life had finally started to emerge. Another effect of my ‘new heart’ was being able to surrender the exercise of Friday night drinking and socialising—an activity that was standard routine and is accepted by British culture. A third result worth mentioning was deleting my library of 700+ downloaded films ...coughcoughstolen movies...
This commenced with difficulty at first as I was erasing them individually. Weeks later, I found the impetus to use the PC’s ‘Ctrl-A’ function and delete the lot.
Currently, through daily Bible reading, prayer, and meditation on God, I am coming to know peace, but it’s a slow process that requires profound patience.
So why is a new heart more important than every single innovative, whacky New Year’s Resolution?
You are put on a constant journey of self-improvement where the only being to answer to is God and the gift is everlasting joy (Romans 12:2 ESV). Of course, transition with a new heart is easier said than done. Being in Christ is a consistent practice and He knows if you’re sincere.
So, is Christ in your heart, allowing you to improve daily as a person in God’s eyes? Or do you live for temporary fixes like New Year’s Resolutions? Your career? Your partner? Money? Or an obsessional love for your child that’s dominating your life? Do you find your mind buzzing with tedious social issues, UK politics, or work-related challenges?
The overall query to ask of yourself is: what do you currently treasure?
‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ – Matthew 6:21 ESV
Written by Stephen France
For more from the author visit his Feeding Faith series.