I don’t even think about it very often . . . but if it weren’t happening, I wouldn’t be thinking about anything at all. I”m talking about my pumping heart. We tend to pay them no attention . . . until something goes wrong. But day in and day out they do what they were designed by the Creator to do . . . beat . . . contract and expand . . . rhythmically maintaining the circulation, of life sustaining blood, to all parts of our body. Pretty routine. But pretty amazing if you pause to consider it for a moment.
And when the rhythm is interrupted . . . when it gets out of sync . . . or stops all together . . . the only thing that is going to help, if help is at all possible, is some outside intervention. Can anyone say heart massage? What’s needed is the heart to resume its rhythm and, sometimes, that can be done by massaging the heart through the chest wall, or, in extreme cases, inside the chest cavity. External repeated pressure is applied in a way that it reminds the heart of the beat it was designed to keep in the hope that the heart will “pick up on it” itself and resume its life sustaining function.
And I ended up thinking about such things because of a couple of verses I encountered in my readings this morning . . .
The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His rules, which He commanded our fathers. (1Kings 8:57-58 ESV)
I will run in the way of Your commandments when You enlarge my heart! . . . Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 119:32, 36 ESV)
I love the routine of getting up in the morning and opening God’s word. But I’m reminded that it’s only because, by His grace, He has given me . . . and continues to give me . . . heart massage.
Mine was once a heart of stone . . . but now, it’s a heart of flesh through the regenerating work of salvation. But though I now possess a heaven-certified, Spirit-filled, eternal life sustaining heart, it sometimes can fall out of rhythm. The old man . . . the old nature . . . the flesh . . . will war with the new man of the Spirit and sometimes it affects the heart. And my heart can start beating abnormally . . . its affection can get diverted . . . its determination to seek first the kingdom of God can grow weak. That’s when I need a heavenly heart massage . . . that’s when I need to cry out, like Solomon, and like the Psalmist, “Incline my heart to You, LORD!”
Incline . . . literally it means to “stretch or spread out.” I envision kneading dough in preparation for making a pie crust. Of working it so that it is supple and ready to receive and hold whatever contents are determined for it. Enlarge my heart . . . broaden it out . . . make room . . . that it might receive the grace-infused, overflowing wisdom of heaven poured out by the Spirit, through the Word, for all who have ears to hear. Ears that are ready to hear because of the steady rhythm of a well massaged heart.
No boasting in doing devo’s in the morning . . . just routine. But oh, the wonder, of considering Him who keeps my heart’s flow steady and desiring the routine . . . all by His amazing grace!
That He might continue to incline my heart . . . that He might faithfully never stop enlarging my heart . . . that I might know the rhythm of heaven through His living Word.
By His grace . . . for His glory!