One routine I enjoy doing for my devotional and prayer time is to read a chapter in Proverbs. I really like Proverbs 4:23 (ESV): Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Notice the impact of its meaning when read in its context…
Proverbs 4:20 (NLT) My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. 25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
One thing I should take extremely serious—no matter what my stage of life—is to guard my heart well!
- “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
- To KEEP is to GUARD. It is to WATCH or PROTECT. It is to PAY ATTENTION to any threats. It is to SHIELD from harm.
- With all VIGILANCE is like guarding a prisoner you do not want to escape or keeping watch of something very valuable that you don’t want damaged or stolen.
- Example: Football player running with ball. The more he is guarded, the farther he can go.
- My most valuable asset in life is my HEART CONDITION!
- Why? It directly influences how I VIEW life and how EFFECTIVE I am in life.
In the Bible, the heart represents the CORE of who I am.
- It represents my inner self, my intellect (issues involving my mind), my emotions (how I feel about things), and my will (my desires, motivation, purpose, resolve, or ability to choose).
- The heart thinks and feels, remembers and desires, and chooses a course of action.
- My heart—my heart condition—is impacted by what I think about, what I talk about, what I look at, and where I go (or what I experience).
- Inversely, if I carefully guard my heart then it will guide my thoughts, my words, my dreams, my desires, my experiences, and so.