Your heart is vital. Your heart is an extremely important part of your life. God knows that it is our heart that holds the inner workings of our deepest, most internal thoughts. He knows the thoughts, the intents, and the secrets of our heart. (Psalms 44:21).
Your heart is also critical to your emotional and spiritual health. It is the most important part of you. The word “heart” (in Hebrew “lebab”/leb [b’bel], and in Greek “kardia” [kardiva]) occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture.
Matthews 15:19 says, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, fornication, slanders, lies.
That’s why we are called to “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23).
The heart as the bible describes it, drives everything about us: it speaks of the central part of a person, that point where the emotions, reasoning, spiritual instincts, and God-consciousness is.
I think when it comes to our hearts, we need to remember that every believer needs to guard their heart. Every believer needs to pray a hedge of protection around their hearts. And cover the door post of their hearts with the blood of Jesus. We have an enemy who will look for the weak spot or opening in our hearts and break through our defenses to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Therefore, scripture tells us to” guard our hearts because everything we do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:23)
If we are diligent to ‘guard’ our heart, then the ‘fountain’ of our heart will remain clear and clean. But if we are sloppy in guarding our heart, then the ‘fountain’ of our heart can become muddy, murky, and polluted. The instruction for ‘guarding’ our heart holds true in both the natural realm and in the spiritual realm. Many need to diligently guard what goes into their heart in the natural, physical realm.
That’s why Paul instructs us to put on the whole armor of God. It helps us to guard and to protect our hearts from the Wales of the devil. Each piece of the armor is a vital part of weaponry. The enemy tempts with all kinds of sinful entanglements, but righteousness protects our hearts. God has given us everything we need to defeat the enemy. He has given us his Word and Spirit, so we’ll have the wisdom and protection to stand against the enemy. We focus today on putting on His armor, staying alert, and praying that God will equip believers everywhere to “stand strong.”
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (Ephesians 6: 10-14)
What Does It Mean to Guard Your Heart?
In Proverbs, it instructs believers 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.” (Proverbs 4:23–26)
I believe when Solomon refers to guarding the heart, he really means the inner deep 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. As Christians, we should understand that keeping our hearts is an active duty that we are called to perform.
Keeping our hearts means keeping them pure. And keeping our hearts can only be done by keeping our minds (pure). Whatever we to feed our minds will fill and fuel our hearts. Once again, Paul instructs us when he tells how to keep one’s mind:
“…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)
Proverbs 23:7 warns that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.” So, our hearts can “think”? That reveals the connection between our hearts and minds that God has hardwired us with.
What Does It Mean that God Looks At The Heart (1 Samuel 16:7)?
People tend to often judge the character, or stature and worth of others by looking at outward appearances. If a person is tall, good-looking, well-built, and tastefully dressed, then he or she possesses physical qualities that people generally admire and respect. Oftentimes these are the physical qualities we seek in a person. Appearances can be deceiving. The outward appearance doesn’t reveal what people are really like. Physical looks don’t show us a person’s value or character or integrity or faithfulness to God. Outward qualities are, by definition, superficial. Moral and spiritual considerations are far more important to God.
But God has the unique ability to see inside a person. God knows our true character because he “looks at the heart.”
When we read the story in 1 Samuel 16:7, we immediately think of David’s coronation. After the Lord rejected Saul as king, God has spotted the very king He has chosen for His people. He instructed Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Not knowing at that moment which son would be anointed, Samuel did what God told him.
When the prophet saw Eliab, Jesse’s firstborn, he was sure he had found the Lord’s chosen king. But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. That’s why the believers get off course, they tend to look at the appearance, impressed by the stature of a person. God has already eliminated Jessie’s son Eliab. When it comes to the natural, men and women tend to look at the face and the appearance of a person, but God looks at the heart. The Bible doesn’t give us anything in the way of physical description except a hint that he was tall and handsome. Maybe Eliab carried himself like a king, but he wasn’t the king God chose. He wasn’t the one.
Then Jesse called for his son Aminadab and presented him to Samuel. He wasn’t the one. Then he continued to the next son, until he presented the seven sons to Samuel, God hasn’t chosen any of them. Then Samuel asked Jesse, are there anymore? Jesse said, “Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.” Samuel ordered Jesse, to go get him. Jesse sent for David. He was brought in, the very picture of health- bright-eyed, good looking. God said, “Anoint him! This is the one”. Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, the bible said, “The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
King David was far from perfect. He committed adultery and murder. But God saw in David a man of deep, abiding faith who was wholly committed to the Lord. God saw a man who would depend on the Lord for strength and guidance. God saw a man who would recognize his sin and failure and who would repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness. God saw in David a man who loved his Lord; a man who worshiped his Lord with all his being; a man who had experienced God’s cleansing and forgiveness (Psalm 51) and had come to understand the depths of God’s love for him. God saw a man with a sincere and personal relationship with his Creator. When God looked at the heart of David, He saw a man after His own heart.
Like Samuel, we can’t see what the Lord sees, and we must rely on Him for wisdom. And we can trust that, when God looks at our hearts, He sees our faithfulness, our true character, and our value as individuals.
What Does Guard Your Heart for It Is the Wellspring of Life Mean?
We as Christians need to find ways to overcome doubts that tend to creep in. We guard our hearts against all kinds of distractions from our faith. Our heart is fragile. We must do what we can to protect it.
How Does God Search the Heart?
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:10-11
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4
David was considered a man after God’s own heart. David desired the presence of the Lord more than anything else. He didn’t value earthly things or worldly status more than He longed to dwell with God forever. Having a heart after God means that we long for His presence and desire intimate fellowship with Him. And when we get our lives in line with God’s Word, then we can be like David, with a heart that God approves.
What’s In Your Heart?
When we find ourselves in situations where we are challenged with, difficulties, financial distresses, relationships with others, health concerns and so on—God may step back for a while to see how desirous we are to deal with these issues according to His will.
It is clear from the Word of God that God searches our minds to determine the intents and purposes behind our thoughts and actions (see Proverbs 17:3; Jeremiah 17:10).
We recognize that at times our hearts are not as godly and spiritual as we would like them to be. Physically, we understand that a diseased heart may result in severe physical health issues. So, too, a spiritually diseased heart can cause spiritual problems! Issues in our hearts that is not from the word of God, can sometimes cause us to get off course.
Dear God, today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust inyou. We put on the helmet of salvation, which coversour minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.
We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armor every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
When you represent someone, everything you do reflects on that person. God created us to represent Him and to declare His glory.