“Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow all the issues of life“. – Proverbs 4:23
Last week, we looked at the idea that our heart is the most important part of who we are and that we need to be sensitive to it and guard it. While the world elevates and encourages us to operate from our mind, the Bible says that it’s the heart that’s truly at the center of our being – the true source of all life.
This week, we’ll look at some ways to guard your heart.
We all protect things that are important to us.
For instance, think of how you might protect an expensive diamond ring. You would want to keep it clean so it shines brilliantly, you’d avoid taking it to places where it could get scratched up, you might take it to the jeweler periodically for a deep cleaning, you might want to insure that it’s set in a really strong mounting so it doesn’t fall out and you would probably avoid allowing others to borrow it or hold it, since they may lose it or drop it.
Similarly, here are some ideas on guarding your heart:
- Oh, The Peace of God
- Perhaps the greatest way to guard our heart is to have the peace of God reigning fully in your heart. How to get that? Fully yield to Jesus in all matters, follow and obey Him, prefer Him, risk all for Him, seek and yearn for Him above all and in all. May this be true for you and me. Philippians 4:7 reminds us “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
- Pray for a Renewed Heart
- Ask God to create a clean/pure heart in you. Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” So, let’s ask God to work on our heart…to renew it.
- Pray that God Removes What Clutters the Heart
- Ask God to remove things that don’t build up your heart and relationship with Him; whether it’s our reputation, time watching TV, pride, social media overload, jealousy, fruitless hobbies or really anything that clutters or divides our heart.
- Pray for a Healed Heart
- Ask God to help you put to death and heal things that are in your heart – old hurts, persistent sin and long-time anxieties. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry“. Colossians 3:5
- Pray for Awareness to His Spirit’s Heart Promptings
- Seek awareness of His Spirit and promptings and how He may speak to your heart; be alert and vigilant to the things that come against your heart. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
- Seek Alone Time with God
- Get alone with God for extended periods of time to allow His truths to sink into your heart and to experience Him in your heart as Jesus modeled in Mark 1:35. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
- Seek Community to Help Protect Your Heart
- Surround yourself with people who support and love your heart and want the best for you. (this is why church and small groups are so valuable). Others can sometimes see things coming at your heart or in your heart that you can’t….we all have blind spots, right? Also, be careful who you let into your heart; sometimes timing of relationships or a person’s intentions may not be healthy for your heart.
- Meditate on Biblical Truth, the Breastplate over the Heart
- Read, meditate on and allow God’s truth to sink into our hearts. Ephesians 6:14 talks about girding yourself with the breastplate of righteousness (which covers the heart) and the belt of truth. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,” (ASB)
Father, show me the way to guard my heart. Help me to stay close to You, the giver of life. Help me to know and sense your nudges in my heart and soul. Give me wisdom. May Your truth and righteousness be my belt and breastplate to protect and guard my hearts. Lord, help me to turn to You for help and thank you for the idea of community and church so I can be encouraged and edified into the likeness of Christ. Jesus, I need you for this guarding of my heart. Thank you for being there for me and for giving me what I need. In Christ’s name, Amen.