If you have been to the doctor for a heart check-up, you know that you want to know exactly the condition of your heart. In the Bible the word heart is mentioned 963 times! We protect a lot of areas of our lives (money, appearance, popularity, cell phones) but often we do not guard our hearts!
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23
“Guard” or “Keep” is translated preserve, observe, watchers, or watchmen. The Hebrew word "natsar" is a command calling for continual watching.
The heart is the inner core of a person. The heart refers to the “mind, will and emotions.”
God examines our heart, not our outward appearance, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7. In our culture, we often hear people say, "follow your heart!" We need to understand that our hearts reveal we are lost! “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
“If you hate your brother, you are a murderer at heart…” Matthew 5:22 and “Look with lust, you commit adultery in your heart…” Matthew 5:28 “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Matthew 15:18-19
In order to guard our heart, we need to know the condition of your heart. How do we guard our heart?
- Mind: What you think becomes what you believe.
Satan is a terrorist. He wants to poison our minds from the truth of God’s Word. If our mind is dwelling on the opposite of what God's Word says, we will be fixed upon poison (Proverbs 23:7, 27:19). Our mind is the foundation for what we focus upon and live. "Give careful thoughts to the paths of your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” Proverbs 4:26
- Will: The attitude and response to life flows out of your heart.
Our arteries can harden and we can have a heart attack physically. Spiritually we can allow the trash of the world to invade our mind, will and emotions and lead to a hardened, flat-lined heart. A religious hypocrite is one who can perform outwardly but does not know Jesus internally. A follower of Christ has a closer, abiding relationship with Jesus.
- Emotions: Are my feelings in line with what Jesus says?
Proverbs 28:26, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” We have to discover what Jesus says about us and make sure our feelings are subject to His truth. God is jealous for our heart’s affection. He does not need it but desires it! Our heart finds purpose through a growing relationship with God.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 “
If God performed open heart surgery on you, what would we find? Do you have a relationship with Jesus or just religious ritual? Are you guarding your heart emotionally and spiritually?