Proverbs 4:23 instructs, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.”
To keep means to guard, protect and maintain. The first strategy in keeping your heart is to guard your heart. A guard is set in place to protect something of value.
Is anything more valuable than your heart—that which represents your inner self?
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Who Switched Off My Brain? writes, concerning the heart, that science has caught up with the wisdom of Scripture. “Your heart is not just a pump; it also acts like a mini brain.”
As we look through Scripture, we often see the heart portrayed as the seat of thinking, emotion, and the dwelling place of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 23:7 records, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
In Luke 5:22 we read that Jesus perceived the thoughts of men and questioned what they were "reasoning" in their hearts.
Jesus said of Himself that He “searches the minds and hearts” Revelation 2:23.
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" I Corinthians 3:16.
So how do you guard your heart?
Scripture indicates that by taking our requests to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, the result is peace—the guard of our heart.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Anxiety is a sure path to a troubled heart but there is an antidote to anxious thoughts. When fear threatens to hijack your heart and terrorize your thoughts, present your requests to God by means of prayer in an attitude of gratitude. In addition to making your requests, try asking God for a different perspective on the circumstances. Often a shift in viewpoint changes the whole picture!
Then, look for ways to be a blessing to someone despite your present situation. You don’t have to “have it all together” before you can be a godly influence on another.
Finally, give generously in the midst of a trying time. According to “Dr. Mel,”* generosity relaxes the tensed muscles and worry lines produced by anxiety.
So give! Give a donation, a smile, a kind word, a pan of brownies!
May the supernatural, impermeable, impenetrable peace of God guard your heart today.
Are you in a trying time? Need the peace of God to guard your heart? I'd love to pray for you. Just leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(*I'm not a real doctor, I just "play" one at home, thus my family's nickname for me. ;> )