Solomon was the wisest man ever to walk this earth. In the book of Proverbs, he shares some gems that will prove useful to those who choose to apply them to their lives. Especially how to guard your heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~Proverbs 4:23~
Think of your heart as soil, being prepared to receive plants.
I’m no farmer but I know that loamy soil is one of the best soils to plant seeds in especially if there are other life forms like earthworms growing in it.
This is because loamy soil is aerated and has a rich moist balance. In comparison to clay, which is tough and limits the roots of plants due to lack of air.
Our heart was made to be like loamy soil; soft enough for God and others to reach us.
Pliable enough for change to take place where necessary and rich enough to be a blessing to others.
Our hearts are the reservoir for our feelings, desires, and choices so much effort is needed to protect that place where every root of every decision begins.
Be Alert and of Sober Mind
Guarding our hearts also speaks to being alert to possible infiltration of sin and temptation that can strip us from that rich moist place in God; to clay-like soil where our hearts become unresponsive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
Then we are drawn away by our fleshly desires to do what pleases us and displeases God.
Naturally, in its original state, the word of God states…
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9)
However once we’ve accepted Jesus Christ into our lives; a conversion takes place.
The Lord said to Ezekiel…
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
How to guard your hearts
Guard Your Heart By Reading & Applying the Word
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. The more we read God’s word, the less space and room we have for sin because the word helps us to keep focused and to be more like Christ. (Psalm 119:11)
Someone once said “once sin is in, the word is out and once the word is in, sin is out.”
The Word of God helps us to easily identify the plots and schemes of the enemy and is also the offensive weapon called the sword of the spirit to ward off satan’s attack on our minds and hearts.
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
guard Your Heart through Prayer
Prayer is having a daily conversation with God where we can let him know our thoughts, feelings, and struggles. It also gives God a chance to speak to us to address our every need.
Since we live in a sinful world, we will always be prone to sin.
That’s why prayer is so important. It is the avenue where we can confess where we’ve gone wrong and request additional help through the Holy Spirit to help us to make the right decisions.
a prayerless Christian is a powerless one.
Prayer is our heavenly connection that intercepts and destroys satan’s attempt to overthrow us.
Guard your heart through constant communion with our Lord while we remain in an active state of awareness of His presence is key
guard your heart through Fellowship
You are not in this fight alone. God has placed you among a body of believers that also have similar challenges as you.
It becomes a lot easier to guard your heart when you are surrounded by persons with similar mindsets.
The body of Christ provides support through encouragement, prayer, and the sharing of God’s word.
It’s also important to have believers as your close friends as they too will help to hold you accountable for your actions and decisions.
Pay Attention to What You Treasure
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Sometimes we need to stop and pay close attention to the things we place value on. We need to ask ourselves if it conflicts with the priority we should have in our walk with Jesus
Your treasure could take the form of money, your status, your possessions, etc and if you should lose those things, your relationship with Jesus also dies because that’s where your true loyalty lies.
be very careful of what you decide is important.
If it’s not Jesus, then you’ve got some repentance to do.
What to Guard your Heart Against
I know you are shouting “sin!” all at once and you are correct. Let’s break it down a bit into common categories as we explore further:
guard your heart against Lust
For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16)
Lust is that evil enticement for anything that opposes the will of God.
Whether its the desire for sexual activity outside of marriage, greed, or the craving for power no matter the cost; lust can destroy you.
Ask the Lord to protect you from urges brought about what you can see, the desire for power or the need to succumb to sinful appetites.
In the bible, we’ve seen how lust destroyed Samson; David sinned with Bathsheba, and brought Nebuchadnezzar from a King to a beast. Lust needs to be kept in check.
guard your heart against Murmuring/Complaining
God is against complaining.
It shows ingratitude to God for all that he has blessed you with and it also questions his ability to take care of you.
Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp (Numbers 11:1)
This was God’s response to the Israelites no matter what He did for them; little or no appreciation was expressed.
Complaining limits your blessings.
Rebellion and Hardness of Heart
This is direct opposition and a blatant declaration that you will not come into obedience. Our life can only be fruitful if it’s marked by obedience to God’s word.
Wanting to do things based on your desire even when God makes many attempts to steer you away from wrong choices is the perfect recipe for disaster.
A few biblical examples come to mind:
God through Moses pleaded with Pharoah to release the Israelites from slavery. After many repeated attempts through miracles and plagues, Pharaoh would not budge.
God already knew this as he told Moses that “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you.” (Exodus 7: 3-4)
Eventually, Pharoah and many horsemen were overthrown in the red sea because of their resistance to God.
If God is warning you about something or letting you know that you need to change something in your life, please don’t resist as the end won’t be in your favor and you’ll pay a dear price.
The Children of Israel
Time and time again throughout the old testament, the Lord performed great miracles and made provision for the needs of the children of Israel.
The more God provided, the more they grumbled and turned their backs on God.
Some of them died in the wilderness due to their lack of faith in God’s ability to bring them to Canaan although there were giants in the land and some also died from an earthquake.
God allowed this because of their rebellion.
We too, if we don’t begin to acknowledge God’s goodness in our lives and as we continue to live a life of sin; our hearts can become cold and indifferent to the word of God and its ability to change us.
Let us aim to protect this valuable treasure that the Lord has given us.
He lives and resides in our hearts and is there to lead us into righteousness.
Let us raise our guards against the temptation to sin against God and let us protect others and ourselves by sticking close to Him.
The best thing you can ever do for yourself is to guard your heart.