The heart is an incredible thing, capable of great evil but also capable of great good. The heart in Scripture signifies the centre of human emotion and seat of total personality of an individual. All that we do proceeds from our hearts.
So let me ask, “What is in your heart today?”
Proverbs 4:23 reads: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”. This verse’s wise advice is often given to those awaiting the right relationship with the right person, and of course, it applies. However, there is a broader context to this verse which opens its truth, meaning and application to the wider body of Christ.
Proverbs 4 v 4 starts off the chapter’s heart-talk: “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.” Solomon goes on to speak of gaining Godly wisdom, loving wisdom, and using this wisdom to live your life. The wisdom he refers to is the law, the teaching, the inspired Word of God. In a sentence, Solomon is saying; as you let your heart be captivated and saturated in God’s Word, His wisdom will lead you firmly on the right paths for your life.
However, Solomon does not leave it there, he proceeds to give caution; verse 14 states: “Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.” For the next three verses, he continues to warn against travelling down wrong paths. But affirms in the verses after that that giving attention to God’s Word and keeping His Word “deep in your heart” is what brings life. It’s within this context that verse 23 is written, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” We are exhorted to keep guard of our hearts protecting ourselves from all that is wrong; doing so will govern the very course of our lives.
There is a computer phrase; GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. It simply means that if invalid data is entered into a system, then the resulting output will also be invalid. The same principle applies to our hearts and minds. If the wrong data is fed into our hearts, the resulting output will be corrupt. Let’s go deeper; if a constant stream of worthless carnal information is fed into our hearts, then our hearts’ output will not reflect Christ’s character. On the contrary, if we feed on His word, if we talk, think about and have His word “deep in our hearts” then life is produced, in us and hopefully others who are connected to us.
Someone once said, “the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart”. God is looking for hearts that are fixed upon Him, that are after Him, that fully love Him and hearts that love others He has placed around us. In fact, the Bible says; “the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2Ch 16:9). I believe it’s fair to say that God is into heart people.
So, let me ask again, what is in your heart today?
Heavenly Father, help us to be the kind of heart people You desire. May “the love of God be poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). May we live a life which both radiates Jesus’ heart and that overflows with Him. May we guard our hearts by letting Your Word soak deep into our minds, blocking out anything else that will take focus away from You. Amen.