The importance of keeping our heart in check
Whether we’re aware of it or not, there is a daily fight for our hearts; a tug-of-war over who and what holds our affection and devotion. On any given day, we can be bombarded by literally hundreds of thoughts and influenced by dozens of emotions, many of which are not good or fruitful. The Bible tells us that the heart is the source of our thoughts, feelings, desires and motivations but though it has great capacity for good, it is ultimately deceitful, foolish and easily swayed. If we’re not careful, our hearts can easily lead us down a path of destruction, which is why the Bible instructs us to vigilantly guard our hearts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
In the Bible, guarding our heart refers to being alert to what enters and dwells within it. Practically, this means that we must examine our attitudes and our thoughts on a regular basis and continually seek God in all that we do. The Bible tells us that because of our sinful nature, the heart is evil and desperately sick from its youth, susceptible to wickedness, deceit, lust, envy, slander and pride. Satan, our accuser, is always trying to fill our hearts and minds with wrong thinking in an attempt to steer us away from our good and righteous relationship with the Lord. The enemy will try to plant evil thoughts in our minds, stir up our sinful, fleshly desires and tempt us to be led by our emotions rather than resting in the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is what consumes our heart that often reveals our true character and dictates our speech, our attitude and our behaviour.
Thankfully, we are not helplessly governed by our heart–we actually have a choice of what we choose to let in and what we choose to believe. We don’t have to let sinful thoughts and desires dominate us and even better, we don’t have to do it on our own either! When we are familiar with the Word of God and regularly spend time with Him in prayer, we can more easily fill our hearts with the things that are good, honourable and true. When we choose to spend our time and energy focused on the things of God, actively guarding our hearts against lies and temptations, we will find that the condition of our heart will start to change and become more and more like the heart of Jesus. As our hearts become purified, we can more easily detect and defend against anything that tries to taint it.
What’s the condition of your heart today? Take some time to honestly examine yourself. Remember that only God truly knows the innermost thoughts and desires of your heart, so there is no need to hide them from Him. Come to Him in humility and ask Him to make a clean heart within you and to strengthen you with His power and protection as you continue to guard and purify your heart.
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