“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Because your heart is extremely valuable. We don’t guard worthless things. I take my garbage to the street every Wednesday night. It is picked up on Thursday morning. It sits on the sidewalk all night, completely unguarded. Why? Because it is worthless.
Not so with your heart. It is the essence of who you are. It is your authentic self—the core of your being. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and other people.
Just like your physical body, if your heart—your spiritual heart—dies, your leadership dies. This is why Solomon says, “Above all else.” He doesn’t say, “If you get around to it” or “It would be nice if.” No, he says, make it your top priority.
Because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions.
In Tennessee, where I live, we have thousands and thousands of natural springs, where water flows to the surface of the earth from deep under the ground. It then accumulates in pools or runs off into creeks and streams.
If you plug up the spring, you stop the flow of water. If you poison the water, the flow becomes toxic. In either situation, you threaten life downstream. Everything depends on the condition of the spring.
Likewise, if your heart is unhealthy, it has an impact on everything else. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and, indeed, your legacy. It is, therefore, imperative that you guard it.
Because your heart is under constant attack. When Solomon says to guard your heart, he implies that you are living in a combat zone—one in which there are casualties.
Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war. We have an enemy who is bent on our destruction. He not only opposes God, but he opposes everything that is aligned with Him—including us.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Psalm 32:2
We cannot deceive God. Twice in the Acts God is called “the Heartknower” (Acts 1:24; 15:8). But we can deceive ourselves. Here are four differences between deceit and honesty in our hearts.
One, a deceitful heart doesn’t know its sin because it doesn’t want to know. But an honest heart is saying, “Bring it on.”
Two, a deceitful heart notices how well a sermon applies to someone else. But an honest heart is too concerned about itself to judge another.
Three, a deceitful heart, when it isn’t growing, blames its inertia on hardship or its church or even on God himself. But an honest heart says, “It’s my fault. I need to get in gear.”
Four, a deceitful heart delays response. It says, “I’ll get around to it, even soon. But I can’t right now.” An honest heart puts God first. Delayed obedience is a way of saying, “I’m setting the terms. I am Lord.” But an honest heart says, “Lord, whatever you want – right now.” An honest heart says, with the old hymn,
The dearest idol I have known, whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne and worship only thee.
Reposted from Ray Ourtlun’s blog
Matthew 11:12 (New Living Translation)
12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing,[a] and violent people are attacking it.
I always daydreamed about being this great action hero (You know Rambo, Batman, Superman all rolled into one). In my head I can see myself as this vicious fighter. Take no prisoners kind of guy. If you know me, that’s definitely the opposite from who I am on the outside. But it has always been my dream.
I know in my head and especially in my hear that I’m called to be a Mighty Warrior for God, but I’ve really struggled with putting it into practice. So when I came across this post by Seth Barnes, it really was right on with how I want to be.
“Look, hell, you may have taken my loved one away. You may have robbed me of something I held dear. You may have marked me for destruction, but I sure as heck (go ahead and say “hell” if you’re feeling particularly righteous) am not going to sit here and take it! I am going to fight you for what God has given me. Society may place a premium on being nice and looking proper, but I don’t have any more room in my life for nice! I will fight you tooth and nail for what is mine, and furthermore, now that you’ve riled me up, I will exact a price for this. Where I’ve been complacent, I will start putting on the Ephesians 6 armor. Where I’ve been passive, I will start praying warfare prayers. Instead of sleeping in, I’m going to start getting up early and praising God. I’ve had it – I’m not going to sit still any longer! I know there’s a warrior’s spirit in me somewhere, and I intend to summon it up!”
I’m going to focus on this for awhile, and try to begin to walk it out.