For the last several Januaries, I’ve made it a point to read A.W. Tozer. It’s a great way to reset my priorities, reminding me that the reason we are here on this earth is to know God and to make him known.

I’m currently reading Knowledge of the Holy. In that book’s introduction, Tozer uses a simple phrase in passing: “personal heart religion”.

That phrase struck me like a lightning bolt.

We don’t do a whole lot in the way of promoting personal heart religion these days. Faith has turned into a checklist of stances on different moral and political issues. We have neglected the personal side to our own peril. As my friend David Nasser has said, we’ll fight for the right to own a Bible, but we don’t ever crack it open.

As important as it is to make sure that things in the public space are a reflection of what God would want, how much more so is it that our hearts reflect God’s desires?

Make 2018 the year that you get serious about what’s going on inside your heart. Make a daily habit of prayer and Bible study. I am confident that it will spill over into your marriage, your family, and yes, even the community at large. But it all starts with personal heart religion.