As I grow closer to Christ, one resounding lesson has been made apparent to me: guard your heart. To be honest, I thought I knew how to guard my heart but the more I prayed, I realized I didn’t. So I set out on an adventure with Jesus to find out how to guard my heart. But every timed I prayed, I never asked God. So one humbling moment in prayer, I gently felt God tell me, “just ask”. So I simply asked God, “how do I guard my heart?” At first I didn’t want to listen because I thought I had the answer (yes, I can be stubborn); but soon enough, I remembered the only way to know Gods heart is to dive into His promising word.
When you analyze the heart, it’s the most vital organ within the human body. It’s the organ that pumps and circulates blood to the rest of the organs. Essentially speaking, it’s the control center, the command room. If the heart is responsible for making sure the blood is flowing to and from, then it is crucial that it is guarded.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Just as the blood flows from within us so do our thoughts, actions, devotions, passions, and loves. So essentially what we devote our hearts to is what will flow from the inside out. In Ezekiel 20:16, it says, “. . . For their hearts were devoted to their idols.” The Israelites, Gods chosen people, had completely abandoned God & His love for them. They chose to set their sights on idols. They chose to devote their time to worshipping idols instead of setting their hearts on heavenly things. Sometimes we think that idols have to be elaborate statues made of gold but in this day and age, idols can be anything. They can be something as subtle as a T.V. show. It can even be a person, a hobby, gossip, or an addiction. Idols come in all shapes and forms and they certainly don’t discriminate. So if we allow our hearts to idolize and worship things that are not of God, then we aren’t guarding our hearts.
In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you treasure worthless things, things that do not have value; if you worship people or relationships, then you will bear no good fruit. As Gods chosen, he calls us to abandon all forms of idolizing because it stands in the way of your relationship with Jesus. And if something stands in the way of you and God then that “thing” or “person” isn’t allowing you to bear good fruit that glorifies God.
Our hearts thoughts are what lead to our actions. So if what we treasure isn’t leading to good action then we aren’t guarding our hearts. In Matthew 12: 34-35, Jesus says, “. . . For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” If your heart is full of anger, jealousy, hatred, and pride then what you do will reflect that. Your actions will be drenched in the things that anger and pride produces. But if your heart is full of love, joy, and peace then your actions will be just that. You’ll give generously to those in need, you’ll abandon all pride and forgive freely. But this can only come through guarding your heart. If we don’t guard our hearts, then we aren’t allowing God to free us, teach us, mold us, and love on us, so that we may help and serve others. Because essentially guarding our hearts is crucial, so that we may better serve those that God places in our lives.
In Galatians 5: 13, it says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Love comes from God and it flows through the heart, so in order for that to happen, we need to filter what enters into our hearts by what we entertain and who we hang around with. I remember growing up my father used to tell me this: “tell me who you hang around with and I’ll tell you who you are.” What you surround yourself with, more often than not, is what influences you greatly. What is around you will eventually enter into your heart and mind and in turn, will be what you also put out.
In order to guard your heart, the most vital part within you that gives you all direction, it needs to be undivided. Psalm 86: 11 says, ” . . . Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” When the heart is divided, it cannot focus on heavenly things above. It cannot function well enough to circulate the things of God. The heart is where everything springs from so if it is contaminated by division, it is not guarded. Division is not of God. He unifies and in order to do that, we need to be willing to set our sights on one thing: God. Once we set our focus on God, positivity, freedom, love, peace, joy, light, and unity begin to flow from within us. Colossians 3:1 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” If Jesus is in heaven on His glorious throne, then that is where our hearts should be rooted. That is how we guard our hearts.
Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace that Jesus gives is like a veil that covers our hearts. We need to allow God to place that veil over our hearts so that He may filter all that comes through it. He will instruct you in His ways on what to keep within your heart and what to throw away.
You guard your heart by:
1] Devoting your heart to God
2] Allowing Gods peace, through Jesus, to guard your heart.
3] Keeping an undivided heart
All of this comes from spending quality time with God. That quality time can only be centered through prayer which is simply talking to God, reading His word, and spending time with people that are also after Gods heart.
I pray that this would encourage you to guard your heart because it is where God does his best work within you. And when you allow God to work on you from the inside out, then what you do reflects Jesus’ love to the outside world.
With love & many blessings 🙂