Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Heart Guarding

Heart Guarding
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
What does it mean to Guard your heart?  Well when I think of guarding something, it's about protecting it.  In the military if you guard something, it means you will protect it all costs.  If your playing sports guarding someone is to keep them from scoring.
What I like about the phraseology of this verse of scripture is that it says ABOVE ALL ELSE, which implies to me that the most important thing you can do as a Christian is to "GUARD YOUR HEART" and why?  Well the verse tell us why, "for everything you do flows from it."   What does that mean for the Christian? It means our HEART is the source.  It means our heart is where we decide to hate or love, forgive or be bitter,  sin or overcome temptation, to lose our temper or learn coping skills, to gossip or keep our mouth shut, to be mean or nice, to hurt or help others, you get the point? It all flows from our heart.
We may start thinking thoughts in our minds, but eventually it is our heart that decides between what God wants and what we want.  So, it's our jobs to guard our heart.  We do should keep out and not let anything sinful, hurtful, ugly, or awful into our hearts, and we should protect it at all cost.  We do not want the devil or sin to enter our hearts, because it if does, our heart will flow with all sorts of wrongs, evils, and bad things.  That is why guarding your heart from these types of things is so important.
Feelings, emotions, attitudes, and other things can all tempt us to want to allow our hearts to become hard, calloused, or dark, but if we keep an alert and watchful eye on our heart, we'll be able to guard it from allowing such negative and harmful things to fill our heart and then flow out into our lives and hurt and harm ourselves or others.
I have seen first hand, going to church, calling yourself a Christian, and even doing good deeds doesn't mean you have a good heart. Churches are full of "Christians" who might do good things, but they come with strings attached, baggage, hidden agendas, or behaviors and attitudes that do not reflect a heart like God. What's the issue? It's an unguarded heart, that has been allowed to be filled with envy, bitterness, rage, resentment, jealousy, selfishness, guilt, hate, you name it, whatever it is it does a lot of damage and attending church or doing church things and calling ourselves Christians is not going to keep us from sinning or having a bad heart, it's guarding it that is going to keep us straight so that we go to church for the right reasons and worship with the right heart, serve with the right attitude, wear the name of Christian with honor, and have a good witness and testimony to others.
I give you the plea that the Proverb gives you today, no matter what you do, where you go, what your circumstances, struggles, or problems.  ABOVE ALL ELSE, guard your heart, because it's where everything flows from.


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