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Published November 2023

By Floyd A. Brobbel,
Chief Executive Officer of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada Inc.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23 AMP

During a recent time of devotions and prayer, the Lord guided me to Proverbs 4:23. This verse instructs us on the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. Spiritually, “the heart” refers to one’s inner life – mind, thoughts, motives and desires. If the heart is healthy, what springs from it will be pure. A pure-hearted person has wholesome motives, holy thoughts, and a clean conscience before God.

Physically, the heart is the central part of one’s circulatory system, for it pumps much-needed blood throughout the entire body. As it does, oxygen-rich blood and necessary nutrients are transported to the tissues via the arteries, while the veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart. Small blood vessels called capillaries exchange the oxygen-rich supply for that which has become oxygen-depleted.

Of course, there is much more to learn about the heart than the nutshell description I have presented. However, we can readily appreciate that, both spiritually and physically, a healthy heart is paramount for those pursuing a flourishing life. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that an unhealthy heart can ultimately lead to an anemic existence.

Psalm 95:10 describes the root cause of spiritual heart disorders: “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways” (ESV). In this case, a heart that is hardened to the voice of the Lord wanders from His path to seek out self-gratification and pleasure. Someone with a healthy spiritual life, however, listens to and obeys the Lord, recognizing that there is no other way leading to true life.

Similarly, when people choose a lifestyle that perpetuates unhealthy body weight, excessive alcohol and/or tobacco use, poor food choices, high levels of stress – along with little to no exercise – the fallouts can predictably cause damage to the physical heart. Although many accurately documented scientific studies have proven the consequences medically, God has tried to convey these basic health principles to humankind Scripturally for centuries.

We all experience the allurement of ‘forbidden fruit’– the desire to satiate our selfish ambitions. “The heart wants what it wants” is a phrase that’s sometimes used to explain or justify an individual’s behaviour, especially when their actions are confusing or disturbing. It’s no wonder that the Biblical instruction to guard one’s heart is critical for disciples of Jesus who want to achieve optimal health and well-being.

Third John 2:3 states, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (ESV). An interacting chemistry takes place physically and spiritually which ultimately affects our overall health. Indeed, a heart cleansed by Christ is of primary importance for salvation, but a physically strong heart then makes it possible to undertake God’s will when He reveals it. Therefore, we must develop a heart-healthy lifestyle that will testify to the goodness of God.

The members of VOMC’s ministry team have made the commitment to lead lives that cultivate “heart health” for the glory of God. It is our prayer that you will be encouraged to do likewise, “watch[ing] over your heart with all diligence.” This involves aligning your heart with His and serving as a ‘testimony of faith’ among a world that’s so desperately in need of Him.