More than a year ago, the Lord taught me a very important lesson that I pray I will never forget, ever.
I had always wondered why I was often overwhelmed about a lot of things. There was almost no day at all that I wasn’t worried and stressed out. Perhaps it could be because of my schedule, perhaps it was my job, maybe the energy suckers around me (hehe). I didn’t know why. Pretty soon, the weariness got a toll on my relationships, work, my behavior and literally everything connected to me. Something was just not right. Christians are supposedly the happiest people on earth. This was obviously not true at all in my life. Why? I was a serious Christian then. I was even an intern pastor!
Then one day, during my time with the Lord, He gave me Proverbs 4:23:
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. NLT
I MUST guard my heart and guard it well if I want to stay stable and strong. The King James Version of the Bible uses the word diligence referring to how we should guard our hearts. And by the way, it’s “your heart, your responsibility”. I’m the one responsible to keep my heart, you are the one responsible to keep yours.
I researched on what a heart is. Joyce Meyer describes the heart as the deepest part of us. It encompasses emotions, our whole spiritual life, mental life and physical life.
The New Living Translation says that the heart… determines the course of your life. Thus, whatever fills it determines what happens next in our speech and actions. If the heart is filled with worries and negative things these come out of our mouth.
Matthew 12:34b For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. NIV
And the worries and negative things also will be manifested in our actions and in our life. Proverbs 23:7a holds a very powerful statement.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he,,, KJV
So, how do we guard our hearts then?
The heart is like a container. We can fill it with either positive or negative things. And what fills it, comes out of us. If we change what fills our hearts then we have a better outcome. “Bad heart, bad outcome. Good heart, good outcome” for a tree produces something of its kind. We should be cautious about what comes in through our senses. We should watch about what we watch, read, listen to, etc.
Another important thing is right associations. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” NIV
We can become who we associate with. If we associate with negative people, we become like them. If we go with the right ones, it would be as if we have a spring in our steps. Wonderful, isn’t it?
The last thing, and the most important thing, is staying in the Presence of God. It’s a MUST to always have a quality time with the Lord. It’s only in that secret place with the Lord that we become strengthened and encouraged. If it is His Word that fills our hearts, then it’s inevitable that the good will come out of us. The more we are with God, the more we become like Him in His character, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, joy, etc.
Let’s be careful with our hearts for it determines the course of our lives!