The Spiritual Heart

Posted in: Hope, 0676
By Dr. Larry Ollison

Because Bible hope is established in the heart, the heart must be established before Bible hope can be attained. In other words, the heart, which is the field that the Word is sown into (Mark 4:15), must be established in order for the promise contained in the seed (the Word) to grow.

The Greek word for heart is kardia. This word is where we get terms like cardiovascular and cardiac arrest. In other words, kardia simply means the organ in your chest that pumps the blood through your body.

However, in the Bible the heart is many times used metaphorically as the essence of a person. It is the unseen, non-physical place that is either good or evil. The physical heart has valves that meter the flow of life-giving substances. Likewise, the spiritual heart regulates what we say when we speak instinctively without thinking. Of course, we can take time to ponder our thoughts and make a decision on what to say. We can choose to say anything we want to say. However, when we speak instinctively without thought, those words come directly from the heart. That’s what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). While our calculated words can be chosen by the mind, our heart does not calculate. It simply pours out of itself what it has inside.

I have heard many great men and women of God, whom I respect and honor, teach that the heart and the spirit are the same. While this could be true in some instances, according to biblical doctrine, this cannot be a definitive truth. If the spirit and heart were the same, then a person’s mouth would never instinctively utter anything evil. Why? Because the spirit is without sin (1 John 3:9), cleansed and made righteous by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:9), and it is possessed by the Spirit of God (Colossians 1:27), who is light and in whom there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). If the spirit and the heart were the same, then a believer would never speak anything other than faith-filled words that align with the Word of God. I have never yet met that Christian!

It is as though your heart is a field between your soul and your spirit. Good or evil seed is sown into it by the decisions made in the soul that allow words of faith from God or words of evil from the enemy through the gates of the mind. What you see and what you hear come into the realm of the soul. Thoughts taken captive and rejected are of no effect, but sights and sounds that are pondered, nurtured, and meditated upon seep into the heart and fill it. Then in times of crisis, without thought, the heart pours out through the lips what is contained in it.

I have known Christians through the years who have had good hearts, and I have also met some who have evil hearts. With both groups, their spirits had been cleansed and made righteous, but their lifestyles reflected the abundance of the Word of God or the lack of the Word of God. This is why Paul urged the church to be mature in the faith and to renew their minds with the Word. After all, the Word is the source of our hope, faith, and victory.

The soul must daily tap into the knowledge and revelation that is given by the spirit. However, it is difficult for the soul to access the wisdom of the spirit when it is drowning in the pollution of the world.

“Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” (Matthew 15:18).

This is why the mind, which is a part of the soul, must be constantly cleansed and refreshed with the Word of God, so that the good soil between the soul and the spirit will not be polluted with bad seed or with earthly debris. Although your spirit is sealed by the Holy Spirit and darkness or corruption cannot enter it, the pollution in your heart prevents light, wisdom, understanding, guidance, and revelation (that comes from the spirit) from reaching the soul. This results in decisions that are not Spirit-led.

Devotion 676