Guard Your Heart with God’s Word
Ever been tempted by a commercial or by something you have seen at the store? We all have, haven’t we? Either we succumb to the temptation, or we stand against it. Friend, we live in a corrupt world where we are constantly surrounded by immorality. We may eventually succumb to immorality if we don’t stand against it. One way to resist immorality is to guard your heart.
Let’s turn to the book of Proverbs to learn more. In Proverbs 4:20-23, a father is speaking to his son. Consider it as our heavenly Father speaking to us, His children.
God’s Word Protects from Evil
V. 20 “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.”
When parents say to pay attention and listen carefully, what they are about to say is vital to remember. Overall, parents want to protect their children and want what is best for them.
Friend, one way God speaks to us is through His Word. Consider the Bible as our protection from evil (Ephesians 6:11-17). But in order for it to be effective, we need to pay attention to it. We study God’s Word, obey God’s Word and stand on God’s Word.
V. 21 “Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart”
For God’s Word to penetrate deep into your heart, slow down and carefully study a passage. Note any repeated words, what the passage says about God and how to apply it to your life. When a verse(s) stands out to you, write it down and meditate on it throughout the day.
God’s Word is Life
V. 22 “for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.”
God’s Word is life and health, for it shows us how to live.
Paul explains in Romans 8:6-8, “letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God” (NLT).
Living in daily submission to the Spirit enables us to obey God’s Word which then leads to life and peace. On the contrary, continuously yielding to the sinful desires of the flesh leads to death. Sin separates us from God making it impossible to live a holy life that pleases Him (I Peter 1:14-15).
V. 23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
In this verse, the words “above all” stress the priority and necessity of guarding your heart. According to the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary, the word heart “most commonly stands for ‘mind’, but it can go beyond this to represent the emotions, the will and the whole inner being.”
From this definition of heart, we see that guarding your heart includes guarding your mind.
How to Guard Your Heart with God’s Word
One way to guard your heart or mind is to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If a thought doesn’t align with God’s Word, reject it and replace it with truth from God’s Word. Because thoughts enter through our eyes and ears, stay alert to what you see and hear or what you allow yourself to see and hear.
For example, when you hear a song on the radio or see something on TV that opposes principles in God’s Word, refuse to listen. Change the station or turn it off. Otherwise, immorality can enter your heart along with the risk of becoming desensitized to wrongdoing, so that it no longer bothers you.
God’s Word Directs our Words and Actions
Scripture states, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart” (Luke 6:45 NIV).
Friend, what we store in our heart comes out in our words and actions. Whether that be good or evil. As verse 23 says, your heart “determines the course of your life” or “everything you do flows from [your heart]” (NIV). This is why Scripture instructs to “guard your heart above all else”.
Therefore, friend, let’s store God’s Word in our hearts and resolve to guard our hearts above all else. Then His Word will direct our words and actions. Not only will we please the Lord, but we will be an effective witness for Jesus Christ. Bright lights shining in this dark and corrupt world.
Father, thank You for Your Word. Please forgive us for not guarding our hearts above all else. Show us if there is anything in our lives that we need to remove and show us any other steps we need to take. We desire to live solely for You and to glorify Your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Do I meditate on God’s Word? If not, why?
- How can I prioritize guarding my heart?
- What action step(s) can I take to guard my heart?
Proverbs 4:24-27, “Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil” (NLT).
Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things” (CSB).
For Further Study
- Has Bible reading become a chore? Learn how to rekindle the joy of reading the Bible in this post: Delighting in the Word
- Learn how to recognize the distractions of this world and to live for the Lord in this post: Live for the Lord Not the World