Have you ever had those times in your life when you knew that Holy Spirit was dealing with you on a particular subject? It is my personal belief that the Lord is always wanting to speak to us, lead us and guide us in His ways, to grow in and with Him. Here lately for me, God has really been speaking to me saying, “Holly, above all else, guard your heart.”
I freely admit that my natural tendency is to worry, worry and then worry some more. Good grief, I can find things to be anxious about. The worst part is, it’s involuntary, a reflex of sorts that I’ve been trained well to do. I don’t actually seek to think or feel this way. Matter of fact, it’s a behavior that I genuinely hate and pray about constantly. (sigh) Give me 10 seconds and I can probably give you 300 scenarios of how any given situation could pan out. Sound familiar?
Anxiety Is Very Real
Anyone who deals with anxiety and/or fear know the above caption all too well. Anyone who discounts the impact that anxiety, depression or fear have on a person’s life sincerely need to get educated about how debilitating it can feel to suffer in this way. Most of us have been told, “Aw, you just need to smile, cheer up, look at the bright side of life.” There is truth to that, but not in the spirit that it’s often spoken.
We do need to have the right thought life. In fact, that’s what this post is all about. But there also needs to be an understanding that people, including Christians, are suffering and in desperate need of the healing love of God.
Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:8 – “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.”
Your Heart Affects Everything You Do
As I read my Bible the other day and asked Holy Spirit to speak to me about what was on His heart, that’s exactly what I realized. I had been hearing “guard your heart” but never took the time to dive deeper into what that means in application for my life & others’ lives.
In The Passion Translation (which I adore), Proverbs 4:20-27 reads:
“Listen carefully, my dear child to everything that I teach you and pay attention to all that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So, above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life. Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words. Be free from using perverse words no matter what! Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.”
What Does It Mean Exactly To Guard My Heart?
Ahhh, now it’s becoming more clear. Notice how when God’s Word says you should guard your heart because it affects all you are, you’re including your thought life, your will/plans, discernment and affections?
When He says, “Above all else, guard your heart,” He’s warning us that because our adversary seeks to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10), we must be thinking about what we’re thinking about.
What is the condition of our hearts (read the definition above again)? Are we trusting God, or are we focused more on what could happen with a fear, anxiety based response – the very things the enemy is desperately trying to get our attention/affections on?
F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real
It has been said so accurately that f.e.a.r. is an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” I don’t know about you but I try to remind myself of this one all the time. If Satan is the father of lies and there is no truth in him (John 8:44), and fear is never from the Lord (2 Timothy 1:7), that alone should cause us pause when we feel gripped by fear. Hearing and immediately shutting down those voices telling us that (fill in your blank) is about to happen. If it’s not from God, it isn’t true. Because it isn’t true, we should be guarding our hearts against the lie.
God knows the onslaught we face as believers in our minds. He knows our anxieties, our worries, our fears.
1 Peter 5:6-9 – 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you. 7Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.
A book that I highly recommend is, “Battlefield of The Mind” by Joyce Meyer. Guarding our hearts is about the battlefield of the mind, understanding that we don’t have to continue putting up with the lies of the devil. Living defeated was never God’s plan for our lives. No wonder He stressed in Scripture, above all else, guard your heart!
Peace Is A Promise He Keeps!
There is a line in one of my all-time favorite songs by Amanda Cook. Just as it says above, “peace is a promise He keeps.” I would love for you to take the time and listen to this song. It will minister to you, that I guarantee.
Think On Your Thoughts
Now that we are more aware of what it means to guard our hearts, I hope it will become easier to think about what we are thinking about. Retraining ourselves to not allow fear and anxiety to grip us takes the help of Holy Spirit. But with God, all things are possible.
You don’t have to be afraid anymore. Allow the Lord to cast out your fear with His perfect love and minister to your heart, flooding you with His perfect peace. It is my prayer that as you let Him do just that, your life will be forever transformed, living in the glorious love of God’s heart for you.
I’d love to hear from you. It is my prayer that this post has been a blessing and a comfort to you.