A wise Proverb that can alter the direction of your entire life says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23). So how do you practically watch over your inner self? How do you keep your mind and heart from danger?
Right after Jesus challenged his disciples to take up their cross and follow Him, He asks them two questions of eternal significance: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Jesus asked these questions in such a way that He taught the equation: EVERYTHING minus your soul equals NOTHING.
Here are three steps to practically guard your heart:
1. Ask God for help. After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba he wrote this song to the Lord found in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” David understood that God has the power to make his heart pure again. He pleaded with God to repair his soul and to renew his spirit. Ask God to do the same for you. Ask Him to cleanse and renew your heart.
2. Focus on God and not your worries. Philippians 4:6-7 commands: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? Read it again. When you focus on God, instead of your worries, His peace will guard your heart. This peace that exceeds understanding is far superior to our finite worry.
3. Focus on the right path. Proverbs 4:23-27 pleads: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” With so many distractions and temptations along the path of life you need to put energy into focusing on the right path. Avoid chasing after the everything, because everything minus your soul equals nothing.
Of all the things you can do today, guarding your heart is one of the most urgent and important. Stop what you are doing and take time to ask God for help, focus on Him and not your worries, and then begin focusing on the right path.