Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. – Proverbs 4:23
Do you want to be made well? Who would not long for wellness? Doctors challenged me about the connection between my thought life and my health. While I echo their assertions, resistance pecked at my heart. Pill popper? Me? Not at all a believer in health short-cuts. Yet, I resisted the long-term, heart-level work connected with boosting my health. See, making things takes time and effort, and the process is often messy. The truth? I did not want to exert the personal effort involved in revitalizing my health. I had been through enough and needed help fast! Ever been there?
God desires truth in the inward places. My doctor uncovered areas of my head knowledge about God. And, he illuminated places in my heart lacking truth. The Bible defines the heart as the mind and thoughts, affections, and will. Do you guard items of no value? I sure don’t. We are to guard our minds, our emotions, and our wills. In fact, Scripture indicates that our hearts need the most guarding.
Daily, the heart-ensnaring battle explodes! Two opposing sides. Truth and Lies. The enemy’s ultimate strategy is the rejection of our identity in Christ. Meanwhile, the Father whispers of His unconditional love. He reveals His delight in us, His forgiveness, and paints portraits of our eternal purpose. This war has only one winner. And, our response to the enemy’s fiery arrows pinpoints where the most carnage falls.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. – John 10:10
Confession…I lack diligence at guarding my thoughts and emotions. It’s not that I am unaware of the need or the call. Rather, I prefer a short cut, an easy way out. Insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting different results. So, I battle insanity… and stubbornness! I want God to grab my hands and remove the physical mess. Well…, my lazy plan failed! So, I was made willing to take a different approach!
So, what does guarding our hearts look like? What can we do to keep our most valuable human treasure?
- All-Sufficient– Recognize that we are not capable of guarding our own hearts. Our part – a daily surrender of our hearts to the only One who is all-sufficient. And, He is capable of keeping us from falling.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6
- Awareness– Ask the Holy Spirit for an awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, we are unaware of our internal conversations and feelings. Let Him be the keeper of your heart, so you can guard it well.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. Psalm 139:2
- Action– Speak the truth from God’s Word to your heart. Each day, we have many conversations with ourselves. Often, these conversations expose the raging battle over our hearts. By speaking God’s truth, we demolish the lies of the enemy. In the wilderness, Jesus parked the Enemy with this strategy!
…And, speaks the truth in his heart. – Psalm 15:2
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.Isaiah 26:3