Guard Your Heart
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.
How does God intend for us to live? The book of Proverbs beautifully addresses very practical matters and provides wise instruction, so that we can be the servants God wants us to be. Living this type of life “watching your heart with all diligence...” is what God intends for us. In the Old Testament the word “heart” is used more than 800 times, but more than 200 times it deals with our thoughts, the emotions, those things that motivate and mold us. The Bible calls that the heart.
Why is this idea of guarding the heart so important? Why did Solomon tell his son, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” ? Because your thoughts control the rest of your lives. If you tell me what you think, I’ll tell you who you are and the life you live. What you think is what you are. Your thoughts control you.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Your thoughts—positive, negative, good, or bad—control your attitudes. Your attitudes are the sum total of your thoughts. Your attitudes lead to your actions.
The thought is the father of the deed -- good psychologists will tell you that. I read once, “Sow a thought, reap a deed. Sow a deed, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.” It all begins with what you think.
This idea is so fundamental that God destroyed the entire world because they had “heart trouble.” “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually before God.” Genesis 6:5. As a result of these hearts and actions, God sent the flood. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. We today still have the same problem they had.
How do we handle this problem? In Rom 12:2 Paul wrote, “Be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How do we change our actions? By changing how we think. What Solomon said to his son was to guard, protect, and be careful of your thoughts, in order to “…keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Christ wants us to present our bodies to Him as a “living sacrifice, holy & acceptable.” Rom. 12:1. The only way that can occur is if we are transformed. No wonder the devil battles for the mind. How important it is that we learn to keep our hearts, because a fierce battle is raging for the control of your mind.
When our heart is transformed, we think right, live right, do right. When God is absent, we think wrong, do wrong, live wrong. How am I going to guard my heart? Be careful what comes into your mind. You have to think pure thoughts.
It’s like the idea of displacement in my college fluids class. You get rid of one thing by displacing it with something else. You get rid of bad things in your heart by filling your heart with good things. Just think what’s right, and if you’re thinking what’s right, you can’t be thinking what’s wrong. Psalm 119:9-11, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You”. Hebrews 4:12, “The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword”. Get that word in your heart and use it.
If you want to know what is in your heart, just listen to what comes out of your mouth. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34. When your mind is clear and right with God, when you have the mind of Christ, when you’re being transformed by the word of God, then you’re going to be doing the will of God. As Solomon told his son in Proverbs 4, a God-controlled heart will govern your speech, guard your sight, and guide your steps.
We often think of the idea of guarding our heart, when it comes to our young people (which is a great thing for them to remember!), but these words of wisdom have just as much application to us as we grow older. Guarding our heart is something that we must do in order to resist the evil one.
How well are you Guarding Your Heart?
- Travis Everett