We have seen the definition and function of the heart, the spirit, and the soul. Our relationship with the Lord is always begun and maintained by the heart. Of course, to contact the Lord is a matter of the spirit, but this must be initiated and maintained by the heart, for our heart is the gateway of our whole being. A building with many rooms always has an entrance and an exit; a person comes in by the entrance and goes out by the exit. When the entrance is closed, everyone is kept away from the rooms inside the building, but once it has been opened, people can enter the building and enjoy each room.
The heart is not a separate and exclusive part of our being but is composed of all the parts of the soul and a part of the spirit. Therefore, being such a composition, the heart becomes the very gateway of our whole being. In other words, the heart becomes both the entrance and the exit of our being. Whatever enters into us must enter through the heart. Whatever comes out from us must proceed through the heart.
For example, if our heart is not alert as we listen to a message, we will not get the substance of it. Or, when we are reading, we will receive nothing if our heart is not upon the content. Even while eating, if we do not have the heart to eat, we will not taste the food. This proves that the heart is the controlling organ. In order to control the whole building, we must be able either to close or open the door. So with the heart there is the power to close or open our whole being.
For this reason the preaching of the gospel must be guided by the Holy Spirit that it might hit the human heart. The most effectual way of preaching the gospel is to touch the human heart. If one can break through the heart, many persons can be gained. This is why unbelievers harden and close their heart to the gospel preaching. Regardless of how much we preach, when they close their heart, we cannot touch them. We cannot minister anything into them, because their “entrance” is closed. We must find a way, if we are going to preach effectively, to break through the entrance. The best preacher is the one who finds the key to unlock the heart.
Even the Lord Himself attracts us through our heart. He does not stir our spirit first. The seeking one in the very beginning of Song of Songs asks the Lord to attract her by His love so that she may love Him. The Lord comes to touch our heart with His love. This is why, after the resurrection, the Lord asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17). The love of the Lord is the best way to unlock the door of the heart. Therefore, the most effective way to open the heart is to preach the love of God. Once the heart is open, it is easy for the Holy Spirit to touch the spirit and all the parts of man’s being. This is true not only in gospel preaching but even in the ministry of Christian teaching.
(Excerpt from The Economy of God, ch. 8)