“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23
I remember when I first went off to college, how vastly different it was from living in the comforts of home. One of the first things I noticed was that I had this freedom as a college student that I had never had before. It was pretty amazing to do what I wanted as long as I attended class and studied. I also remember receiving notes and care packages from my parents. They lived twelve hours away four states over. In these notes that either my Mom or Dad would write, there was always this phrase at the end of the note that has always stuck with me…it would read: “guard your heart”
Those three words were more than just a sentiment written from parent to child, it was truly the beginning of wisdom for me. It helped develop in me this notion that I was living for more than just myself- but for Christ. Since that time, this verse has always been special to me, and has helped me through some very difficult, even rebellious times.
The truth of this verse is evident in our daily lives.
You and I will face discouragement, frustrations, trouble, and temptation! The Father of lies would love nothing more than to distract and destroy this faith that we have in Christ. That is why he works so hard to disrupt our lives. But we cannot give Satan all of the credit, we are to blame many times as well. We make poor choices, we stray from this faith journey…and we leave our hearts unguarded. There are some followers of Christ who have been swept away because of temptations and poor choices which have struck the unguarded heart. Today, know that what we choose to do, how we conduct ourselves, with whom we choose to associate – all matters. The content of our lives – the things we put into our brains through the things we see and hear -all matters! Be cautious and guard your heart from such trappings! This relationship thing that we have with Christ is an amazing thing! Don’t throw it away and exchange it for temporary pleasures and fleeting happiness. The joy and peace Christ offers to us all is everlasting!
So let me know ask you a personal question today:
Are there areas in your life right now that you are susceptible to the lures of temptation? Have you left your hearts unguarded? Get serious about this faith journey, and know that even Christians (especially Christians) can stumble and fall into temptation! Brothers and sisters in Christ – Guard your hearts!!
Prayer: Lord, I confess that there are areas of my life right now that I have left the door open to the trappings of temptation. These area include ________________(you list them). Surround me with other believers who can hold me accountable and challenge me. Remind me of your love and this hope that I have in you today! Help me again, dear Lord, to guard my heart ! In your name I pray these things. -Amen.
heart-guarding is a discipline. And like other disciplines, lazy creeps in. About the time I feel like maybe “I got this” well, you get the rest of the plot. Spiritual maturity presumes no immunity; but it sure knows what to watch out for, and the good and healthy to cultivate in its place.