(From the Soul
Searching radio series 1983-92)
By Keith Newman
THE LIFE FORCE of the human animal is in the blood
flowing through the veins. When our lifeblood is spilled our tenure as
temporary custodians of the planet comes to a sudden close. and then just as he had
promised the power fell.
The internal biological pump; that complex mass of muscle we call the
heart is regular as clockwork and as reliable as a machine. It is our
central support system. The heart continually propels litres of liquid
life through a network of fine tubes. Gently and rhythmically the heart
labours away putting out as much effort as it would take to lift a tonne weight five stories high.
Like a power station generating energy for a massive underground city,
the human heart actually outputs an electrical field equal to one
millionth of the earth’s magnetic field.
The heart is a most sensitive organ. If you get a sudden shock or fright
the first reaction comes from your heart. Your whole system goes into
overdrive, the brain has squirted a dose of adrenaline into the
bloodstream so the body can cope with whatever it is you're faced
People have been known to find hidden resources of strength in such
times. Cars have been miraculously lifted off children by mothers who
never considered that they couldn't do it. Great distances have been
covered in short times by normally unfit folk, amazing endurance and
courage has been found by others in their moment of dire need.
In anger we can begin to shake, and sometimes the heart responds so
dramatically we can hear the blood pounding in our ears. Preparing to go
on stage before a crowd of people, for some, can have our hearts feeling
like the epicentre of an earthquake as we battle to keep our knees from
The heart also seems to know when we are sad, down, and lonely or
suffering from a broken relationship. The heart is such a finely tuned
instrument that it seems to react to almost every change in our
circumstances. The excitement of being near somebody special, or falling
in love can have the poor old thing almost doing summersaults inside.
In fact emotion and sensitive reaction have become so identified with
the heart that we often speak of it as the seat of our inward life. The
heart is often referred to as the centre of our will and understanding -
the core of our moral and spiritual life - the spiritual headquarters of
In the Bible the Apostle Peter talks of the "hidden man of the
heart''. Paul a teacher with direct revelation from Jesus Christ
explains that everyone receives from life what they put into it,
according to the attitude of their heart. Christ's disciple Matthew
explains that wherever our priorities lie there our heart will also be
focused. And doctor Luke in his gospel says the qualities of our words
and activities will soon betray just what state our hearts are in.
In the Old Testament the Psalms tell us "the fool has said in his
heart there is no God''- but the Psalmist also writes "if
we delight ourselves in God he will give us the desires of our heart''.
AFTER JESUS HAD walked this planet as a man tested and
tried in every aspect of life, as we all are, he made some amazing
promises to those who would dare follow in his footsteps.
He told a group of his followers to wait for the empowerment of the Holy
Spirit - the agent of God's power - to come upon them. So they waited,
120 of them,
The followers of Jesus were so full of life that day for God had begun a
new thing in their lives and indeed in history. It had begun in his Son
and would yet culminate in the establishment of the heavenly kingdom in
Many among that multitude who heard Peter tell of the things that Jesus
had done cried out with a deep desire to be released from their bondage
and to know the sweet presence of God’s spirit. They were touched by
words spoken with great authority - they were pricked in their hearts.
Many called out to Peter asking what they must do. Peter told them they
must believe in God and make him the prime motivation in their lives.
They must adjust their way of thinking and leave behind selfish ways of
living. As an outward sign of their sincerity he asked them to be
baptised, ‘made fully wet with water’ representing the transition
from the old life into the new. Old things
would then be considered washed away and the new begin with a clean
Peter proclaimed that God was now able to set them free from their inner
turmoil,guilt and fear. For their faithfulness they would receive
forgiveness, deliverance and liberty. He told them they'd been living
life backwards - missing the mark. But now because they had faith -
because they believed they would receive a gift'' from God- a
down-payment on the life to come.
This was the same Holy Spirit which descending upon the 120 followers of
Jesus in the upper room - the life giving pure breath of the Heavenly
Father. The same offer of the gift''
is made to all people everywhere today.
Anyone with the desire to become a son or daughter of God can respond to
the life and teachings of Christ. He alone is the author of salvation-
he sets a new dimension in motion in our lives. He allows us to become
who we are meant to be. He releases us to our potential and sets upon
the task of bringing us to ‘wholeness, completeness, spiritual health.’