I have always been interested in what motivates us as people to do what we do. The choices we make whether great or not so great have impact. Often differentiating those who flourish and reach their goals in life from those who just go through the motions living a life without purpose. I truly believe the healthiness of our heart plays a large role in the how our lives turn out. The guarding of our heart is so critical to our walk. What is in abundance in your heart will eventually come out. Whatever you allow to live, grow and take root will eventually show up when pressure arises.
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Guard our heart for it affects everything you do!” Another translation uses the word ” watch over your heart”. When we watch over or guard our heart we pay attention to it, we see to it and protect it. We were created to protect protect value and the condition of your heart is valuable. Understanding that your heart affects how you live, move and have your being.
The word heart comes from the Hebrew noun Leb; which means center, deepest innermost feelings. It can also mean wisdom/understanding almost a synonym for mind. Which is true for the verse in Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” So as you think in you heart so you will become. This shows you the importance of guarding you heart because it affects how you become who you are. According to Ps 45:1a, The story of your life is determined by the theme you have in your heart. It is the framework for how you think, act and respond to life.
The word heart in the Webster’s Dictionary has two general meanings, however I want to focus on the first which is the physical heart; a hollow muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood received from veins into the arteries thereby suppling the entire circulatory system. As you know, without a healthy heart, activities in life must become restricted. Without the heart pumping rich oxygenated blood there is no life.
There are many dimensions to this valuable organ. The part of the heart I see that correlates to the guarding of our spiritual heart is the pericardium sac. This is a protective sac in which the heart is enclosed. Typically when you look at a picture of the heart, the pericardium is not pictured. Since it’s been years since I have studied biology, I didn’t recall the purpose of this sac. Anytime a person has surgery on the heart, the doctor must cut through the double layered sac protection to get to the heart.
The pericardium sac has a special fluid similar to fluid around the brain. The sac has two purposes:
1. Protection: The pericardium is in place to protect the heart from disease from other organs. The fluid lubricates the heart, controls its dilation and motions.
2. Shock absober: The pericardium helps maintain normal heart movement and prevents friction
I am by no means a cardiologist so why am I sharing this physical example of the heart? I think just like our natural heart we need to live alert and aware of the disease or little seeds of pride, offense, discouragement and discontentment that could take root and eventually prevent you from moving forward with your life. “People my think they are doing what is right but the Lord examines the heart.” Prov 21:2 When it comes to matters of the heart sometimes it’s not what we do that has the most impact, but the issues of the heart that we ignore that can have the most devastating impact.
What is so beautiful about this is, God has already provided healing and restoration that we can freely receive. When we allow God the captivate our heart’s thoughts, He begins the process of shaping our thoughts and actions more like Him. We begin to live a life led by grace and full of peace which is the finished work already completed. Living a life flourishing in grace and peace begins with a guarded heart!