Sunday, November 25, 2012
A security guard for our hearts...
"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God." -- 1 Chronicles 22:19
I want you to picture a museum filled with hundreds, maybe even thousands of pieces of priceless art. Paintings and sculptures by the great masters on display so the world can come in a observe, appreciate and study them. In this museum are men in uniform standing guard, quietly watching over the art to make sure it is not harmed. Their main function is to keep the art in and unharmed and to keep art thieves and art destroyers out. In our world, it is necessary to have these guards to watch over the art. Hundreds of people come in and out of this museum every day, and we need to protect the things we value highly.
Now, picture your heart, not just the blood pumping organ in your body, but the heart of your soul that keeps you going through your life. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Your heart is like the priceless art in the museum...it needs protected. It needs someone to stand gaurd and keep the good in and the bad out. If your heart is filled with bad and distracting things, everything you do will be tainted by it. But who is going to stand guard by our hearts?
God will guard our hearts...but we have to invite him in. And, when he is in our hearts, we can keep him there by reading his word. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, "My son, pay attention to what I say: turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find then and health to one's whole body." God is telling us how to place him on guard in our hearts...by keeping his word in our minds and hearts. This will lead to a healthy heart.
Every day there are things competing for our hearts...things that want to get in and either steal or destroy our hearts. God knows this and warns us of them in his word. Galatians 5:16-26 lists some of those things...everything from sexual immorality to jealousy and beyond. All of the things on the list to guard your heart against will not cause you to "go to hell" if you do them...BUT they do distract your heart and mind and pull you away from God. After so much time being distracted from God's love and peace in your heart, that love and peace is replaced by fear, doubt, conflict and...heartache.
In those Galatians verses, it also says what we are to keep IN our hearts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control...the list goes on. Those things are wonderful, but how do we keep those things in and the other things out? With prayer. Paul, sitting in a dark, dank prison cell prayed and thanked God for all things. He rejoiced in every situation...he knew how weak he was and went to God in prayer at all times, looking for strength and protection for his heart. (Philippians 4:4-7)
When we let him, God can be like the museum security guard...guarding and protecting our hearts. He can help us keep the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out. I feel a sense of peace knowing that my heart is being guarded like that, don't you? Why wouldn't "The Great Master" want to protect his own creation and masterpiece?