Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23 KJV)
The Lord commands us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23 because our hearts determine the course of our lives. Would you agree that whatever determines our experiences in life is of utmost importance to us? So what does it mean to keep your heart?
To unravel this command, we must understand the term “heart” as used in this verse. Solomon uses heart here to describe something we can control or guard. Therefore, the heart refers to our conscious inner life, classically categorized as our thoughts, feelings, and will. This emphasis is significant because the term heart can refer to the human spirit, soul, or everything inside us( spirit and soul). Here, it refers to everything inside of us from a practical perspective. Solomon is simply referring to what we know about and interact with daily—our thoughts, emotions, and will (desires, decisions)
How do you keep your heart? The term “keep” means watching over something or protecting it from injury, harm, or danger. Imagine how presidential guards protect presidents. Similarly, God says you should protect your heart as these armed guards protect important personalities. This implies there are things in life attempting to injure or influence our thoughts, emotions, and decisions. If they succeed, they will control us as we control TVs with remotes. For example, if someone makes us bitter, they might control us remotely for the next 25 or even 50 years of your life if we allow it.
So this is God’s command: diligently protect your thoughts, feelings, and desires/decisions because these things determine the life you live every day.
Read more: The Hidden Man of the Heart.
Please take a moment to think carefully and mutter the verse above?
Apply the Word
Do you genuinely believe Proverbs 4:23 above? God says your life results from the thoughts, feelings, and desires you keep. Be proactive and protect your heart: remove what does not need to be there, increase what has to be there, and close its doors against harmful or useless vices.
Ask the Spirit of the Lord to help you protect your heart diligently.