by Erin Bird
Last week, I kicked off a series called From the Heart. My goal through this short email-only series is to help you get a better understanding of what the Bible means when it refers to the “heart,” and by doing so, help you grow in your worship of God.
In week 1 of this series, we looked at the “obvious” part of your heart by looking at the topic of emotion. But I believe there is so much more to your “heart” than just your feelings. One of those other areas I believe includes our minds.
The very first book of the Bible states that our “hearts” is the place our thoughts come from:
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
While that verse is commonly used by theologians to point out the depravity of humanity, it is also a great example to show how the Scriptures, even from the very beginning, use the word “heart” in place of the word “mind” at times. For instance, because the Apostle Peter was familiar with Genesis 6:5, he echoed its words in Acts 8 when talking with a “magician” named Simon. Simon wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, but when Peter corrected Simon’s thinking, he didn’t refer to Simon’s head, but rather his heart.
This is why I said earlier that there is so much more to your “heart” than just your feelings. Your very thoughts, which you would say come from your mind, biblically also come from your “heart.”
Here’s what this means when it comes to your worship:
Worship doesn’t just come through how you “feel.” It also comes through how you “think.”
This is why a heavy proportion of the songs Jake picks each week for us to sing don’t simply repeat the same seven words eleven times (aka “7-11 Songs”). Not that there is something wrong with those songs (after all, some of the heavenly creatures sing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” without ceasing (see Revelation 4:8).) But a steady diet of lyrically repetitive songs tends to lead a person (or church) to engage the emotional side of the heart more than the mental side. But because Jake and I want you to worship God with all of your mind (Mark 12:30), he selects songs that seek to engage your mind as much as your emotions.
This also means worship doesn’t just happen in song. To worship with your mind can also happen while
- reading your Bible,
- listening to a sermon,
- having a discussion in your Growth Group or a friend,
- reading a book designed to help you grow spiritually (like Gospel by J.D. Greear),
- reading an apologetics book designed to challenge you mentally (like Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin)
- and more.
Therefore, I encourage you to grow spiritually by worshiping God with your mind. Keep seeking Him, growing in “knowledge and depth of insight” (Philippians 1:9-10), so that you may worship Him with ALL of your mind.