“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:32)
We’ve all had that awful, burning sensation in our upper chest and throat that is referred to as heartburn, although it rarely has anything to do with our heart. But there is one “heartburn” that is decidedly good, with no discomfort at all associated with it. On the contrary, it offers immense comfort. I’m talking about “spiritual heartburn,” of course.
The two men in the story found in Luke twenty-four had walked with the risen Lord all day, without realizing who He was. You may find this hard to believe, but remember, they knew Jesus was dead and buried, and not even his closest disciples were expecting a miracle. We can only imagine how demoralized they all must have been. Finally, however, at the end of the day, and oddly enough, as they were all eating, their spiritual eyes were suddenly opened, and someone must have said, “It’s Jesus!” Looking back, they reasoned, “We should have known Who He was because of the way our hearts burned when He opened the Scriptures to us.”
This story only bears out what Paul told the Corinthian believers in 2 Corinthians 2:5:16. Though they might have known Christ “after the flesh,” at one time; now, he explained, they would recognize him by sound rather than sight. That’s the way it works now. You and I should not be looking for Him in visions of the night, random impressions, or “ecstasies” of spirit. We will see Him, and know Him, by the sound of His voice in the Word He has left us. If—if—we are one of His, He will speak to us from its pages, and our hearts will burn. Every reading may not be blindingly enlightening, but every reading will be pleasantly familiar. “My sheep know my voice,” Jesus assures us (John 10:27). That’s just the way it is.
Don’t go all day, as these men did, without recognizing the risen Savior by your side. Make sure you have opened the Scriptures and listened for His Voice. Then, as the two of you walk together, don’t be surprised if you suddenly become aware of a burning sensation in your heart of hearts. Ah, there it is: spiritual heartburn!
“He walks with me, and he talks with me, and He tells me I am His own;
And the joys we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
— C. Austin Miles