It has been said that there is a distance of eighteen inches between the head and the heart—a separation of a foot and a half.
When I look back, I realize I was oftentimes just eighteen inches from victory. Only eighteen inches of steep terrain needed to be conquered. The distance of eighteen inches may seem short, but the road is extremely long and winding. Yet this distance can definitely be shortened and the road made much less turbulent when we make a vital connection.
In 1991 Dr. J. Andrew Armour introduced the idea that the heart has its own brain. In his book Neurocardiology Armour revealed that the heart “has an elaborate circuitry that allows it to act independently of the cranial brain—to learn, remember, even sense and feel.”1
This extremely important information would confirm what I had felt all these years—and prove that I wasn’t a weirdo! I also realized that if this was, in fact, true, then number one, the Bible would confirm it (because science will ultimately prove what God has written in His Word). Number two, I wouldn’t be the only one sensing this deep divide on the inside.
According to the research, the brain in the head is connected to the brain in the heart. The two brains send messages to each other through thousands of neurons and tiny filaments, but the messages don’t necessarily coincide.2
To us laymen this may seem to be just some boring medical information that has nothing to do with us or our spiritual life. But I assure you it has everything to do with us. This affects every facet of our lives, especially our spiritual life.
Think about the reality behind this truth.
Don’t we oftentimes say things like, “My mind is telling me one thing, but my heart is saying something else”?
This is why our behaviors often are out of sync with what we profess to believe.
No bona fide, born-again Christian would dare read the Word and say outright, “Well, I really don’t believe that,” or, “I think God is a liar because what I feel doesn’t match up at all with what I read.”
This is why many times we can hear a sermon, walk out of church believing that we can scale a wall, truly know that God’s Word is yea and amen, and yet a week later find that the excitement behind that life-changing truth has fizzled out. It’s as though the revelation thief stole the faith we had to live out the truth we received.
I don’t think the problem was with our ability to believe the truth in our minds.
I believe that as the truth was working its way down into our heart, it was suddenly rejected and expelled by the heart’s brain because of some fear and past experience. We had a heart attack of sorts. The heart is the seat of our emotions, not the mind. It’s where all the action in our lives takes place. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
It doesn’t say as a man thinks in his head.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (nkjv, emphasis added). It doesn’t say, “Trust in the Lord with all your head”! The Bible clearly differentiates between the head and the heart. Psalm 26:2 says, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart” (nkjv, emphasis added).
Although the battle in our minds is very real, I don’t think we can ignore this other battlefront that must be won in the heart.
The war raging in the mind is only half the battle. The heart’s brain must be healed from all the years of disappointment and rejection. We need God to heal our broken hearts—or shall we say the broken way our hearts think!
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So let’s start to take the eighteen-inch trek from our heads all the way down into the deep valley of our hearts, so we can slay the giants that are defying God’s promises and blocking our blessings!
Hear Maria share her story and talk about the book this week: Daystar – Marcus & Joni, Wednesday 12:00 PM, 9:00 PM, & 1:00 AM EST.
Watch Maria share her story below:
- As quoted in Mark C. Crowley, Lead From the Heart: Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century (Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2011), 41.
- Caroline Leaf, “The Three Brains,” http://drleaf.com/about/ scientific-philosophy/ (accessed October 7, 2014).
Copyright © 2015 by Maria Durso, All Rights Reserved. Purchase a copy of my new book, From Your Head to Your Heart, on Amazon here.