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Insights & Encouragement

Holiness and Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

For the biblical writers, the "heart" is the source of your desires or affections that drive the will - the inner you that shapes what you do and why you do it. That's why God speaks of "circumcision of the heart", which is sort of an Old Testament way of saying "born again". We need a new heart to worship God the way we were designed. The new heart drives new desires and new behaviors. However, once we have a new heart, we still need to guard it! When Proverbs assigns a priority to the task of "guarding your heart", it ranks "above all else". That sounds pretty important, doesn't it? Why is it so important to guard our hearts? He answers that question - Because "everything you do flows from it"... Our passions, our words ("out of the heart the mouth speaks"), our behavior and actions - they all flow from the heart - the center of us - the source of our desires.

To be the holy people God calls us to be, we need to guard our hearts. How do we do that? Well, how do you guard anything? You need to carefully monitor what comes in. We need to bring the good in and keep the bad out. What's on the screen we are looking at? What are we reading? What are we listening to? What are we watching? What are we thinking about? Take an inventory. Don't just "veg" and default. That isn't guarding at all. I can assure you the Enemy is not "vegging". He's prowling like a lion. Let's be diligent and deliberate with what we allow in. If we believe what this proverb says, we need to carefully monitor and strategically plan what we allow in our hearts. And we need to do so with utmost importance, because our holiness depends on it.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23 NIV

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