Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
The summer I graduated from Bible school I spent the summer working as a plumber’s helper replacing broken lines in people’s yards. Let’s just say, “It was definitely a dirty job.”
One of those “dirty jobs” required us to go into the backyard to repair a line. This particular homeowner happened to have a very unfriendly dog, so when we arrived we knocked on the front door to confirm that her dog was indeed inside. She ensured us the coast was clear, so we proceeded towards the side of the house where the gate was located. You probably know where this is going by now but allow me to finish.
After being ensured the dog was inside we approached the chain link fence, no more than four feet tall. Just to be sure she had followed through on her word, I gave a couple good whistles before opening the gate. No dog, so I assumed the coast was clear.
Now, I don’t know why this dog didn’t respond to the whistles. Maybe I wasn’t in his key. Whatever it was, I got a whole different response when he heard the sound of the latch being lifted. In the blink of an eye, that dog had rounded the corner of the house at full speed and leaped at us as if we were rotisserie chickens served up on a platter for a doggy dinner.
The only thing that saved us was that I hadn’t quite gotten the gate open yet. When I saw Cujo the killer dog bearing down on us, I instinctively let the latch down and his flying leap wasn’t met with tasty human flesh but cold had steel. Let me tell you, as he limped back around the house, I was thankful for that fence!
That’s exactly what it means to guard your heart. In fact, when you study the original Hebrew meaning of this, it literally means “to build a fence”.
Now there, are two basic reasons you build a fence. One is to keep unwanted things out. The other is to keep things of value in. And that’s exactly why God tells us to make sure we guard our hearts. He’s put purpose, calling, peace, joy, and love inside you and it’s worth protecting. You can’t let just anyone or anything in there.
The enemy would love nothing more than to swoop in and steal the peace of God in your life. He’d love nothing more than to sneak in and burglarize your joy and purpose. So my question is, “How are you guarding your heart.” I’m not talking about building walls where you don’t let anyone in ever. I’m talking about guarding, not isolating.
So let me ask again, “Are you guarding your heart?” Are you guarding your heart from impure content? From manipulative people? From selfish motives?
You are valuable. Your purpose is valuable. Your heart is valuable. Don’t allow intruders to permission to come in and vandalize your heart. Keep your heart because it’s worth protecting.
Father, I’m so thankful that you have placed so much value on me. I’m grateful that you gave me a heart, a purpose, and a destiny worth protecting. Give me wisdom on how to guard my heart. I don’t want to build walls and isolate myself but help me see any areas I’ve allowed unwanted intruders into my heart. Then give me the courage to evict them. My heart is yours and I want to give you glory with my entire heart. In Jesus’ name.