by Andrew Sbarra

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

I don’t know if you have found yourself in this situation; wanting to exercise more, eat healthier, read more, but when you try to take on habits for a healthier lifestyle you end up going nowhere. What makes these changes so difficult is that it is easier, and often feels better, to sit and watch TV, eat that greasy burger, sleep a little longer, etc. The same habits apply to our spiritual lifestyle as well.

What causes us to sin and doubt? What moves us toward holiness? The answer is the same for all – our hearts.

The heart is a powerful thing. It is the source of our affections which generate appreciation, gratitude, and the ability to value all that is good. However, it easily blinds us to reality and clouds good judgement. If we allow our hearts to go unchecked, our affections end up restricting us.

How can our affections restrict us? Our actions follow the desires and affections of our heart. In other words, if our hearts aren’t in it, neither are we. We sin because we have a sinful nature, that is, our hearts inherently desire sin.

Our hearts are so reflective of our faith, which is why throughout the Bible, God is after our hearts and desires a personal relationship with us. So how do we resuscitate our hearts? How can we beat sin and live for God? We take the restrictions off our affections, and the only way to do this is with the Gospel. 

Reflect on all God has done for you in Christ, mainly offering salvation through the cross and His resurrection. Remember the progress you have made, the small and big victories, the unexplainable miracles. Rejoice in the fact that your sins are forgiven by the precious blood of the Son of God. Revel in the truth that the God in heaven calls you His child. When we do this, new affections will spring to life in our hearts. We don’t fight sin by how we feel.  We fight sin by taking the restrictions off our affections and living in the new affections and truths of Christ.