By Doug Pierce
“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
The Scripture teaches that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Simply put, this means we are to love God with every single fiber of our being. We are to love Him with everything we have to give. Probably every one of us have spoken the phrase, “I love you with all of my heart” to someone dear to us. Physically, the heart is the source of life. In the same way, spiritually speaking, the heart is in the driver’s seat of who we are. Whatever we love the most with our heart will determine what we believe and how we live.
The Lord made us this way. He knows the importance of the heart. That is why His Word exhorts us in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our heart above all else – because everything we do flows from it. The heart is the control center of the inner man . . . it is the essence of who we are.
What does it mean to guard your heart? The Hebrew word for the English word ‘heart’ is a word picture of an officer guarding a prison with his life. In biblical times, if a prisoner escaped, the guard could actually be put to death. This emphasizes the fact that guarding your heart is a serious matter! The Bible is warning us to set a guard around our hearts as protection from intruders. A GUARDHOUSE. It may be the same where you live, but there are many gated communities here in the Madison area. In some of the neighborhoods, there is a small guardhouse at the entrance with a guard stationed to monitor who comes and goes. If you are a resident, you can go right through; but if you are a visitor, the guard will stop you, ask why you are there, and then either let you in or turn you away. In the same way, we’re to guard our hearts with the same diligence. As our verse today says, it’s very important what we allow into our heart because it will greatly affect what flows out of it.
Every day we are bombarded with messages, some true and some false. The books we read, movies we choose to see, television shows we choose to watch, social media we use, and content we view online all bang at the guardhouse of our heart, demanding entrance . . . itching to set up camp. That’s why we must guard our heart above all else. We’re warned in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil. “The Bible is clear from this verse. We have power over the devil and his schemes to deceive us! Much like the officer of the guardhouse, you have authority over the enemy! Tell him to hit the road when he comes to gain entrance in your heart and mind with his trashy, negative thoughts that are only meant to trip you up! The Bible encourages us, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Fill your mind with the ‘good’ Word of God to overcome the evil thoughts of the devil.
In the sports world, there’s a saying that, “The best defense is a good offense.” Let’s be on the offensive and guard ourselves by filling our hearts and minds with God’s Word, because His Words are His thoughts.  And when our hearts are filled with His thoughts, there’s no room for the devil’s lies! Amen?! Remember, there’s no way we can love God with all of our heart if it is filled with useless junk? Guard your heart!
Pray a prayer with me like this today…”God, please help me to guard my heart above all else. Show me practical ways every day that I can protect my heart from the intruding lies of Satan. Thank You for Your truth . . . may my heart always be fully devoted to You.
In Jesus’ name, amen!”
Think it over . . .
Doug Pierce is a Church planter and a pastor. In 2003 he started, and continues to pastor First Independent Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi. His #1 priority is to glorify God in all aspects of ministry. He does this through teaching his congregation to Love God, Love One Another, and Love Others to God. Prayer, outreach, and church growth through evangelism are vital parts of his ministry. He and his wife Suzanne live in Madison, Mississippi where they also enjoy their children and grandchildren.
To find out more about Doug‘s ministry visit the FIMC Website
CGM wishes thank Freely for graciously granting permission for the of our feature photo.