We live in a day and age where many people exercise for health, appearance, and happiness. Many who do so wear heart rate devices to monitor the speed of their heart rate as they run or work out. If the rate is too high or low, they change pace to bring it into a safe or more comfortable range to prevent injury or worse.
But how do we check our spiritual heart rates? Has someone developed a device that will do such a thing?
If such a device exists, would we be scared to own something that shows us the rate our spiritual heart beats for God? What if it showed a heart beating faster for something or someone other than God? What would we do?
God has given us at least three such devices- and the good news (or bad news; if you fear having such accountability) is that we already have them. There's no purchase to make!
Our first spiritual heart rate monitor is the Holy Spirit. We who've already received Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior know the Holy Spirit dwells within us (Romans 8:5-17). He resides within to help us worship God throughout each day. He points out sin areas in our hearts that must be addressed before He will work more fully and completely within and through us (Galatians 5:16-25). He also helps align our hearts with His heart, God the Father's, and Jesus' heart- so that we can know what to do, and how to pray, moment-by-moment throughout each day.
Our second spiritual heart rate monitor is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God has given us His Word to help quicken our spiritual heart rates toward Him, His creation, and others (all pointing our hearts back to worshiping God for who He is). Without reading and applying God's Word into our lives each day, we quickly can become spiritual couch potatoes; unhealthy and out of shape to serve God or others. Spiritual couch potatoes absorb God's glory and poorly reflect it back to Him. They struggle or fail as fruitful witnesses to others who need to come into a personal relationship with God. They can exhibit slow, or sometimes even hard-to-notice, heart rates toward God or others.
Healthy time and prayer in God's Word (and with the empowering of the Holy Spirit) quickens the heart for the Father, increases awe in who He is, and motivates the Christian to both watch for God working around them daily, and witness as He provides opportunities to do so.
Our third spiritual heart rate monitor comes in the form of other Spirit-filled, Word-grounded, Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25). These Christians exhibit healthy beating hearts and lives as they pray, serve, and train (disciple) others around them. They aren't actors, but are living fully in the joy, power, love, grace, and truth of God and His Word. These Christians are eager to help others freshly taste and see that He is good- in every day and every way; making disciples of Jesus out of others around themselves. Proverbs 27:17 also sums it up well. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
Heart Check Time
Have you checked your spiritual heart rate monitors recently/today? Are you willing to believe what they say?
What are your spiritual heart monitors saying? Is your heart beating quickly in God's presence (worshiping, praising, and thanking Him for who He is and for specific things you see Him doing in and around you)?
Is your heart rate slow; maybe barely beating? Does it seem like a lot of time has passed since you've dwelt in His presence; worshiping, watching, or quietly listening for His voice as you worship Him in your heart?
God desires that our hearts beat quickly and only for Him. He is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:23-24). Our hearts quicken as we seek Him, worship, and allow our hearts to be filled with awe and wonder of who He is (by His Word, Spirit, and the witness of other Christ-centered people).
Take some time right now to ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and assess your heart rate (Psalm 139:23-24). If it's not where He'd (or you'd) like it to be, don't beat yourself up or become frustrated. Instead, confess whatever needs to be confessed to God. Realign your heart with His as He instructs, and allow Him to fill you with His joy, presence, fullness, and more that will quicken your heart rate for Him and reflect his glory outward to others as well. As you do, others will begin to see more and more of Jesus within you!
Continue checking your spiritual heart rate throughout each day. It's a vital way to live a healthy and Christ-honoring life moment-by-moment!