Summer is in and many people have shaped up as well as they can. Gym, jogging and diets. The outer man needs to be in good shape!
Yet there is an inner me which needs far more attention than what the body needs. This is what really counts as these words suggest:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov. 4:23
A world that prizes busyness, efficiency, speed and success leaves little room for ‘matters of the heart.’ Superficially and distraction from what is essential is a dangerous temptation.
Knowing the truth is not the same as living it.
Even when we are in touch with the centre of our being we may not like what we see, even finding it hard to understand ourselves.
So what can we do?
First we need to know the heart of God in prayer.
As King David says in Psalm 27 ‘My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord I will seek (vs 8).
God the Father is gracious and encourages us to go to Him always for as He promised:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jer. 29:13)
Then, in meeting Him I discover myself.
The inner man that hides in darkness, fear, weakness and sin, hurt, pain and disappointment. As I dare come into the light of God’s truth, I can then safely pray
‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts (Psa. 139:23)
Like Peter who saw how deeply his inner self needed forgiveness, our reaction may be ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8).
Yet the immensity of God’s truth and holiness are balanced by the depth of His grace and mercy: For as his majesty is, so too is his mercy. Sir. 2:18
So this summer get your heart in good shape, for that is the real way to live. Expand your heart with God’s love and you seek to serve Him by loving others sincerely. Then we will echo the Psalmist’s words:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psa. 28:7