Guard your heart
Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23 in the New Living Translation Bible says “Above all else” – ‘guard your heart for it determines the course of your life”. Another version says ‘from our hearts flow the springs of life’. What are these springs of life? The picture is that our hearts are like a stream that continually flows out to influence people around who encounter us. Jesus said that as we believe in our Lord Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit “out of our bellies will flow rivers of living water”. John 7 verse 38.
How do we guard our hearts? Some ways are by paying attention to what we are listening to; what things are we watching; reading and mediation on God’s word; awareness of the words coming out of our mouths and being aware of what we do – our behavior.
Philippians 4 verse 7 says its possible ‘to experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as we live IN Christ Jesus” How?
The previous verse 6 tells us how this is available to us “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done”. Our Lord and Friend is the good Shepherd, Who cares deeply and wants to be intimately involved in our lives. He takes delight in the prayer of the upright. Proverbs 15 verse 8.
Proverbs 4 verse 20 gives a key to keeping our hearts… ‘pay attention to what I say’, ‘listen carefully’ ‘ don’t lose sight of my words’ let them penetrate deep into your heart’ – for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body’.
This is a much loved and often quoted verse of scripture and the promise is amazing…..Life and healing to the whole body. Again, not in our own strength, but as Ephesians 5:18 says ‘be ever filled and stimulated by the Holy Spirit”. Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom and He has come to live in us and with us to teach us how to navigate every day circumstances and challenges in our lives. James tells us ‘if you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. “ Ask in faith – we know our God is faithful. He wants to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His Names sake – beside still waters – into green pastures of rest. He has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies; and never leaves nor forsake us.