Proverbs 4 v 23 says:
“Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”
Keep (or guard) your heart.
In today’s culture, there are so many things trying to work their way into our hearts.
Through the “gates” of our eyes, our ears and our emotions.
We are exposed to more information now than any other time in the history of this planet.
We can find out just about anything within a few seconds with the help of the internet.
We have hundreds of TV channels available, radio stations, internet radio from all around the world as well as things like iBooks and Kindle making sure all manner of reading material is readily available and even able to be carried around with us all day, everywhere we go.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a user and supporter of such resources.
But I do think we need to be very selective about the things we research, study, look at, read up on etc.
When we give our time to looking things up and learning about them, we are investing into our own future.
The things we take time to “work in” to our hearts, will find their own way of working their way back out again.
Luke 6v45 tells us that the things that come out of our mouths are overflowing from our hearts.
I like to evaluate now and then, what is coming out of my mouth?
I have many passions in life: my wife, my kids, drums, fast cars, great sex (with my wife!), ipads, music…the list could go on.
But, they must all be held in a right context.
The moment any one of these things supersedes my love and passion for Christ, I am setting up for some problems.
What do I/you, talk about the most?
If my heart is overflowing constantly about every other passion in life, but never about my love for Jesus and my gratitude to Him for everything He has done…then I know it is time to re-invest into my own future. Time to put some of the “toys” away, close some windows in the web browser (not those kind of windows!) and time to get back to what really matters in life.
Life is so busy these days. The world seems to be moving constantly faster and getting increasingly smaller. That is why Proverbs says to guard “with all vigilance”.
It is of critical importance that we do this to keep ourselves on a helpful track and stop us getting sidetracked by good things with a wrong place in our hearts.
A friend of mine once said this, and I can’t shake it:
“The single most important thing I could reveal about me is that there is no other reason for being on this earth than to bring glory to The Father in heaven through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit (GOD!). All other blessings in life are simply gifts that aid this end goal.”
To keep that in focus, is a huge step towards staying on a good and helpful path in life.
I don’t want to start a series on here today about idols (which is what anything in life is, if it takes a higher place in our heart than Jesus does), but if you want some helpful material on that topic, try reading a book called “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller.
Philippians 4v7 says:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is good to note, as with the fast pace of life today and the wealth of information so readily available, we can find it very easy to lose our sense of peace.
Once we lose our peace, our defenses are down.
We need to take time, to reassess from time to time and to realise when our peace has gone and our defenses are down and other things are trying to steal a place in our hearts that is not theirs to take.
Jonathan Edwards said:
“no one is ever changed, either by doctrine, by hearing the word, or by the preaching or teaching of another, unless the affections are moved by these things.”
My response to that is to check, who or what is moving my affections, what are they directing them towards and is that going to be fruitful in my life?
Life has so many voices…our responsibility is to ensure we are responding to the right ones and that our affections are being pointed first and foremost to the man and mission of Jesus Christ!