Updated: Jan 3
What does the Bible mean by the heart, and how do I guard it?
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV) '23) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Hebrew / Greek Word Study
Focus Word: Heart ( לִבֶּ֑ךָ / (lib·be·ḵā)) = ( Hebrew / phonetic sound)
Strongs Definition 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, the center
Note: This is not referring to the physical heart, which is the organ that pumps blood to the body. This is referring more to the spiritual heart (the center of the total personality, intuition, will, feelings, and emotions)
The book of Proverbs is considered the book of wisdom, and chapter 4, verse 23 tells us to guard the heart above all things because everything we do flows from the heart. In this, we have to understand that all of our actions come out of our hearts. If all of our actions come out of our hearts, we have to be careful of what we let into our hearts. When I was in seminary, there was a saying. 'whatever thoughts you allow to win in your mind work their way into your heart.' This was taught in the lessons regarding renewing your mind. The reason you renew your mind is to put new thoughts, ideas, and suggestions inside of you. This is why when you become Christian, you renew your mind with the Word of God. Simply put, you study and take in God's Word to put inside of you what God wants you to learn and act upon as you replace the old way of thinking.
This is how it works: 1) you have a thought (seed), idea (seed), or suggestion (seed) about something (this takes place within the mind), 2) If you value the thought, idea, or suggestion it will work its way into your heart (seed begins to root itself because you didn't get rid of it), 3) Once something starts to grow within the heart you will eventually start acting out on it (bearing fruit). This is a simple process that we humans utilize all day, every day, concerning thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Since we process information like this, it is also the way Satan comes in to entice us and tempt us. He (Satan) primarily comes after us using this way (thoughts, ideas, and suggestions) because it works so well. If we will (by choice) take one or more of his thoughts, ideas, and suggestions (his destructive seed) and allow them to become part of us by entering our hearts, we effectively have allowed ourselves to be destroyed from within. That is why we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. Because once something works its way into our hearts, it might take an act of God to root it out of us.
Let's take a quick look at the scripture in (Proverbs 27:19 ESV) '19) As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.' The heart is what God looks at when He is evaluating us as people. He told Samuel the prophet that man looks at the outward appearance in judging people, but the Lord looks at the heart. This is how (King) David was selected by God to be king instead of his brothers or any other men.
What I learned about the heart through the Word of God is how much we grow seeds. This happens on a daily basis all the time. The heart is very fertile and has the ability to grow all seeds, good, bad, or indifferent, because it does not distinguish between the different seeds. The mind's job is to filter what is good and what is bad. This is why scripture tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ in 2 Corinthians 10:5. This simply means for every thought, idea, or suggestion that does not line up with the Word of God, we are to get rid of it, and this is how we truly guard our hearts.
It also requires that we are mindful of what we allow to roam around within our minds. A good example of this would be a married man who continues to allow himself to think lustfully about another woman. When we allow ourselves to become tempted and don't get rid of those thoughts, the temptation works its way inside of our hearts, and it will eventually become part of our actions. Jesus tells us in (Matthew 15:19 ESV) 'For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.' So we can see why guarding the heart is paramount for all Christians and also a huge challenge because out of the heart come all of our actions.
Extra Scripture To Study:
(2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) '5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.'
(Romans 12:2 ESV) '2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.'
Watch the Video
What you allow to come into your heart is important in your life. All of us have allowed some good things to grow inside of our hearts, as well as some bad things. One way to tell what has become fully grown inside of you is to look at your actions. If your actions reflect the Word of God and what is good, you are doing well. If your actions reflect bad things and negative consequences, it is time for you to plant new seeds and bear good fruit.
This week daily, take some time to pray and ask God for help regarding His word and become receptive to it. Don't give up; Satan wants to try to destroy the connection you and the Lord have by any means necessary. The beauty in this is if he is coming after you this hard, I can only imagine the work and blessings the Lord has planned for you.
Take Care Family,
©Copyright Charles R. Myles II 2022
Check Out The Book "Wounded Soul: Death Lived Inside Me" by Pastor Charles Myles
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