Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
As I was reading over this verse, a lot of things came to mind about the power the heart has. When it stops beating and pumping blood, out of it flows life as we have lived it. When it is beating and pumping blood, out of it flow the issues of life. That is so fascinating to me…the things that go into and out of the heart. Most of us don’t give the flow much thought or else we would have lived or live our lives per the Proverbs verse above. In essence, we tend to forget that the mouth plays a big role in the flow.
Even though we freely make decisions and act upon what’s in our heart, do we even ponder deeply about the fact that God has total control over our hearts? When He sees the need to step in to suit His purpose, He does. Remember the issues with Pharaoh?
Exodus 4:21- And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
AND His people
Jeremiah 32:40- “….And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Now darlings…We all know from personal experience and from watching others that these two things are the truth and nothing but the truth about the issues that flow from the heart per the Believers’ Lord and Savior:
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”-(Matthew 15:18-19)
God said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Some may ask God… then why should we keep our heart with all diligence since it is “deceitful?” Snoopy has a point too, but I found the answer here: Psalm 51: 6 -Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. The heart is very valuable to God. It is how we connect with Him and others. Truth, Truth, Truth is what He desires. If our heart is true, it is there that we can have peace concerning the issues that flow out.
One last thing beloved readers…Be aware. The heart is ALWAYS under attack. Solomon alluded to this fact in the books of Kings and Proverbs. He would know best per his experiences, which is why he has shared this “to do” information about protecting(keeping) the heart. The reason we get hurt by others and hurt others is because we do not keep a diligent watch over, nor do we place a high enough value on the heart.
When we keep things that we value, what do we do? We find strength and joy in those things, we care for and even ask others to help us in caring for those things, sometimes we share them with others according to its value, and we protect those things with all our might. Soooo…Why is it then, that we are such failures at keeping the heart with the same diligence as we do things? You’ll have to discover the true reason that you don’t.
Shouldn’t we be a people who place more value on the heart than on things?
This is why I believe that all Believers’ should be diligent about asking in every prayer “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) I can tell you from experience that when God is cleaning the heart, it takes time. The more you work at diligently protecting it, the quicker God works on the cleaning. Some may not like the changes you make. Don’t worry about them, concentrate on the fact that God is looking at the strides you are making to keep your heart in line with His will. People will disappoint you all the time. Knowing the value of your heart is the first step.
John Flavel stated “The state of the whole body depends upon the soundness and vigour of the heart, and the everlasting state of the whole man upon the good or ill condition of the soul.”
Conclusion-Therefore it is prudent that you “Keep thy heart with all diligence” beloved because “….the Lord looketh on the heart…” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year