Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Protected Heart

When I was in grade school, my grandparents gave me a china tea set. I loved my play dishes. With our dolls gathered around my sister and I enjoyed many a tea party. Each plate and cup was set lovingly on the table. We would gingerly pick the teacups up and sip our pretend tea. When our tea party was over, I carefully washed the dishes and then wrapped them in newspaper and packed them back in their box. I treasured my tea set. I protected it.

My treasured tea set

I fear many times that I put more effort into guarding or protecting earthly possessions then in guarding my spiritual heart. The Scripture tells me, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23) This passage clearly states the importance of guarding the heart. Life comes from the heart. If it is not guarded well, spiritual death can occur.

God does not leave me alone while on guard duty. Proverbs 30:5 says, "Every Word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." God's Word is a shield for my heart.

In addition the Holy Spirit also dwells in Christians and assists them in guard duty. Paul speaks to Timothy and says, "...Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." (II Timothy 1:12-14) I am not alone.  I have a helper.

As I am guarding my heart, I also have the tool of prayer. Through prayer I can speak to the one who is jealous for my heart above all else. He hears and gives  his peace to protect me from the enemy of fear. Fear can attack the heart making it weak. I love the words from Philippians 4:6,7. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The best choice is to entrust my heart to God through prayer and His Word. Then by the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, I will have a guard around my heart that is steadfast and true. It will be triumphant on that day when I will at last see my Savior, and I will present to him a heart made righteous by the blood of the Lamb.

In conclusion let's look at Proverbs 7.  Take a moment to read it.  This Scripture passage was written by Solomon to his son. He was warning him to stay away from the adulteress woman. I believe this passage could just as well be written to the church today. The church is the bride of Christ. However, many times Christ's bride is not loyal to him. I can be lured into adultery with the world.

These words in verses 24-27 could be written to me concerning my relationship with the world. Solomon implores his son to not let his heart be led astray by the faithless woman. Our Heavenly Father begs me to not let my heart be turned away from him by the world.
 “Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.”
When I am lured in by the world, when I let my guard down, my heart may look like my china teapot ended up looking. I forgot one day... left it sitting out. My brother came into the room. He threw a ball and well you know how the story ends. My teapot was broken. I was devastated. My dad did his best to glue it back together, but it was never the same.

My repaired teapot.

When I don't protect my heart, when the guard is let down, major damage can be done to my heart. My Heavenly Father is the Great Physician. Praise God! But sometimes I have to live with the consequences of the damage done.

This just reinforces the importance of heeding the words at the beginning of Proverbs 7.
“My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart..."
 My prayer:
 "Lord, I call out to you my refuge, my shield, my protector.  I live in a dangerous world. It is vying for my loyalty and my allegiance. But God I desire a heart that is steadfast and true to you. Help me to hear your word, to accept it, and to apply it to my heart. May I hide it in my heart that I might not sin against you. Amen.”

1 comment:

  1. We must always keep our guard up. We don't not know the day or the hour our Lord will be coming for us. Beautiful writing.