He stood before the small congregation of people who had gathered to hear him speak. He ranted and raved and foamed at the mouth. At least it seemed so to a young boy. Pacing back and forth on the stage, he railed at those who thought they were in good standing with God, cautioning them to make sure. “I’m not trying to make you doubt your salvation,” he salivated, “but I want you to be certain.” According to him, a wrong assumption would have eternal consequences. Then the declaration I would hear many more times in my lifetime. “The difference from the head to the heart is only 18 inches.”
According to James, this evangelist—along with all the other evangelists, teachers, and preachers who’ve said it, was right. You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. (James 2:19-20 NLT)
Heart is often used in the Bible not as a reference to the literal organ but as an allusion to one’s seat of emotions. When Jesus commands me to love God with all my heart, he isn’t telling me to simply intellectually believe he once lived and died. Demons—and most likely even the staunchest atheist, take no issue with this fact.
The question is what I do with this information. Only when I successfully move it from my head to my heart does it have eternal value and present implications. Believing with my heart—with my emotions and intellect, moves it the necessary 18 inches. Then I not only have information but I also have personalization. And my lifestyle change will prove to me and others that I’ve spanned the gulf.
Has belief in Jesus Christ moved from your head to your heart?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, move us from knowing You with our head to believing in You with our heart.
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