God - the Cardiologist?
by Nick McElvain
As I’ve studied God’s Word over the years, I am always looking for illustrations to help set in my mind truths about Him. One concept that I come back to is that “God is a Cardiologist,” i.e., He looks at diseases and abnormalities of the heart.
We see starting back in Genesis 6:5, 6, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
Over 800 times in our Scriptures, God talks about the heart. He talks about hard hearts, losing heart, open hearts, filling our hearts, hearts that are far away, smitten of heart, a lying heart, being pure of heart, and having a clean heart. In many of these references, God is referring to what is contained in our inward-most being. He is examining our hearts.
As believers, we recognize a time in our own lives when our hearts were far away, hard, and full of lies. When we become believers through faith in Christ, our hearts were changed to pure and clean hearts. The Book of Colossians says that a believer’s heart will contain encouragement, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, peace, thankfulness, and sincerity. Quite a contrast to the hard and lying hearts of the unbeliever.
Christians are called to “do your work heartily,” which refers to the source of our motivation, literally “out of the heart.” Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” If our hearts have been filled with those lovely and pure things of His Word, then our motivation in our work will be “heartily.”
Looking back to verse 22 for the context, “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” Our respect and awe of the God who made us and who saved us should be our driving force. As a believer, Jesus is Lord of our lives, and out of our love for Him we should be excellent in all we do in all of our endeavors.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus taught about the contrast between those who are men pleasers, and those who serve the Lord. In Matthew 6 we find the hypocrites were wanting to “be noticed by men,” but for a true disciple “your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
In Psalms 51:10, 15, and 17 we see a summary of David’s prayers about his heart:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . . O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise. . . . The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Only God knows the condition of my heart, whether I have an ‘old’ heart or a ‘new’ heart. But if you find yourself constantly wanting to be noticed by men in your service, you need to examine yourself, look at your heart from God’s perspective, and ask if He sees a broken and contrite heart, or a proud, lying, hard heart that is far from Him. If you are still far away from Him, repent, ask Him for forgiveness and a new heart…only He can heal your heart.