Guard Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

But how, Father? There’s so much evil, misinformation, deceitfulness, confusion, and turmoil in our country right now. I know we must be on guard against the pervasive darkness and wickedness that’s spreading. I want to “guard my heart above all else”. But how!?

I’ve found my answer:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice! The Greek: Χαίρετε (Chairete)”! Be cheerful. Calmly happy.

When I truly believe and remember that the Lord – the Almighty one who made the stars and mountains and seas and ME – is WITH me… it gives joy and cheerfulness and a gentle spirit.

We do not have to worry and fret. Instead we hand up our petitions to the Lord with thanksgiving! And His peace then guards our heart and mind.

What an amazing exchange! We remember He is near. We accept the joy of His presence. We give up our weakness and worries and sorrows. And He exchanges them for His peace that will then guard and protect our hearts and minds in Him.

Every day we just need to practice this. Practice practice practice. Remember the Lord Almighty is near. Be calm be gentle. Give up all our worries. Pour them out in words or tears. Choose to remember how much we have to be thankful for. As many times as the worries try to take over our heart or mind… go to Him that many times! As much as it takes.

As I walked the beach last week on a super chilly and windy day… I thought about how peaceful and calm and happy I felt despite what was going on around me. That’s what He desires for us!!!

No matter how hard the wind is whipping and what storms are brewing… He is our strong tower (Proverbs 18:10).

We must practice remembering that we are in the Strong Tower! We remember and we trust that we are not alone and He is with us working on our behalf. He will guide, protect, keep pure, and keep right our hearts and minds. We do not have to fear deception or darkness. We just have to practice remembering!

Now more than ever we must remember. With thankful hearts we must TRUST. He is God and we are not.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Above. All. Else. Let Him guard your heart. Let Him care and tend to you. Give Him your heart and mind and accept His peace. Visualize yourself in the Strong Tower of His love!

Seek His peace and care through remembering, rejoicing, thanking, giving up your worries. In this way, every trouble and worry and frustration and obstacle and sorrow will be a catalyst of spiritual growth as they cause you to go to His heart!

The true reality is that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is the most powerful – nothing is more powerful than He is and He is furthering His story. No matter what!

No matter what it feels like or looks like. Trust. Give up all your cares and let Him care for you. He is the Strong Tower. The faithful one. He is mighty. He is trust-worthy!

Psalm 131

My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore. Psalm 131

There’s a lot of things going on in our country and in the world that are alarming and attention-grabbing. But the Lord not only gives us permission to be at peace and not worry…He desires it for us! Every day, we must take the time to be at peace and relinquish all worries to the Lord’s hands. This week I have practiced visualizing myself crawling into Abba’s lap, being still, and not moving from that stillness until I feel totally content.

Some mornings as I’ve walked in my place of solitude, I’ve felt more like a fretful little one that needs to vent than a weaned and trusting child. On those mornings it seems I crawl into His lap with a flurry of words anxieties and complaints … “but how will you handle this!?” … “but this is going on now!” … “can you even believe xyz?”… “won’t you do something Jesus!?” But each time, He does eventually quiet my spirit.

The Lord’s people know what that contentment of soul feels like. It’s the place of rest where we know with confidence that The Lord who loves us beyond comprehension is the ALMIGHTY, Sovereign, one and only, Creator God that knows best and does best… and we are not.

Should we completely ignore any “big matters”? Refuse to know what’s going on in the world around us? Pretend the evil around us doesn’t exist?

I don’t think that’s necessary! We can stay educated, keep informed, think about big concepts, and discuss them with our family… but we can’t concern ourselves. The Lord will guide us each individually how much information to let in based on our minds and personalities and callings… but for His people, His desire is the same: Do not concern yourself.

Our souls yearn for peace and rest… and the world offers so much to try to satisfy the yearning. But there is nothing. No. thing. that truly satisfies and contents the soul other than Jesus. He is the One our souls were created for! HE is peace.

So the power is not in the practice of visualization, solitude, or stillness. The power is in Jesus and the hope we have in His power and His goodness. Practices like this simply help us discipline ourselves to GO to the ONE who leads us “beside quiet waters” (Ps 23).

– RJR –