I’ve been prayer journaling quite a bit lately. In the journal, I’ve been asking God to help me with my words and my tone. Those requests are pretty much somewhere in every entry that’s been written. After realizing this, I started asking God why this is such a struggle. As always, God answered. He reminded me of this scripture…
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV) The NLT says it like this, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Our heart is really “ground-zero” for us. It is the seat of our emotions and it is the starting point of all of our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Everything you are allowing into your heart (eyes, ears, spirit) affects your whole being. Your heart is the most important thing you have, physically and spiritually. It is the one possession that should matter “above all else”.
Our society values beauty, wealth, fame, possessions, etc., but our God cherishes your heart the most. In our day and time, with all that’s on television, social media, and in everyday life, how do we guard our heart above all else? Here are 3 ways:
The first way is for it to be our number one priority. Nothing else should be more important than filtering what we are letting into our minds, our homes and our families. We also have to be willing to evaluate our habits and actions honestly. Is what we are watching, saying, and doing bringing honor to God? Is it pushing me toward Jesus or causing stagnation in that area of my life?
Guarding our heart also includes seeking God to minimize the junk that’s coming in. The next two verses in Proverbs 4 say, “Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” If I’m spending time with Him, he’s talking to me about my habits, my thoughts, and my speech while gently correcting those areas.
If we aren’t seeking Him, when does He have the opportunity to confront those things that are holding us back?
The third way is by the transforming truth of God’s love and His Word. The Scripture isn’t a collection of facts. It is ALIVE and sharper than any two edged sword! The prophet Jeremiah describes God’s Word as a fire that burns in a man’s soul and a hammer that shatters a rock to pieces. I want more of that in my life!
Above all else, God values the hearts of His people. The heart is unseen by anyone else and it is the only thing that is eternal.
My prayer for myself and for you is that we learn how to better guard our heart and that we have clean hearts. David writes in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (vs. 10) Imagine what blessings and life could flow from our heart if what is coming in is good, perfect and holy!