The heart is the most important part of the body. If the heart does not pump blood, every bodily function will cease. The brain also is important, but even after the brain has been deemed incapable of thought and speech, the heart will continue to function. Because the heart is critical to survival, it is subject to major attacks physically and spiritually. Cleansing the heart is the single most important endeavor for any disciple of Jesus. It begins with a decision to make Jesus the only ruler of the solar plexus region which is just above the stomach.
The Scriptures reference the existence not only of evil spirits, but also of spiritual entities referred to as rulers, authorities and principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Biblically, a ruler is a spiritual entity that can take control over entire sections of the body or over the entire body. He can place a covering over the area to designate it as his territory. Evil spirits, such as the spirit of greed, directly entice us into sin. Rulers do not directly lead us into sin. However, they upset our spiritual and emotional balance and may result in sinful activity. Our enemy the devil has countless rulers of every kind that occupy various parts of the body. Some rulers generate spiritual action and others cause inaction or a failure to respond. Rulers that lead to inaction include laziness and lack of compassion. Examples of rulers used by the devil to generate spiritual action are fear and anxiety.
There are at least nine principal action-generating rulers that can occupy the heart and prevent a person from genuinely surrendering to God. They include fear and anxiety mentioned above, obsessiveness, compulsions to engage in specific repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, argumentativeness, envy, passivity or shyness, ingratitude, and addictive personalities. These rulers must all be thoroughly evicted from the heart in order to truly make Jesus ruler and Lord.
The act of cleansing the heart is not unlike ordinary confession and repentance. It involves facing squarely the specific ruler, demanding that he exit the heart region, and closing the door to reentry. The first step is to identify the rulers that govern your heart. Pray about each one specifically and individually. Make a list of all the actions these leaders cause you to engage in. Commit to replacing the actions with different actions that are in keeping with your decision to make Jesus Lord of your life.