Safeguarding Your Heart
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23 NIV
There is a story I read once of a wealthy man who enjoyed collecting rare works of art. He had many pieces in his collection from Picasso to Raphael. During the Vietnam War his son died in battle rescuing another soldier, and the man grieved deeply for him. One day a young man stopped by and dropped off a large package. It was the soldier who had been rescued, and he said to the older gentleman, “I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. I’m not much of an artist, but I think you’ll want to have this picture.” When the old man opened it, it was a portrait of his son, and tears began flooding his eyes at the way his son’s personality was captured in the painting. “It’s a gift,” said the young man. The painting became the father’s most prized possession, and within a few months he passed away. There was an auction held for his famous collection of paintings, and many influential people attended. “We will start the bidding with this piece.” said the auctioneer, holding up the portrait of the man’s son.” “Who will start the bid?” There was silence and angry muttering as they waited for the valuable paintings to be auctioned off. Finally, a voice came from the back of the room; it was the family gardener. “I will give $10 for the painting. It’s all I can afford.” Suddenly someone shouted from the crowd, “Give it to him for $10 and let’s get on with the auction!” The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “Going once, going twice, sold for $10!” Then he stood up and said, “The auction is now over. The will stipulates that whoever buys this painting of the son inherits the entire estate. The man who take the son gets everything.”
Why did I tell this story? Because just like this rare work of art, we must learn to also guard our heart. Just like the son in the story Jesus gave everything on the cross. When you receive and choose to follow Him, you get all the covenant blessings and promises He had. Yet when we go through life, be it Satan, temptations, or other people, there are things and people who will try to mislead us and steer our hearts in the wrong direction than where God wants us. This is why it’s important to guard our heart, as it states in Proverbs. Another way to look at it is when you see a city that is heavily guarded. They don’t only have a boarder around the city, there’s also people patrolling all around the city keeping watch against any attacks from oncoming enemies. They are literally “on guard” against the enemy, just as we should be.
What happens when we guard our hearts?
Peace that surpasses all understanding:
According to Job 11:18 we will be at peace. The world is a very chaotic place right now, we are currently dealing with a global pandemic, political unrest, racial injustice, and the list goes on and on. Never before has peace been something we as believers should cling to and share with the world. However, peace isn’t something we can get or keep on our own. The Bible talks about not we achieve these things, not in our own strength but His alone.
God is on our side, so we automatically win:
We see in Deut. 1:30 that God is on our side, another scripture says He is fighting our battles. This means, as the scripture says in Romans*, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) There will be times where we don’t even have to fight at all. 2 Chron. 20:17 shows us how God fought on behalf of the Israelites and tells us not to be afraid because He will deliver them. How awesome is that?
As we guard our heart and study God’s Word we see a return investment, and it will open the doors of heaven, as scripture says, and pour out God’s blessings. This isn’t because of something we do, or a way to get God to move on our behalf, it moves us out of the way and allows God to love on us and positions us to receive His blessings.
Phil. 4:7 talks about God’s peace resting upon us, and where there is anxiety and chaos God said to choose His peace. Proverbs 4:4 says that we should take hold of God’s words and as we obey Him we will have life. How do we do this? By studying God’s Word, walking in obedience to what He says, and accepting the freedom that Jesus died for us to have. Just like I wrote in our previous post, which you can check out here, one of the ways we walk in the freedom of Christ is by renewing our mind and accepting who we are in Him.
Is there an area of your life that you have let down your guard, or allowed things to pollute your heart? It’s not to late to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Just as we need to take care of our emotional, physical, and mental health, we need to take care of our heart. Choose today to stand guard over your heart by speaking scriptures over yourself and your situation, and then refuse to allow any thoughts or what others say take root deep inside. After all, scripture says, “Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts, but bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.” What’s in your heart today?