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Handling the issues of your life, your desires, your decisions and your counsels comes from your heart. In life, if we must flow in the right direction, self-restraint and a close watch over the fountain, thoughts, and imaginations that are processed and stored in our heart must be observed. If we are to succeed in any aspect of life, we must keep our minds far from entertaining impure thoughts and refuse to function with a wayward heart. Without guarding our hearts, no progressive life is possible in the right direction.

Reference: Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV) 'Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.'

It is absolutely essential to guard the heart in the world we live in. That's why the above Scripture places a strong emphasis on the heart as the source of everything - good or evil. To guard is to watch over and to keep under careful observation, in order to protect. When we keep watch over our hearts, we protect it against any evil or corrupt thoughts and we monitor and filter anything that wants to have access to it.

The success or failure of any project, plan, or endeavour started from the heart. An upright, enlightened, renewed, devout, and vigilant heart gives birth to proper dispositions, words and actions. On the contrary, an unrenewed mind, filled with corrupt thoughts, is without a firm knowledge and influence of God's Word and can produce all kinds of evil (Matthew 15:11-20 ESV). Therefore we must guard our hearts most carefully, with every diligence and above all other cares.

How can we guard our heart with all diligence? It is by yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit, by continual prayer, by hearing, reading, and meditating on the Word; and, above all, by allowing the Spirit of God to sanctify, preserve, and keep it. When you realise that in life, temptations are real, including corrupting influences, you'll take these appropriate spiritual precautions to guard your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, 'the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jesus also noted: 'The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks' (Luke 6:45 NIV).

God Himself said, 'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, and according to what their deeds deserve' (Jeremiah 17:10 NIV). This is for you to understand how influential the heart is, in how we live out our morals and values, and how seriously God searches and examines it. David once prayed, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me' (Psalm 51:10). He knew that what goes on in the heart is open to God's eyes. So he prayed in that manner. He later said, 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11 NIV), which means that he guarded his heart from sin by letting the Word into it and storing it richly there.

Our mind and thoughts, and especially the will and affections are more immediate and effectual in influencing our actions. This is why we must always renew and fill our minds regularly with God's Word, because it is able to keep us from stumbling and present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy. Hallelujah!

Scripture Reading - Proverbs 23:26; Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 3:5.

Guided Prayer: Precious Father, your Word is the shield that guards my heart and filters every desire and thought that flows from it. My steps in life are well ordered and directed in the path of success by your Word and Spirit, because my mind and thoughts are conditioned to align with your purpose for my life. Thus, my life is progressing in the right and upward direction in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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