How do you guard your heart?
When I first became a Christian I struggled with how to change my thoughts, actions, words, and attitude. I wanted to live a more godly life, but not much changed. It took a while for me to realize that how I acted wouldn’t change until my choices changed: the music I listened to, the things I watched, and where I set my gaze.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Guard your heart =
Listening to positive, uplifting words and music so that you’ll speak positive, uplifting words.
Paying attention to what will help, encourage, and inspire you. We can watch television and movies that fill our minds with hope, instead of worries or fear.
Also, looking straight ahead, fixing our eyes on Jesus … instead of getting distracted by wealth, power, and prestige. We think those things will make us happy, but they really won’t.
Peace and joy, it’s what we want more than anything in life. People strive and search for both, but they often head down the wrong path and wonder why they can’t find either. And the good news is, we don’t have to guard our hearts alone. Instead, we can remember these things:
1. Be strong in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10 says to be “strong in the Lord.” We access this by 1) believing that God is strong enough and 2) crying for help. When we cry out to God, he rushes to our aid, building up our internal reserves, and working in powerful ways to help to guard our hearts and desire the right things.
2. We underestimate our enemy. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep us from following God as we should.
3. It is possible to stand firm. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm,” we read in Ephesians 6:11. It’s not if we can stand firm. It’s trusting, that with God’s help, we can.
But the point of guarding our hearts isn’t just about “acting better.” Instead, as we make the right choices, we can trust in these three things:
1. God has good plans for you. He sets a path before you. And even if that path is rocky at times, the journey is worth the destination … eternity with God.
2. God’s plans do not end when we mess up. He doesn’t throw in the towel when we find ourselves off track and in trouble. God comes to us. He desires to help us wherever we are.
3. God gives us new mercies each day. Even if we messed up yesterday, we have another chance to start today.
Here is a prayer for you:
Father God, thank you for a new day and a chance to start over. As the proverb says, help me guard my heart and fill it with things that honor and glorify you. Help me cut out the bad habits I’ve developed that pollute my heart with sin. Thank you for your merciful love and forgiveness!
The good news is that the more I guarded my heart the more things changed–and the more I changed. I’m a different person than I used to be, and it’s happened by guarding my heart one moment at a time.
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