A SPIRITUAL HEART TRANSPLANT
Heart disease accounts for almost one-third all deaths in Western Countries, and most of these deaths are due to coronary artery disease and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Disorders of the heart and circulation are many and varied. There are at least three that we want to consider today, they are due to congenital, bad diet, and lack of exercise. As we all know, the heart regulates the life of the physical body, we should also be aware that the same is true in the spiritual scheme of things.
In each instance listed above, should the heart become worse, heart failure is sure to ensue. Thanks be to God that medical technology has made it possible that when this heart failure occurs, a heart transplant is an option. Though this procedure is relatively new and still not yet perfected, the concept is a very old one. For one day in the ancient past King David cried out “create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
See Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
The text is tailored to teach us that we too, like David, have a heart condition
IT IS CONGENITAL
IT IS CONGENITAL
David seems to be saying that his heart condition was congenital. That is, he was born with this defect. He declares this truth in such a way not as to cover up the wrong he had done, but with the right theological perspective that allow us to see ourselves as God sees us. He realizes now that just because he’s been elevated from shepherd boy to king does not negate the fact that he is human, and that being human meant that he was “shapen in iniquity and in sin did his mother conceive him.” Very simply put, David tells us that he was born with this heart condition.
We need to be careful that we do not fool ourselves into thinking that we are “so good”. The prophet Jeremiah helps to remind us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who could know it. (See Jeremiah 17:9)
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
One television commercial of former days goes “Knowing is half the battle.” So then, if you didn’t know that you were born with a heart condition, now you know.
It seems that if you knew that you had a problem with your heart, you would do all you could to keep it healthy. One of the best things you can do to help your heart is to watch what you eat.
IT IS COMPLICATED BY A BAD DIET
IT IS COMPLICATED BY A BAD DIET
It has been proven that diet plays a major role where heart disease is concerned. Therefore if you know that you already have a heart condition you won’t eat fatty, greasy, spicy, gassy food; you would not eat gluttonously like a greedy pig. However, there are people who do such things on the physical side, yet many more in spiritual realm.
Not everyone is born with a physical heart condition, but everyone is born with spiritual heart disease. We should, therefore, consider our spiritual diet. David had apparently been cheating on his. 2nd Samuel, chapter 11 tells us that he sat aloft in his place in Jerusalem. He was at home at a time when kings were at war. There, he arose from his bed one evening and from his balcony saw a woman bathing; this bathing beauty looked good to him.
Let me park parenthetically for a minute here to say that “we need to be careful about everything that looks good to us. Why? Because it is that thing that has the ability to tempt and trap us. Most people have no trouble staying away from that which repulses them. It is that finely garnished plate, the aroma of delicious food that tempts the eater; it is the glitter of gold and the sparkle of jewelry, the power and prestige that allures the would be rich. It was not her style and grace, but her pretty face…it was the size of waist, the shape of her lips, the curves of her hips that made David’s heart fail.
Let us not suppose that this particular night was the first time that David ever saw this bathing beauty. Perhaps it was because he had feasted too long upon her from the distance that cause him to stay behind while her husband went off to war. Remember…we are talking about the heart, and so we should be aware that there are untold evils associated with it.
What happened to David can also happen to anyone of us. This man, who had the high compliment of being “a man after God’s own heart” committed horrible sins because he detoured from his diet. We need to be watchful about what we take into our spirits. That is to say “what we allow to come into our hearts and minds. There are two ways in which we ingest : through the eyes and the ears. To David, Bathsheba was “fine” and he looked upon her. To bad he couldn’t hear some of our old fore-bearers, they would have told him that “everything that glitters ain’t gold.”
So many people see life from the fantasy tale perspective, wanting everything that looks good. Money, cars, jewelry, women, men are what the masses seek because this the diet of many. The words of Jesus come rushing into my mind reminding us that our diet must mot consist of physical food alone, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Here David was, suffering with a congenital heart condition and compounding the problem by leaving his proper diet. Yet, he is not paying attention to the signs! Not only does he forsake his spiritual diet, but he also cuts out his exercise.
IT IS COMPLICATED BY A LACK OF EXERCISE
IT IS COMPLICATED BY A LACK OF EXERCISE
A regular regiment of some kind of physical activity is one of the greatest deterrents of heart failure, but just like David many people just leave it off. When David’s heart began to fail, he was at home. At a time when he should have been at war, he was taking it easy; when he was suppose to bee fighting , he was kicking it. when he ought to have been getting it done, he was just sitting around doing nothing. The old folk used to always say “ the idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. If that be the case then surely that inactive heart is also his stomping ground.
The heart and the mind are often mentioned in conjunction to one another. The apostle Paul exhorted the believers at Philippi that if they exercised their faith by rejoicing in the Lord, by being moderate or temperate in their lifestyles, and by releasing stress and discarding anxiety praying always that God’s peace would keep their hearts and minds . Oh, my brothers and sister, let us not think that we can do anything we want to, say anything we want to, never help anyone, never pick up a Bible, or never bend a knee in prayer and suppose that we are not doing damage to our hearts.
David, despite of his knowledge that he was suffering with a congenital heart condition, feasted his eyes and ultimately his lustful appetite upon Bathsheba . He forsook the doctor’s orders: Exodus 20:14; 20:17
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
He fell into a rut and became inactive. His dedication became sluggish, his desires had changed, his heart begin to weaken, until he experienced heart failure, that is, he was unable to help/stop himself.
And so, he called for Bathsheba and lay with her. Still not aware that his heart was messed up, he went along with his routine. it was not until he received news that she was pregnant that David felt some uncomfortable-ness inside of him. However instead of David giving vent to the feeling, he chose to ignore it.
It’s a terrible thing to experience chest pain and other signs of a heart attack and ignore it. Yet, so many people do; they don’t take the time to pay attention to the problem. Instead of going the doctor/hospital they try some over the counter remedy, some homemade concoction that does nothing to make them better, but only makes the issue worse.
How many times had you been pursued, apprehended, arrested, tried, and convicted in your heart and you’ve ignored it?
David went from bad to worse when he tried to make the uncomfortable-ness go away. He called for Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) and would have covered his sins by way of trickery. However, Uriah was a man of integrity. He seemed to realize that he too was suffering with a heart condition and so he refused to allow certain things in his diet, and he refused to let us on his exercise. So, when he was prompted to go into his house and his wife, he would not . Can’t you just see David today, clutching at his chest as the news that Uriah had not been in his house reached him. You would think that at this point the would have paid real attention to the “tell-tell” signs; but, instead he went back to the same stuff that he used before. There is a lesson to be learned in this, that is, that each time we allow our hearts to lay dormant and out of fellowship and communion with God, we place it in the higher risk category. David’s heart was shutting down, so he arranged the death of an innocent man to hide the fact that he was a man with a serious heart condition.
This 51st Psalm is borne out of this experience. David’s was confronted with his sins by the prophet Nathan. When David came to realize and recognize the seriousness of his situation, he confessed his sins. This passage is that confession. In verse 10 he pleads with God to do a work his heart. He says “create in me a clean heart O God” . He cries out in despair because he realizes that heart he has is filthy and flawed.
Have you come to a serious conclusion about the condition of your heart?
If you would take this situation serious today, you will come to realize that you too are plagued with a filthy and flawed heart. You too are in need of a spiritual heart transplant. Now, The average waiting time for a heart transplant in the UK is about six months. Being accepted for a heart transplant has advantages and disadvantages. Being accepted for a transplant carries with it the implication that your heart failure is severe and life-threatening. I think I need to tell you that the situation is already severe and life threatening. You don’t need to wait another second, minute, hour.
In every case, in order to receive a heart transplant , somebody has got to die. You need to know that you don’t have to wait for this clean heart because somebody named Jesus died a long time ago to give you a new heart. The only thing that he requires of you is that when you receive it…take care of it.