Have you ever made a silly mistake like King David because you failed to guard your heart with wisdom? The Bible instructs us to be vigilant for the heart springs forth sources of life.
The scriptures instruct us to guard our hearts. Do we even understand why? This has been a thought-provoking topic that compels me to use more reasoning power with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit. I thought to pen down something about how Christians can guard their hearts a couple of months ago… I realized the enthusiasm wasn’t there because this is a broad topic that needs an extensive explanation.
I have to revisit the idea and ask the Holy Spirit to inspire me to deliver the best explanation to anyone searching for the truth about the human heart and how to guard it against the crafty devices of the devil that leads to eternal damnation.
It’s a broad topic indeed, but I believe before you finish reading this, you would better understand what the Bible means when it says ‘guard your heart.’
I would need you to stick with me while I take you through the Biblical meaning of the heart and its important connection to our spiritual lives. Don’t skimp… —you may miss some important points. I will begin by quickly introducing you to what the Bible refers to as the heart.
What Does The Bible Say About The Heart?
Taking a look at both the Old and New Testaments, we can find the scriptures talk repeatedly of the heart as the center of a person’s inner life. If it is the center of a person’s inner life, then it is worthy and necessary to protect it from any form of corruption — especially the deceptive whispers of the devil.
Different Reference Of The Heart From The Bible
We must also acknowledge the fact that the heart isn’t exclusively limited to one particular part of a human.
1. The human ‘Heart’ as the Bible instruct us to guard may refer to a person’s whole inner life. (1Samuel 16:7; Psalms 22:26; Proverbs 4:23 and Matthew 22:37)
2. The heart may also refer to attributes of our human personality such as:
• understanding (Proverbs 2:10)
• desires (Romans 1:24)
• feelings (Proverbs 14:10)
• determination (Romans 6:17)
• character (Romans 2:29)
3. Sometimes the ‘heart’ is used to represent a person’s spirit, soul, or mind; They are used interchangeably and so might be a little confusing to many.
It is a whole complex thing with vital functionality that may lead to a fruitful living that glorifies God or disgraceful attitudes that fuels Satan’s master plan of destruction.
By taking the heart into account as the soul of a person, you can imagine how important it is that both God and Satan want it. God needs your heart, Satan also needs your heart. Huh! To whom are you, therefore, surrendering your heart? It’s your own choice or decision.
The wisest man ever to live —King Solomon wrote:
“Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Remember, the heart is also known as ‘the inner being’, which is the source of all the wrong that a person does. Mark 7:21 – 23 gives details of some of the filthy things that spring out of the hearts of sinful men.
Only Jesus can recreate that heart by cleansing it of all the filth and sins to give it a new spiritual life. Jesus is the one who can cleanse our hearts, and strengthen us to guard them against contamination.
As I finalize, what the Bible means about the human heart, you must always guard it by determining to take the right actions or decisions. As a Christian, It is imperative to develop the right attitude of heart at all times.
What Is The Meaning Of Guard Your Heart?
In Proverbs 4:23, the Bible says to guard your heart with all vigilance because —out of it comes the sources of life. The source of life which is very essential must surely be treated with diligence. Anything that is valuable needs to be protected and kept safe at all times.
In the book of Proverbs 4, King Solomon called for the admonition to follow righteousness and avoid any form of sin.
It all boils down to the fact that the human heart is the fountain from which all the streams of life emanate. Therefore, extra care must be taken not to stop it from functioning properly and orderly.
In the spiritual sphere, the heart is the seat of our Lord Jesus Christ who gives life. Jesus is the One in whom all the streams of spiritual life come from him to all the powers and faculties of the soul.
Watch that this seat of glory of Jesus Christ that produces rivers of living water is not contaminated or cut off. You would be at the mercy of the devil if you fail to guard the glorious seat of the Lord in your heart. Light (Jesus) and Darkness (Satan) can not stay together in one place.
Lessons From Guarding Your Heart Scriptures
Now, when we read the book of Proverbs 4:1 – 27, we can learn about the power of wisdom.
• Wisdom the inner guide
The writer King Solomon gave instructions to his ‘sons’ by passing on life lessons full of wisdom from his own ‘father’.
The lesson we must all grasp here is that above everything one has to acquire wisdom and insight. And the foremost step in getting wisdom is to have a desiring spirit for it.
Interestingly, once the seeker (it could be you, me, or anyone) acquires wisdom and insight, they become a measure of security, honor and beauty in his life.
Another lesson, Christians can learn from what the Bible says about guarding the heart is to help beef up your morality or ethics as a child of God.
There are unwritten principles that God had inscribed in the human heart from the beginning. But because of sin —people had neglected these principles. Humans have turned a blind eye to them.
Someone might ask what kind of principles am I talking about. I guess you know it already because I wouldn’t buy into it if any man says he has no idea.
Look, these principles were centered on the truth that the moral conduct of every human should reflect the moral character of God, in whose image we are made. The God character is already in our DNA and so everyone must exercise a high level of morality that glorifies God.
The Lord Who created all hearts knows everything within. He will pay each other according to his deeds. And before the deeds are executed, then the heart has already conceived it!
If you leave your heart unguarded, the devil will take control of your entire life because you have allowed him to take the seat of your ‘inner life’ being your heart.
“If you say, “But we did not know about this,” does not the one who evaluates hearts consider? Does not the one who guards your life know? Will he not repay each person according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:12)
Ethics or morality when observed diligently in the sight of the Lord brings blessings. Disregard them and your life would be full of miseries, suffering and hopelessness.
“The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act – and if necessary, to suffer and die – for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.” —Haile Selassie
The Problem When The Devil Goes After Your Unguarded Heart
There are several problems or consequences that happen to people who fail to guard their hearts as stated in Proverbs 4:23.
Satan is indeed roaring like a lion seeking whom he may devour, so be vigilant at all times. (1 Peter 5:8) The enemy has a particular game he plays on the children of God. It is the game of ‘deception‘ or ‘luring.’
He would boldly come to you, hey! give me your heart, bow down to me and I will give you all these beautiful and expensive things at no cost.
Remember, how this ‘Liar‘ tempted Adam and Eve when they left their hearts unguarded. He tried to play the same trick on Jesus in Luke chapter 4. He tempted Jesus Christ in three conservative times but failed woefully because Jesus is always full of wisdom and insight.
Satan is still tempting us in so many ways. All he needs is your heart/soul —and what are you going to gain in exchange for that —that will benefit your soul?
The Temptations To Follow Your Own Sinful Desires
There is a popular phrase “follow your heart” that the world mistakenly uses to inspire people by making them feel comfortable to choose whatever makes them happy. If you fail to apply wisdom to these sugar-coated words, you will be in the trap of the devil.
The battle of your soul is to gain salvation by freeing itself from worldly pleasures and sinful activities that lead to eternal damnation. The devil is constantly pushing his agenda on the children of God. His method might be subtle but could have a grave consequence on your life.
Have you ever been tempted to compromise your faith? Sure it does happen to everyone. Your heart desires could lead you into the enemy’s hand. It takes the wisdom of God to overcome the devil’s alluring games.
Do you remember David? At a point in his life, his unguarded heart led him into adultery. After seeing a beautiful woman (Bathsheba) bathing —he devised in his heart to sin which had serious consequences and repercussions in his life. (2 Samuel 11:2)
Samson, when he disobeyed the instruction of God —fell into the hands of his enemies which ended in his tragic death.
In contrast, Job dared to live a righteous life guarded by the wisdom of God at all times. He said:
“I made a covenant with my eyes, how then should I look lustfully at a young woman?” (Job 31:1)
It is evident from the story of Job that, he was a man who was able to guard his heart against sinful desires. In this case, God blessed him and made him prosperous even after losing everything.
Surely, we have all been tempted to cut corners to reach the ladder of success or satisfy our fleshy desires… Think about how you had wanted to have something…. a person, car, clothes, position, etc, The devil can promise you the best things in life but they wouldn’t last long before you regret submitting to him.
The major thing he will request is “just hand over control of your life to me.” With the assurance of no pain but all gain. You see, he delights in taking control of your heart. Many have become victims of Satan’s enticing tactics that appeal to the human eyes, heart and ears.
In a survey by Discipleship Journal in 1992, some readers were asked to list their strongest temptations in order of priority.
Below are the top 9:
3. Self-centred ness
6. Sexual Lust
In all, it appeared that 81% easily yield to temptation when they neglect to have time for God.
57 % also admitted that they were likely to fall into temptation when they feel physically tired.
As you find yourself reading this post, you might find yourself vulnerable to one or two of these temptations. Allow the Spirit of God to fill you (walk in the Spirit) and you will never yield to the desire of the flesh.
When I take a look at #4 it reminds me of a whole lot of lessons from the Bible. Laziness is a common ‘disease’ or let me say ‘weakness’ to sound more appropriate and polite here. It easily opens portals for the devil to give us work to do; Work that will lead to sin, suffering, pain, poverty and eternal death.
Let me quickly take a scenario from Proverbs 24:30 – 31. It gives an illustration of a lazy man who lacks the wisdom to cultivate his farmland. Thorns grew all over it. The ground turned into weeds leaving its stone wall broken.
I see this as a perfect illustration of the effects of failing to guard your heart with wisdom. You would be broken and invaded by the enemy… Guard your heart all the time because it is precious and irreplaceable.
How To Guard Your Heart
In our modern generation, the temptation to fall into the devil’s hand has become prevalent. Science and Technology have been the major alluring devices to invade the hearts of people with evil thoughts, lustful desires, greed, etc,
Below are some of the best ways to guard your heart as a Christian:
1. Use the Bible as your weapon against sinful desires. The Word of God is full of power and divine wisdom; read it every day and be filled with the Holy Spirit —your Teacher, Guardian, and Comforter.
2. Prayer is your weapon. Pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). Lead a prayerful life that will help uplift your spirit to stay strong enough to resist any ungodly spirit/person that would tempt you into sin.
3. Think twice before you make a decision. Use your brain to make the right decisions and choices. In your conscious mind listen to the voice of God, not the devil.
4. Evaluate everything you do and anyone you come into contact with —with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Never use human wisdom to evaluate people or how good or bad something is.
“Let us evaluate for ourselves what is right; let us come to know among ourselves what is good” (Job 34:4)
5. Pray for discernment to know what is good and pleasing in the sight of the Lord and what displeases Him. James 1:5 says to pray for wisdom and the Lord will give you. You need wisdom to guard your heart and every single step you take in life. Again, pay attention to your dreams, God might be giving you some warning signs/directions about your today’s life or future life.
6. Make a firm decision to obey the instructions of the Lord. Determine to do what is godly, worthy and pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Try your best to avoid any form of conscious sin. And never allow the devil to control your thoughts or have a seat in your heart.
7. Stay away from ungodly people who will lead you into sin. Be mindful of the people you associate with. Science says negative energy is contagious. So connect with those who will help in your spiritual growth and relationship with Christ Jesus.
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33)
Your moral character must be a reflection of that of God. It happens by doing the will of God.
8. Identify what triggers your emotions or thoughts to fall into temptation and stay away from them.
If you easily get swayed by ungodly scenes on screens, then stay alert against it, guard your heart and never allow it to be invaded by evil thoughts or desires.
9. Be selective about the things you consume in your heart. Be conscious and selective about the things you listen to and watch with your eyes; They are the pathway to your soul —so guard them with all diligence.
10. Exercise self-control. This is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7, Galatians 5:22 – 23) You must be able to control your emotions. Never allow your negative impact emotions to dictate for you. The devil is always looking for that weakness to probe into your heart to cause damage to you and others.
Bible Verses About Guarding Your Heart
Now, you may find some of the verses about how to guard your heart below helpful.
“And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
“But be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34)
“The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it? I, the LORD, probe into people’s minds. I examine people’s hearts. I deal with each person according to how he has behaved. I give them what they deserve based on what they have done.” (Jeremiah 17:9 – 10)
“He is the one who forms every human heart, and takes note of all their actions.” (Psalms 33:15)
“Give me understanding so that I might observe your law, and keep it with all my heart” (Psalms 119:34)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Thanks for reading through. I welcome your thoughts, contribution and feedback. And don’t forget to share if you find this article helpful.