Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
I had the honor of growing up in a Christian home with godly parents. Both of my parents set a great example of love and faithfulness to the Lord. A saying from my Dad that has always impacted my life is, “Guard your heart and protect your testimony.” His fatherly advice is rooted in this precious proverb. Sadly, King Solomon watched his father David suffer because he didn’t guard his heart. The Bible records that when David was supposed to be at war, he decided to stay home and spend time gazing from his palace roof. On one occasion, King David saw a married woman bathing and lusted after her. He then had sex with her and she became pregnant.
David didn’t confess his sin immediately, but rather tried to conceal it by bringing her husband home from war so he could sleep with her. By doing this, King David hoped it would make everyone think it was the husband’s baby. However, the man refused to dishonor his troops by indulging in sex with his wife. David then had the man placed in the most dangerous part of a battle and then commanded his general to withdraw his troops so the man would be killed (2 Samuel 11). Tragic.
Since David didn’t guard his heart he became a liar, an adulterer, a murderer, a self-centered king and a shame to his people. That is why the lesson from King Solomon in today’s proverb is so powerful. Nothing is more important than guarding your heart.
Your heart, where your inner emotions and desires reside, is the source of your life. As your physical heart is the source of blood to your body, likewise, your spiritual heart is the source of life to your soul (mind, will and emotions). Therefore, just like your rib cage guards your physical heart, you must let the Holy Spirit with God’s Word guard your spiritual heart.
Here are some practical ways to guard your heart, (1) Guard your eyes and what you look at because it can become lust, (2) Guard how you spend and acquire money because it can become greed, (3) Guard your temper because it can become sinful with outbursts of anger, (4) Guard your words for they can become perverted and unwholesome and (5) Guard your thoughts because they can become doubtful and sinful.
A.W. Pink said, “An honest heart ceases fighting against God.” Since King David fought against God’s will for His life, he lacked protection against his sinful desires. The disciple must embrace the Holy Spirit’s protection and welcome Him as their guard because they treasure the new life they’ve been given. Now guard your heart and protect your testimony!
What do you need to guard your heart from?
- Ask God to reveal any areas of your life that your heart has been invaded by sin. Repent for any sin God exposes.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to assist you to guard your heart everyday.
- Guard your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience to God’s Word.