TITLE: Guard Your Heart With All Diligence
By Pam Frey
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Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 Amplified)
When I read the words “above all that you guard” it made me stop and take a good look at the importance of the subject of the heart. It says in Proverbs 4:23 that out of our hearts flow the "springs" of "life". The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word spring as a place where water naturally flows out from the ground. One definition in the Strong’s Lexicon for life is water. Just as water flows naturally out of the heart of the earth through springs, our life flows naturally out of the spring of our heart. Whatever is in our hearts will naturally flow out into our lives. If we are full of anger, bitterness and resentment, that’s what will flow out of us. If we are full of love, peace and joy, that will flow out into our lives. It goes without saying that what flows out of our hearts will naturally affect us and those around us. If we allow negative emotions to remain in our hearts it will affect every area of our lives. Relationships can be destroyed, children emotionally damaged, aside from the fact that our own lives will be full of misery. On the positive side of this equation, if we fill our hearts with the Word of God and allow His love, joy, and peace to fill our hearts, our lives will be full of these good things and overflow into the lives of those around us.
How do I guard my heart, you may ask? The word “keep” in the Strong’s Lexicon is the Hebrew word "natsar" and is defined as “to protect, maintain, and obey”. The instructions from the father to his son in this proverb were “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my saying. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22 Amp.). We can protect our hearts from the negative things that try to enter through offense by attending to the Word of God, consenting and submitting to its instructions. When we become offended, someone has hurt us, all sorts of emotions try to gain a foothold in our heart. We can hold on to unforgiveness, which if not dealt with according to the Word of God which tells us we must forgive others as we have been forgiven, then turns into bitterness and resentment. If we do not guard our heart and keep these things from taking root in our hearts, they will flow out of our heart and into our lives. This is just one example of a negative emotion that can take root in our hearts if not dealt with. (See Ephesians 4:31,32)
Romans 12:2(KJV) says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". God wants us to renew our minds to the way He thinks. God told Joshua to meditate on the Word day and night. We may not be able to keep a Bible in our laps all day long, but we can meditate on the Word all day. The word “meditate” is the Hebrew word "hagah" and it means "to murmur, to ponder, imagine, mutter, speak, study, talk, utter". If we keep the Word of God in the center of our hearts and humbly consent and submit to it’s instructions, we can keep our hearts free from the things that would try to enter and defile it, make it polluted and unclean. (See Matthew 15:18-20) When we fill our hearts with the word of God and renew our minds to His way of thinking and acting and we begin to be a doer of His word, we will reap a harvest of all the good things God has for us and be a blessing to those around us.
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