The condition of your heart are essential to your health. If your heart are sick, then it means that your body will be sick. You cannot have a weak heart and a strong body. Sooner or later the weakness of the heart will catch up to you.
This is also true for us spiritually. A person’s heart, according to the Bible, is the seat of his emotions and his thoughts. We usually equate our hearts with our emotions, but the original readers of the Bible would have understood the heart to be person’s true self. The heart is what motivates your actions and directs what you believe.
This is why it is important for our hearts to be healthy. Erwin McManus wrote: “When your heart is sick, it can spread everywhere. Like a cancer, despair in the human soul can cause all kinds of malfunctions” (Uprising; p. 133).
To have a sick heart makes life difficult, and can result in the destruction your life. A diseased spiritual heart leads to depression, anger, confusion, and fear. It prevents you from living the life God created you to live.
Proverbs 4:23 reads: Guard your heart above all else,for it determines the course of your life (NLT). A piece of wisdom that Solomon wanted to pass on to God’s people is to be intentional in protecting their hearts.
I believe we do not do a very good job at protecting this precious gift from God. We are very casual with them, and willingly give our hearts to many different people and things. The result is that our hearts become broken, wounded, and diseased. When we fail to guard our hearts, then we allow the enemy free access to them.
The apostle Paul wrote; “And ’don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Eph 4:26-27; NLT) Paul mentions anger, but the principle can be applied throughout our lives. If we do not make time to deal with our sin through confession and asking forgiveness, then we give Satan an opportunity to attack our hearts.
How do we guard our hearts?
Let’s take a look at what Paul wrote in Philippians:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9; NLT)
- We guard our hearts by faith. The most basic way we demonstrate our faith in God is through prayer. One of the things we do through prayer is to surrender our worries and problems to God, because we trust Him to work things out for good. Prayer can also help us gain proper perspective on what is happening in our lives, and through prayer God will give us the wisdom we need to discern the next step we are to take. There will be times we need God’s supernatural intervention to help us make it to the other side of a difficult situation. Prayer helps us guard our hearts.
- We guard our hearts by thinking good thoughts. When we put garbage into our hearts, then our hearts will become a garbage dump. We have to be vigilant with what we allow to fuel our thoughts and emotions. We can’t concentrate on the things of God if our minds and hearts filled with junk. Take note of what you are putting into your heart, and make the appropriate changes.
The heart is important to our health. This means we need to work hard to guard our hearts from damage and disease. Protected and healthy hearts allow us to live the life God created us to live.