Your heart is the most important part of you. The word “heart” (in Hebrew “lebab”/leb [b’bel], and in Greek “kardia” [kardiva]) occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture.
Modern society will often relate heart to the emotions (e.g., “He has a broken heart”), but the Bible relates it primarily to the intellect.
“Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, slanders…” (Matt 15:19).
That’s why we are called to “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23).
John MacArthur, talking about the heart, explains that “In most modern cultures, the heart is thought of as the seat of emotions and feelings. But most ancients—Hebrews, Greeks, and many others—considered the heart to be the center of knowledge, understanding, thinking, and wisdom.” The New Testament, written more than 2000 years ago, also uses the term “heart” in this way, which is important when interpreting scripture.
The heart as the bible describes it, drives everything about us: it speaks of the central part of a person, that point where the emotions, reasoning, spiritual instincts, and God-consciousness is.
I think when it comes to our hearts, we need to remember that our hearts are not always in perfect condition, all of us have our weak spots. Even a super-fit athlete may not be aware of a weakness in his heart, with serious consequences. We have an enemy who will look for the weak spot, or opening in our hearts and break through our defenses to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Therefore, scripture warns us to “guard our hearts, because everything we do flows from it.” (Prov 4:23)
Guarding our hearts is for our own good.
To “guard” doesn’t mean bar, seal, or coat in a shield of lead. In the Hebrew, “keep” (interchangeable with “guard”) literally means “to set a watchman over it” — but not just any watchman.
The Lord means for us to guard our hearts by filtering our emotions, desires, thoughts, and responses through the Watchman of his Word with the help of the Spirit.
We guard our hearts, by allowing our Watchman (the Word and Holy Spirit) to have a say about what is in our hearts, or what flows out of our hearts. The Holy Spirit causes us to understand the word and is the appointed Watchman that protects our hearts from within our very hearts. And what’s his primary tool? Scripture.
Honestly though, how can the Spirit use scripture, if we do not put it into our hearts in the first place.
Notice, it is not God that guards our heart, WE are to guard our own hearts by setting a watchman over it.
The task is simple: We are commanded to keep ourselves in his Word, in other words “set the watchman.” God himself, the Spirit, using His Word then actively watches over our hearts.
It is important to note, the watchman is always available to us, but unless we set the watchman to guard duty in our lives, our hearts are not protected.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (Psalm 119:9)
He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:7-8, NIV)
Question to ask yourself?
•Are you actively setting the Word of God as a watchman over your heart by reading it and hearing it preached on a regular, if not daily basis?
• Are you filtering your circumstances, decisions, thoughts, and responses through what God’s Word says? Are you applying it to your life in a creative way?
• Do you prayerfully seek the Lord, trusting the One who gave you a new heart to guide you in how to protect it, strengthen it, build it and change it?
• What was the last time your heart was attacked by the enemy? How did you respond?
Father forgive me for all the times I have neglected time in Your Word. I realise now that the primary way in which you correct me, guide me, protect me, watch over me, is through the Word. You cause me to understand the Word and know how to apply it to my life. When I have been neglectful, lazy or stubborn about spending time in the Word, I have made it harder for You to cause me to recall scripture because it is not in my heart in the first place. Help me to be more diligent about guarding my heart because it is deceitful and my enemy looks for openings to get in and destroy my life.
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