Guard Your Heart
“Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
In our culture, the heart is usually used to refer to the emotions, but in Scripture it can refer to the mind, the thinking process, the will and the understanding. “As he thinks in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
Sin is primarily a condition of the heart, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it.”, (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV). None of us can say, “I have kept my heart pure, I am clean and without sin”, (Proverbs 20:9 NIV).
Jeremiah 31:3-34 tells us about the corruption of the heart which ruined Israel, and God’s promise to forgive sins and write His laws on our hearts. The word ‘heart’ appears over 850 times in the NJKV, and Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”, or in the NCV,”Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.” Sin threatens us every day and John MacArthur in his book “Our Awesome God”*, says “Our heart is like a castle that is in danger of assault every hour from the world, the flesh and the Devil.” (page 120).
Proverbs 2:1 and 3:1-5 tell us we have to trust God with all our hearts and apply our hearts to understanding. That’s what Mary did. Martha was toiling away in the kitchen, her mind (heart) on herself. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and applied her mind (heart) to understanding (Proverbs 2:2). You could say, ‘It’s not the table you lay, but your heart that is laid open to God’s Word’, and spiritual food is more important than physical food.
Philippians 4:7 tells us God will keep constant guard over our hearts. Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts, will we let Him in? (Revelation 3:20).
Father in heaven, please give us hearts to know you better and to trust in you with all our hearts.
Study by Jill Newman
*Published by Crossway Books 2001