To me, one of the most life-impacting verses in the Bible is Proverbs 4:23.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV, bold added)
To better illuminate this verse below are a few other translations:
- Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)
- Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. (NASB)
- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (KJB)
- Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. (Holman Christian Standard)
- Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life. (ISV)
Could it be true?….could we see the heart as the spring of life, the source of your life, the course of your life or that everything you do flows from your heart?
That’s a tall statement.
EVERYTHING in our life flows from our heart. The source of life is not our mind? Our best rational thinking?
If the heart is the “wellspring of life”, then we need to elevate the worth of the heart, recognize its tremendous value, watch over it and care for it as we would anything of great value…as you would, for example, an original Monet painting.
If everything flows from our heart then we have to agree that includes a long list of both good and bad – all our anger, joy, jealousy, disappointments, bitterness, mistrust, laughter, truth, dreams, hatred, betrayal, disgust, vindictiveness, kindness and patience….all this comes from our heart according to Proverbs 4:23.
If you accept this, then our heart has to be one of the most, if not THE most, important things we can consider in our life. Surely, it must be the most valuable part of our being.
…and if it’s that important, then we should be in touch with our hearts. But, if you’re like me, you may often live your life from your mind; only considering what you can see and think rationally. No doubt, the mind is a valuable asset given to us by God, but the verse did not say “from the mind are springs of life”.
Many of us also tend to stuff things down in our heart and “close the door”. Seldom it seems, in our busy world, are we sensitive to the urgings of our heart.
My encouragement today is that you ask God what He wants you to know about your heart. What does He think of your heart? I encourage you to ask Him to help you deal with the things that are stuck down in the depths of your heart that you’ve overlooked perhaps for years.
If you want illumination in this area, I encourage you to pray this prayer or something like it:
Father, I want a pure heart. I want a clean heart. I want to pay attention to my heart, because you said it is the wellspring of all of my life. I confess I’ve overlooked my heart and kept far away from it. I’ve chosen to live from my intellect alone. Father, show me what you want me to know about my heart. Help me love you with ALL my heart. Speak to me now in this silence about my heart. What do you want to say to me about this beautiful verse. In Christ name, Amen
Now pause in silence for just a few minutes to allow God to speak to you about this idea that “out of the heart flow all the issues of life”.
On the next blog, we’ll talk about the first part of the verse…guarding your heart.