Isa 1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Health, be it physical, social or spiritual depends on flow. Good flow of blood, air, & nutrients results in good physical health. Good flow of emotion, communication and touching results in good social health. And the flow of God’s love determines the condition of one’s spiritual health. We’ve heard it said over and over again, “Just let God love you.” Receiving God’s love is a simple rule of life… but it can easily be blocked. If love flows freely in our hearts then our hearts will be healthy. Spiritual heart disease happens when the flow of God’s love is blocked. In these cases where love is blocked the Holy Spirit is kept from His precious ministry of shedding God’s love abroad in our hearts (Rom 5:5) and the flow of life giving water from us to others (John 7:38) stops. A person suffering from spiritual heart disease loses both his security (of feeling loved) and his significance (of loving others). [bctt tweet=”A person suffering from spiritual disease loses both his security and his significance.”]
Free Love Can’t Be Bought
God’s love must flow freely. Jesus said in Matthew 10:8 “…freely you have received, freely give.” “Freely we have received” means love must flow freely to me from God. “Freely give” means love must flow freely from me. Free means it is not paid for– nor, when given, does it incur a debt. God’s love cannot be paid for. It is FREELY given! Any attempt to earn it or pay for it results in it’s complete and utter blockage. God’s love flows either 0% or 100% into our hearts. There is no partial love. Love is either free or it is not and only free love is real love. In the same way a man’s heart can be filled with plaque and cause a heart attack – the stoppage of the flow of blood – so our heart may be filled with ourselves and block the flow of God’s love. The stuff that blocks God’s love in man’s heart are the works of his own hands – either good or bad. These are the actions and accomplishments that deceive the conscience into believing I deserve or do not deserve God’s love. We deceive ourselves and forget that neither the works man produces nor the thoughts of his heart count for anything before God. God so loved the world He GAVE. [bctt tweet=”The stuff that blocks God’s love in man’s heart are the works of his own hands – either good or bad. “]
Song of Songs 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
The man who attempts to give of his own substance for love, though a believer in Jesus Christ, has fallen from grace and has developed spiritual heart disease.
The Stuff that Blocks the Heart
Christians can with great sincerity and dedication try to earn love through their own merits and good works. The Apostle Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13 the most common things that cause hardening of the Christian’s arteries. In verses 1-3 he gives a short list of the things Christians present to God to exchange for God’s love. Though done believing God requires them , these religious activities result in blockage. These produce the symptoms of heart disease: burn out, emptiness, futility and a loveless life. The love-sabotaging efforts Paul gives are
- Speaking with tongues
- Having the gift of prophecy
- Understanding all mysteries
- Having all knowledge
- Having all faith so that mountains can be removed
- Bestowing all ones goods to feed the poor
- Giving ones body to be burned
Oh my! Can you imagine the number of precious believers who are trying with all their hearts to reach a high status in one or more of these categories? How many churches promote these activities and ideals as necessary? Yes, what beautiful works these are. But if any man would present himself to God adorned in these works in an effort to win God’s love, he would be utterly rejected …and turned away empty hearted. Love must go first – NOT Christian works. Without love these things are NOTHING, EMPTY, USELESS!! God hates man’s righteous works like a filthy rag!
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
No wonder churches can be places of anger, strife and hatred. Cain slew Abel because God rejected Cain’s righteousness. There is no love where men and women are working to be better and better in an attempt to be more loved. Love can only be received . Never bought or earned. Once given love never incurs a debt.[bctt tweet=”Love can only be received never bought or earned. Once given love never incurs a debt.”]
Those who believe they are worthy of God’s acceptance and love are those who become proud, judgmental and merciless. These of all Christians are the most loveless. Their hardened hearts are blocked and though perhaps saved, they are isolated from the joy of their salvation and the peace of God that passes understanding. Fear rules their lives and they use fear to control other people’s lives. Only love casts fear from a human heart. Without love, fear fills it. Satan is the father of self-righteousness and there is no place like a church for self-righteous people. Jesus came not to judge but to save men, not to see who is the most righteous but to give His righteous as a gift to whosoever wills. This is love— not that we love Him but that He first loved us.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
I think of the many Christians suffering from self-rejection and self-hatred by their consciences. From the pride of self exaltation, or from the struggles and fighting that result from competing and comparing themselves with others. These precious brothers and sisters need to know that God has provided a more excellent way – LOVE.
There is too much spiritual heart disease in the church: too many people believing the economy of mammon is how the kingdom of God works. But praise God for his great love wherewith He has loved us! Let’s declare with the bride of Solomon “He brought me to His banqueting table and His banner over me is love. Freely we have received, freely give. Let it flow!!