By CARLOS SPENCER
Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) provides us with very important advice. It states, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Simply put, the heart is the control centre of our life. It is the essential spring of the soul, the fountain of our actions, the centre of our principles, and the seat of our motives. In short, the heart is the source of our thoughts and feelings from which our conduct and actions emanate. God requires that we “watch” our heart. This is a command from God, not a suggestion. It is not optional. If God commands it, we are expected to carry it out. For example, 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) records: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
We know that people will only guard what is valuable. We will not usually find many security guards and elaborate security systems at the City Dump, but the same cannot be said of our banks and expensive jewellery stores. This is because of the great value in these places and God sees our heart in the same manner. This point cannot be emphasised sufficiently. The heart is a place of value and we must watch over it; it is of value to God and to the one who possesses it. We are required to watch our heart as one would guard the wealthiest banks on the planet. The impact on our spiritual life is critical and this is necessary if we are to live the life that God envisages for us. David wrote in Psalm 51:10 (KJV): “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” This is self-explanatory.
Everything that we do is related to what is in our hearts. The heart is the master control of our life. A “wrong heart” produces a “wrong life”, and we should always be on our guard against sin. Proverbs 5:21 (KJV) informs us that, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.” And Proverbs 15:3 (KJV) says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”. God sees what is in our heart, and knows all that we do, good or bad. Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV) records: “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (KJV) expresses it like this: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
God’s position is clearly expressed in scripture and there is no getting around it. We are expected by God to live and walk uprightly and the Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) that, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are made new.” We can read about the murder of Stephen in Acts 7:58-59. Saul (whose name was later changed to Paul) was present and observed it all. Jesus spoke to Saul on his way to Damascus, and he (Paul) had a change of heart and went on the write more books of the New Testament than any other individual. (thirteen letters) We can observe how evil in one’s heart can result in deceit and corruption simply by considering the story of Ananias and Sapphira recorded in Acts 5:3. The couple tried to keep part of the price of the land for themselves.
The Holy Spirit requires that we watch over our heart and guard it as a most valuable possession. When we are able to do this, good results will flow, all to the glory of God and the edification of others. All the actions of life flow from the heart, therefore watching over it ensures that our lives are regular and comfortable, as opposed to irregular and uncomfortable. Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:41 (KJV): “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We should continue to pray about the situation. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18 and Colossians 4:2)
Amen! Thanks be to God for the sharing of His word.