“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Our text today is encouraging us to make our heart of highest priority. The writer says ‘above all else’, in other words keeping it above everything else you might value. The heart is the most intimate and the most real part of you. It’s at the core of your being, the real component of who and what you are, it sets your attitudes, drives your motives, determines your mind-set, houses your convictions and steers your emotions.

The heart is also where God’s Spirit dwells if you’re a Christian. As such it’s the place, down deep inside you, where that most vital of determinations is made: whether you will walk with God, or not. Whether your God will sit enthroned in His rightful place, or whether some other will.

Somebody wrote this: “heart worship, heart love and heart obedience are far more difficult to recognize than the outward forms and duties of religion, because they are unseen, unrecog- nized and unrewarded of men. Not only is heart work difficult, it is constant.” Of course, God is concerned about our outward behavior, but it all begins here, if it is to be authentic and long-lasting.

Therefore our proverb says we should prioritize the protecting of this most vital component. Keep or guard it, understand the kind of onslaughts which will come against it. Satan will want to try everything to strike it; or where do you think your old fleshly urges go to again subvert and seize control?

The battle for your heart is like deceptive, guerilla warfare. It is unprovoked, relentless, hidden and crafty. That’s why the urging to recognize the crucial need to protect it. If we were able to do a thorough exam on your heart today, what would we discover?

The question today brethren are ‘are we keeping spiritually fit? Do we need to lose the weight of unnecessary burdens and cares? Are we maintaining a steady rhythm of gratitude and praise? Is our trust greater than our anxiety? Are we enjoying the life-giving nutrients of the Word of God? Have you checked your heart lately?

Pure thinking will require me to pursue a close relationship with Christ, who is pure and holy and allowing His Spirit to transform my heart. Determine that your heart will no longer belong to whoever and whatever offers to fill it for you. Begin today directing it to Christ. Let God and His Word and Holy Spirit have control today. Do whatever it takes. But begin protecting the most complex and vital and far-reaching part of you.

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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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