Heart Attack

My father-in-law had a heart attack last week, followed by quadruple bypass surgery to repair the broken places in his blood flow.  After five to seven days in the hospital and months of rehab, he should be back to normal, and I suspect he will have a heightened sense of awareness.

Once the initial shock was over, we spent countless hours examining how it happened and what he could have done to prevent it. We came to a common conclusion: heart disease began long before the first signs of a heart attack.  The disease is somewhat preventable. You have to know the risk factors and how to fight against it.

For the follower of Christ, there is potential for a spiritual heart attack threatening our life. 

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”  Scripture teaches us to guard and protect our heart. Not just our physical heart that pumps blood through our bodies and keeps us alive, but our spiritual heart, the part of us that is created for intimacy with the Father. It’s in that heart where we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus and are used by Him to advance His Kingdom. When sin enters, we are in danger of stepping away from God’s will for our lives and the effects can be crippling to our spiritual health.

Consider the woman who ignores her personal time with the Lord.  Does one day destroy her defense against the enemy? Certainly not.  But when one day turns to a week, and weeks turn to months of neglecting to be filled with His Word and inviting the Holy Spirit to be part of her day, she makes herself vulnerable to attack.

What about the son who hears the Word of God as a child but doesn’t hear it into adolescence or into adulthood? The places in his heart designed for God’s truth to flow freely become clogged up with things of this world, making him an easy target for spiritual attack.

We can all fall susceptible to setbacks if we don’t have a prevention plan in place. Here are the ABCs for guarding your heart and preventing a spiritual heart attack.

A – Avoid harmful influences.  We can protect our heart by being aware of what we put into it.  What goes in a mind will often come out in a life.  Pay attention to what you allow into your mind. Is anything harmful threatening to stop God’s truth from pumping through your brain? 

B – Become more active. Exercise disciplines like reading the Bible, strengthening your prayer life and meeting together with other believers.  These keep you strong in your walk. Are you building a defense against spiritual attack by being spiritually fit?   

C – Choose life.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The best way to fortify our hearts is to choose the Giver of Life every day. Walking with Jesus is a lifestyle, not a one-time event. Are you intentional about your relationship with Jesus?

A spiritual heart attack happens when our hearts have been made weak by sin and indifference.  It begins long before the first ache and feelings of numbness. Can we block a spiritual heart attack?  Many times, yes, but we have to be active in preventing it.  Prevention is attainable, but it is not accidental.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”


About Kim Heinecke   Read more by this author...

Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.kheinecke.com.

Recent Articles

What Do You Do with Panic?

Fear has a unique ability of pushing us over the edge into a ridiculous tizzy. What starts as an innocent concern (Where’s that cough drop?) can instantly be transformed into a wordless darkness of worst-case scenarios playing over and over in our mind. What we need in moments like those is the wherewithal to trust God above the havoc. It was Jesus who spoke to the violent waters on the Sea of Galilee and commanded them to be still. And it’s the same Jesus in our daily circumstances who waits to calm the waves of our greatest fears. All we have to do is bring HIM into the drama.

Read More

Paint by Number

There was a popular fad many years ago that still seems ingenious to me – paint by numbers. I recently discovered it’s still available and making a comeback. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, you purchase a kit depicting a famous piece of art or beautiful landscape. Upon opening it, you have all your paints in little plastic containers with numbers. Your canvas has the artwork outlined with numbers listed. You match the paint to the numbered section and fill it in. Not the perfect activity if you’re a color outside the line type of person, but a great way to imitate Picasso.

Read More

Water is Life

Parenting is hard. Single parenting gets really hard sometimes, doesn’t it? You can’t afford to let your spiritual body dry out and weaken. Your children need a mom who is hydrated in the Living Water, a woman who is radiant and reflective of the heart of God because she is alive in Him every day, not just when she feels desperate.

Read More