Monday, June 14, 2021

Guard Your Heart

Are the words from your mouth getting you in deep waters? Are your eyes looking and lusting after things not intended for you? Are your feet marching off in a direction contrary to God's leading? Time to do some serious introspection.

The scriptures give us great warning and clear direction when we open our heart and mind to receive what it is actually saying. As I read the following text I realize that we are to be extremely aware of our inner struggles and choices.

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:23-27

We are challenged to guard our heart because it leads us through life choices. Our heart is an expression of our feelings and emotions. Interestingly we are not aware that it can be extremely deceitful.

How do we go about guarding our heart? If we guard our heart what benefit do we receive? Reading God's Word and dwelling on it helps to strengthen right desires and right motives, but there is so much more. The scripture continues to show what prevents the springs of life, the abundant watering, we desperately need and desire from the Holy Spirit.

The first issue are the words that come out of our mouth. Are our words encouraging and uplifting to others? Are they subtlety demeaning to the listener, and or possibly elevating ourselves? Do we find ourselves whispering negative things about others, where we could otherwise be remarking on the positive work of God in their lives? These are questions that help us to recognize how easily sin enters our very being and then spills out on others.

The second issue is our eyes. Our eyes can misdirect our decisions and effect our contentment. Eyes are a gateway to our soul. Have we begun to desire things that are unseemly and sinful? Do we find ourselves gazing at what others have and wish they were our very own? How about looking down our nose with disdain, while we are covering our own fallen behavior, judging them and not ourselves? 

The Spirit desires to fill us with His goodness and love so that we will look on good and pure things. He wants us to open our eyes to see clearly all the wonders God has done in the land of the living. There is much to be thankful for such as the beauty and fragrance of a flower. the majesty and tumbling of a roaring waterfall. He wants us to see the magnificent mountain ranges and the simple precious smile of a little child. God has given us a plethora of things to look at that are good and pleasing. We need to make the responsible choice to live and see the beauty  that surround us.

The third issue found here is our feet. Where are they taking us? Are they heading in a direction contrary to God's leading by His Spirit? There is a multitude of places we can go, but should we? God has a good path for us and will illuminate the way. We need to press into His goodness to see we are heading in the right direction. When we follow His ways and walk forward, our head can be held high, not looking over our shoulder hoping not to be seen or exposed. We can be assured of His goodness and grace in everyday travels. It is a marvelous experience when you feel impressed to go in a specific direction to then run into someone you needed to talk with. They encouraged you or you may have encouraged them. In everything there are choices to be made. 

We desire to feel God's pleasure and love so we must be mindful to keep our heart clean before Him. I love how the scripture describes what our efforts should be;

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life." Jude vs 20-21

Recognizing the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus presents to us when we put our faith and trust in Him, is all the help we need. He takes our weaknesses and becomes strong within us. Continue to pray and seek for the things above, knowing the end result is everlasting springs of water. Your soul, your heart, and your mind will all be strengthened, renewed, restored to the joy of knowing you have a glorious future and a hope. Allow the Lord to guard your words, eyes and feet today. Enjoy the journey!