What Is Your Heart?

Posted in: Grace, 0661
By Dr. Larry Ollison

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 and ponder our thoughts and make a decision on what to say and we can 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, cleansed and made righteous by the blood of Jesus (1 John 3:9), and is possessed by the Spirit of God, 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 the place between your soul and your spirit and it is fed good or evil 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 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.

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 and corruption cannot enter into it, the pollution in your heart prevents the light, the wisdom, the understanding, guidance, and revelation (that comes from the spirit) from reaching the soul. The result is decisions are made that are not spirit-led.

In His glorified body, Jesus was able to pass through walls and nothing could obstruct Him. I believe this is because the earthly flesh was gone and without it, nothing hinders the spirit. With this in mind, we must understand that as we cleanse our soul of worldly corruption and increase in holiness through the washing with the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26), not only do we renew our mind, but we systematically clean the heart and out of the abundance of our heart, the things of the spirit flow into our soul and dominate our life. This is when true holiness can be seen.

Devotion 0661