The Bible says, “King Solomon was the wisest man that has ever lived”, we’ve all been encouraged by his proverbs. When he said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23) he certainly knew what he was talking about. Satan knows he has an entry point into your life if God is not first in your hearts. One of our main responsibilities is to keep our hearts pure. Life is too short to live offended, not forgiving, bitter over what didn’t work out.
As women of God, it’s time for us to grid up our lions, and stand for Jesus. To shake off everything that is not like God. The enemy wants to distract us from sharing the Gospel, to dissuade us from following the call of God on each of our lives, and for us to not guard our heart. As strong women of God it is important what we allow to enter our heart. Whatever you allow to enter your heart, will impact your life. The reason the devil wants to attack your life, is to get to your heart. This is because, if he can get to it, he can affect the rest of your life as well.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23) NLT
That’s why Paul is encouraging the believers to put on the whole armor of God, because it is essential to give you what you need to live a life of victory. The breastplate is a piece of armor that would protect a soldier’s heart in battle, and the breastplate of righteousness is critical to protecting believers’ hearts today. Our hearts are the wellsprings of life; that is why you need to learn how to guard your heart. Everything in your life follows the condition of your heart. Emotions, thoughts, and decisions all flow from the heart.
It is extremely important that we know the enemy. And, of course, our enemy has always wanted to deceive us concerning himself. It has always been the purpose of the enemy to pull the veil of darkness across his kingdom, and his cleverest ruse is to make people believe that he does not exist at all
Proverbs 27:19 says, “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart”. It means that our actions, attitudes, and words are a true reflection of our hearts.
The Bible tells us to guard our hearts because not doing so can cause great difficulties for us. So, let’s look at what it means to guard your heart. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word guard in the following ways:
- (to) watch over to protect or control
- (to) protect against damage or harm
- Protect against damage or harm.
- guard against. Take precautions against.
In the scenarios above, some action is required. Guarding our hearts is what keeps us focused. We must do something if we are going to control or protect our hearts. It’s important for us to understand that the things in our hearts drive our actions. So, we must ensure that our hearts are pure and in line with God’s Word.
Why is Guarding Your Heart Extremely Valuable?
Your heart is extremely valuable. It is the essence of who you are. It is the command center of your life. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and others. When it comes to the heart, it is the important part of you, that need protecting. Your heart is the most vulnerable part of the body. Guarding our hearts is what keeps us focused. Everything in your life follows the condition of your heart. Emotions, thoughts, and decisions all flow from the heart.
The Bible tells us to guard our hearts from the cares of this world.
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)
We must safeguard and defend the decision-making part of our life. We must pay attention and not allow anything to get into our heart that would damage our ability to see clearly, think effectively, and make wise decisions. This means being very careful about what ideas, information, and images you allow into your life. It means protecting yourself against negative thoughts, false beliefs, and corrupting influences. Keep away from anything that will take God’s place.
But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Don’t allow the fear and anxiety steal the peace of God in your heart (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus shows us by example one strategy of guarding his heart. He often went away to pray alone (Matthew 14:23, Luke 9:18, Matthew 6:46). Ponder how you can keep to the task of guarding your heart. Find some solitude today and take a few moments of silent reverence before God with Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!”
As Christians, there are so many things you struggle with.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
What Does it Mean to Guard Your Heart?
We must be aware of what is going on in our heart. There is no passivity in the Christian life. Every action we take, every word we speak, every goal we pursue, every response we make all comes out of the overflow of our heart (Luke 6:45). This means we must be aware of the contents of our heart. What are our thoughts, desires, and motivations? What are we dwelling on in the quiet moments of our day? What do we long for most of all? Developing such insight is important to guarding our heart.
We can’t allow anything to enter in and make our heart its home. It’s just like guarding what you hear. Everything that enters your ear gate ends up in your heart. We must do whatever it takes to keep it for Christ. We look for life in other people, things, circumstances, and experiences rather than in Christ. This means we must be alert for idols in our heart. Such idols can include success, relationships, money, influence, health, and beauty, and more. We must ask God to help us root them out and replace them with greater love and affection for Christ.
Proverbs 4:23–26 instructs us to, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” When Solomon refers to guarding the heart, he really means the inner core of a person—the thoughts, feelings, desires, will, and choices that make that person who he/she is. The Bible tells us that our thoughts often dictate who we become (Proverbs 23:7; 27:19). The mind of a man reflects who he really is, not simply his actions or words. That is why God examines the heart of a man, not simply his outward appearance and what he appears to be (1 Samuel 16:7).
The Bible instructed us many times to avoid backbiting, grumbling, murmuring, and complaining (Exodus 16:3; John 6:43; Philippians 2:14). By engaging in these activities, believers shift their focus away from the plans, purposes, and blessings of God to the things of the world. God sees this as a lack of faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Instead, Christians are instructed to strive for contentment in all things, trusting in God to provide what is needed in His good time (Hebrews 13:5). Guarding against a complaining spirit and cultivating a spirit of gratitude and trust is the second step toward guarding the heart. If you notice, all these things like backbiting, grumbling, murmuring, and complaining are focusing on the things of the world.
That why the Bible says to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
The Bible teaches us what we must do to ready ourselves for such attacks: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:11-12). Such armor includes the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
How Do You Guard Your Heart?
God created each one of us, and He knows everything He has placed on the inside of us. So, God understands how important it is for you to guard your heart, there are numerous Bible verses that admonish us to do so.
Bible Verses to Help Guard Your Heart
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 ESV
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1 ESV
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 ESV
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11 ESV
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Proverbs 15:13 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. Matthew 15:18-19 ESV
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. Matthew 12:35 ESV
Ways to Guard Your Heart
- You must start with God’s word and take it into your heart so that you can then live a life that glorify God.
What is inside of us will determine what comes out of us. In other words, the health of our hearts will determine the health of our behavior. In Luke 6:45 Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and
- Watch what you say.
Avoid using perverse, crooked speech. Avoid vain (idle) words or language that reveals a heart set on disobedience. Don’t defiantly speak against what is right. Remember, what the heart is full of is what will flow out of the heart.
- Study the Bible – If you want to know how to guard your heart against things that will pull you away from God, the Bible is the best place to start. It is full of advice for living wisely.
- Spend time in prayer – Guarding your heart means having a personal relationship with God. That relationship grows as you pray and have conversations with Him.
- Be Aware of What you Say and Do –Our thoughts and actions shape the status of our heart.
- Protect your Ear and Eye Gate.
Your ears and eyes are gates to your soul. What enters your soul will affect
you positively and negatively.
Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:23) KJV
- Guard your heart through Prayer.
Not only did Hannah have to deal with the fact she was barren she had to put up with Peninnah who teased her year in year out. All Hannah could do is cry.
But a time came when Hannah turned to God. She poured her heart to God so much so that Eli, the priest thought that she was drunk. After praying, Hannah ate, and her face was not sad anymore.
If you take a pole and ask the question, “How do I guard my heart? After all, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by images, sounds, and the things of the world. It’s more important than ever for us to be careful what we let into our minds.
Paul encouraged the believers in Rome to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2) because even then it was evident that a lot of the battle that Satan wages against God’s people takes place in our minds.
The enemy attack you in your mind. Yes, we know that we should guard the entrances to our heart: our eyes and ears, but it’s so hard! How do you filter through the stuff so that only the good things get in? Solomon gave us some tips on how to do that in Proverbs 4:24-27:
The Lord means for us to guard our hearts by filtering our emotions, desires, thoughts, and responses with the help of the Holy Spirit. We guard our hearts, by allowing the Holy Spirit to have a say about what is in our hearts, or what flows out of our hearts. The Holy Spirit causes us to understand the word and protects our hearts.
What Does God Say About Guarding Your Heart?
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 51:10 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Psalm 73:26 ESV
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Luke 6:45 ESVs
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Colossians 3:5 ESV
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Proverbs 23:26 ESV
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 7:25 ESV Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths,
Who Said Guard Your Heart in the Bible?
King Solomon said it best: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
This verse is where Solomon gives us one of the most important aspects of the Christian life, because the status of our hearts affects who we are, how we feel, what we do and how we live. Yet Solomon’s description of guarding our hearts differs greatly from the way we often view guarding our hearts.
How to guard your heart and mind?
In John 14:27 (AMPC), Jesus says, Peace I leave with you: My [own] peace I now give…to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
We must make the decision to stop allowing ourselves to get upset, aggravated, and frustrated. Stop allowing the devil to trip you up on every turn. Stop cluttering your heart with anxieties, worries and the cares of the world. It’s important for us to realize that we have a responsibility to not let our hearts be troubled or afraid.
In Isaiah 26:3, the Bible promises that God “will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
You can enjoy perfect peace if you fully lean, depend, rely on, and focus your mind on Jesus and trust him to help you no matter what. Even in the most challenging circumstances, you can experience God’s peace.
No matter how hard things get, don’t give up on God. Keep your heart and mind on Jesus. Guard your heart. Be determined and persistent in seeking God and being obedient to what He’s telling you to do. Stay in the word of God. When you choose to worry rather than be in faith, you cannot live in peace.
Our enemy, the devil, is persistent and will do whatever he can to wear us out and keep us from God’s will. But we need to have the same tenacity in Christ to never give up – by God’s grace – and make him sorry he ever bothered us. God wants us to trust Him in whatever state we are in. Trust means we have set our hearts to believe God, whatever may happen.
Jesus says, “I am leaving you, my peace; do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
•Are you actively setting the Word of God as a watchman over your heart by reading it and hearing it preached on a regular, if not daily basis?
• Are you filtering your circumstances, decisions, thoughts, and responses through what God’s Word says? Are you applying it to your life in a creative way?
• Do you prayerfully seek the Lord, trusting the One who gave you a new heart to guide you in how to protect it, strengthen it, build it, and change it?
• What was the last time your heart was attacked by the enemy? How did you respond?
Prayer To Guard Your Heart
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 [NIV].“Father, In the Name of Jesus. forgive me for all the times I have neglected time in Your Word. I realize now that the primary way in which you correct me, guide me, protect me, watch over me, is through the Word. I chose to guard my heart and watch what I am hearing and what I am seeing. I chose to live my life in a way that honors You. I will take the negative influences that I come across and bring them into subjection to the obedience of Christ. You cause me to understand the Word and know how to apply it to my life. Teach me how to guard my heart from the destructive things in the world and surrender my heart to you. Holy Spirit help me to keep my eyes on you, as you teach me Your ways
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