Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
What does it mean to guard/keep your heart?
Does it mean an external or internal exercise or is a combination of both?
Are we to build a physical or virtual fence around our hearts or are we to inject vaccines into our hearts to build internal immunity or do we build fences and ensure we are up to date on ‘heart’ vaccines as well?
And what exactly are we guarding/keep our hearts against/from?
We are living in evil days, the last days actually when you read God’s Word and His clear description of the days just before the Second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Evil and sin continues to increase as men devise new ways to sin and encourage each other to sin, defy God and defile their bodies even further (Romans 1).
Those who have confessed with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord and have believed in their hearts that God raised Him up from the dead are increasingly finding themselves in an almost choking state, what with the escalation of sin all around us.
Yet John 17 is clear, our Lord prayed for us. Because He knew where He was leaving us: in this world yet not of this world; to influence this world yet not influenced by this world; to be light in a dark world.
And therefore we are commanded: GUARD/KEEP YOUR HEART, FOR FROM IT IS THE WELLSPRING OF LIFE!
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.
11 I treasure your word in my heart,
so that I may not sin against you. (Psalm 119:10-11)
HOW: study, keep, meditate, obey God’s Word
We guard our hearts by studying, meditating, keeping and obeying God’s Word.
We guard/keep our hearts through obedience.
It is in obeying God that we guard/keep our hearts.
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We are to obey all of Scripture. Why? Because it is God breathed and it is all useful:
- To teach us – all things pertaining to this life and prepare us for the life to come
- To reproof us – to rebuke us when we are in the wrong
- To correct us – show us where we have gone wrong and direct us to what is right
- To train us in righteousness – so that we are in right standing with God
The result of us embracing Scripture in its totality is that everyone who belongs to God maybe:
- proficient – may be competent in God’s Word (studying it, teaching it, obeying it, becoming it)
- equipped for every good work – and that is to fulfill purpose (Ephesians 2:10)
FROM WHAT: from sin
Sin the term, the noun is one that has been slowly fading away from our vocabulary; sad to say including the Christian vocabulary. We would rather use terms like wrong, deficient, incomplete, failure and slip that in my view sanitizes and downgrades the severity that is sin. By downgrading the severity of sin we inadvertently devalue the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we devalue the love of God (John 3:16) and in the end negate the need of a Saviour for fallen man.
SIN = Disobedience
In Sunday School they simplified it for us as follows:
SIN = Anything you say; Anything you do; Anything you think , that doesn’t please God
That is what we are to guard/keep our hearts against/from.
We are to guard/keep our hearts against/from sin.
And it is only in studying, meditating, keeping and obeying God’s Word can we successfully guard/keep our hearts.
From it flows the wellspring of life
The heart under discussion here in my understanding is both the red ‘heart-shaped’ organism in every human body and the ‘seat of emotions’ in a human being.
We are to definitely keep our blood pumping and regulating vessel well, and the Word of God guides us on how to do that. From dietary plans to exercises, the Word of God is all round.
The Word of God is effective in guarding our physical heart and our ‘heart’ – the seat of emotions and feelings, the seat of logical thinking and guide into words and actions. Both are the well spring of life. A healthy physical heart keeps a body healthy and alive; healthy emotional system keeps your body, soul and mind healthy and alive.
Guard your physical heart – when it is healthy your body is healthy
Guard your emotions, feelings and thoughts – when they are healthy your body, soul and spirit are healthy.
Guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.