Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GUARD YOUR HEART

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) - Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 

I have been counseling teenagers, singles and couples for quite some time. I should say that majority, if not all, of their concerns stemmed from their failure to temper their emotions. This is the reason King Solomon admonished all to be cognizant of the unpredictable nature of our hearts so that we can be spared from unnecessary emotional stress and depression.

It must be noted that the word “heart” in this verse (labe in Hebrew) refers not to our beating muscle (cardio) but rather to our whole being—our  feelings, will and intellect. Therefore, the accurate rendition of this verse should be “Above all else, guard your whole being...” A holistic perspective in this matter is in order. We must always be on our toes because our emotions can have a serious impact on other areas of our lives.

Guarding our heart should be our UTMOST priority (“above all…”) since it affects everything we do. It is compared to a wellspring. The logic is deceptively simple: contaminated source results in dirty water; good source produces a pure one. In the same manner, if your heart is full of sin, your actions confirm it (Luke 6:45). Our heart reveals and defines who we are (Matthew 15:18).

WHY GUARD OUR HEARTS?
You don’t guard something that is already sheltered and protected. Not with our heart which is under constant attack by the sinful world and the devil who does not grow weary of deceiving us. Have you seen believers gave up attending church fellowships and Bible study sessions and getting far away from God each and everyday? Earthly things can leave your spirit dry (1 John 2:16). The devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Bear in mind that we cannot depend on our hearts to navigate the course of our lives. It is primarily deceitful and can lead us to wrong judgment and directions (Jeremiah 7:8). What feels good may not be always right. Our rebellious, sinful nature makes us prone to reject the authority of God. As prophet Isaiah wrote, those whose spirits are dead because of sin are like sheep that have gone astray, rebelling against God and doing their selfish ways (Isaiah 53). The condition of our heart also determines the extent we can truly experience the presence of God. Only those with pure hearts can see God (Matthew 5:8, Psalm 24).

PUTTING A HEART-PROTECTION GEAR
Guarding your heart is your moral responsibility. Nobody can guard it for you. Discipline is the key. This necessitates abstinence from things which can expose you to dangerous emotional attachments. You must have the firm resolve to always check your motives and desires.

Let God search and change you from the inside out. You need to surrender everything to Him as He will never force you to follow Him. He cannot transform you unless you are willing to be changed (Revelations 3:20). As you commune with Him, you will be changed in His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Be consumed by the Word of God. As David wrote, “How can a man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9). The Word of God shall renew our minds which are being defiled and corrupted by secular concerns. As we immerse in God’s Word, our minds are renewed and become capable of knowing God’s will (Romans 12:1-2).

Keep your heart free from sin. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:1-2). Any concealed sin in our lives will always be a “public scandal” in heaven. Be transparent about your feelings. 

God does not want just a section of our heart. He wants all of it. He commanded that we should love Him with  ALL of our heart (Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27). In everything, we must trust Him with ALL our heart (Proverbs 4:5-6). Give Him everything. Not half. Not a fourth. All of it. 

I am always reminded by a wonderful song which I have been singing since I surrendered my life to the Lord more than 18 years go.

A pure heart, that's what I long for.
A heart that follows hard after Thee;
A pure heart, that's what I long for.
A heart that follows hard after Thee.

A heart that hides Your Word
So that sin will not come in.
A heart that's undivided
But one You rule and reign;
A heart that beats compassion,
That pleases You, my Lord.
A sweet aroma of worship
That rises to Your throne.

May we all have a heart that pleases the Lord.

No comments:

ANO BA TALAGA ANG "CALLING" KO?

Lagi kong naririnig iyan sa mga kabataang kaga-graduate lang sa kolehiyo at mga young professionals na nababagot sa buhay. Nagtatanong si...