“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
“Guard your heart…”
Yes, we’ve heard this phrase a lot of times and I have heard this misquoted by a lot of Christians especially in the area of relationships wherein people would connotate it to something that makes it look like your building a ‘wall’ around you, so high enough to shut people out – which is not right, at all.
In my opinion, I believe that is not what it is actually trying to say and this scripture goes way beyond the area of relationships. Its meaning encompasses our entire approach in how we deal with practically everything that matters to us especially in making decisions that could impact the rest of our lives.
Do we really know how to guard our heart?
Or perhaps, the better question is, do we really know what will guard our heart and who can guard it?
In my own personal journey as a Christian, I must admit that I did not truly understand what “guarding” the heart really means. I had to encounter a lot of blunders along the way before I was able to really grasp what the scripture is actually trying to say.
Until one time, during my personal devotion, I stumbled upon the answer to my own question in Philippians 4:7 AMP (Italics mine):
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
So, what will guard your heart? It is nothing else but the Peace of God.
Do you ever encounter facing a decision in life – whether big or small – where you simply could not have that peace and you just knew within your heart of hearts that something within you is saying, “This ain’t it!”
That is the Spirit of God telling you to keep seeking, keep searching, don’t make that decision just yet, but wait. It’s like there’s a watchman signaling your boat that the coast is not yet clear, therefore don’t dock yet.
This then leads to the next question, “Who guards our heart?“
Jesus is the watchman of our hearts. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). If he is the Prince of Peace, therefore, he is the giver of Peace. He knows when it is safe to dock the boat, hence when He gives you that peace – you will know… like knowing with an inner knowing that – yes, this is right! The confusion fades and everything else falls into place.
Now, having this knowledge and understanding about peace, how do we apply this in our lives?
- Know and understand the Word of God
A personal devotion to God is the best way to know the heart of God. The more we know what the word of God is saying over that specific area in our lives, it would be easy for us to discern what is right and what is wrong. The Word of God is our standard and authority. Hence, anything outside the will of God is a counterfeit – no matter how good or attractive it looks. If you’re still in doubt, just ask Eve. 🙂
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6, NIV)
So, don’t be deceived!
- Obey God’s Word
When we obey, we prove that our faith is real and what we believe is true. Obedience is the ultimate expression of our love for God. That is why Jesus promises that, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:13-14, NIV)
- Wait on the Lord and don’t make hasty decision without seeking wisdom.
Peace is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As long as the peace has not settled yet, keep seeking God for wisdom. The scripture says, ““Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22, ESV). Wisdom can also come from your spiritual leaders, church elders, your close friends who have your best interest at heart or people whose expertise you can rely on and give you sound advice.
- Pray. Pray. Pray.
I cannot over emphasize this more. The scripture says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT). It is true, in my own personal journey in faith, I realized that in everything that I do and I plan to do, I accomplish more when I pray than when I do things out of my own strength. It is when I pray that God does the most impossible task. As a result, it frees me from worries, mistakes and wasted time.
And so, in applying all these things in my life, I find my soul at rest and my heart at peace with unexplainable confidence that everything is going to be alright. 🙂