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By Maria McGhee – Columbus, Ohio

 Our gracious Papa-God takes great care and concern about the condition of our hearts. That is why He says to us:

“Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of life flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 GWT

 Another translation I like is the New American Standard Bible (NASB):

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NASB

 The Hebrew translation of guard is “to watch, guard, keep above all being.” The heart is the very core of who we are as a person. It’s where our thoughts, feelings (emotions), our desires, and even our choices begin.

I was thinking about the areas of my life that I personally guard or watch over… my marriage, my family, and the relationships with my friends. However, in all my watching over and guarding, it’s my own heart that God says to guard more than anything else.

He cares about our heart so much that He has given us keys as to how to do that. Some of those principles are revealed to us in the verses that follow Proverbs 4:23.

“Remove dishonesty from your mouth. Put deceptive speech far away from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you. Carefully walk a straight path, and all your ways will be secure.” Proverbs 4:24-26 GWT

 Let’s look again at the beginning of our verse as it reads, “guard your heart.”  We ourselves must guard and watch over our own hearts.

My husband, friends, or pastor are not able to do that for me. It is my own responsibility to guard my own heart.

God always amazes me. When we ask him about the how or why behind His Word, He is never lax in guiding or directing us. We just need to seek out his truth for the answers.

The Lord took me to 2 Peter:

Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness.” – 2 Peter 1:3 TPT

 God has already deposited in us all that we need in living out a godly life. We have this amazing treasure living in each of us. Thank you, Jesus!

Many times we don’t guard this amazing treasure with utmost care. That ought not to be so!

 Help Is On The Way!

 But, we have help in guarding our hearts. Our help comes from the Lord by way of our holy spirit that dwells within. How awesome is that!

 “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this

great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

 Another verse that reveals this truth is in 2 Timothy:

 “That precious treasure which is in your charge, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” – 2 Timothy 1:4 WNT

Looking back at Proverbs 4:23, we must guard our heart more than anything else because the source of our life flows from it.  There’s a constant flowing of life in our hearts. And everything we do flows out of our heart.

Our heart is like a reservoir where streams never stop flowing. Our hearts can’t be turned off; they can only be changed.

It is up to you and me to be keenly aware of the streams that flow into our hearts because what we allow to flow in will surely flow out.

Are there good, clean, pure streams of influence flowing into the reservoir of our hearts? Or are there tainted, polluted streams flowing in? Read how the Lord puts it in Proverbs and John.

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” – Proverbs 27:19 NIV

 “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” – John 7:38 NLT

 Let’s drink in every bit of truth so that the reservoirs of our heart pour out the pure, refreshing, living water of life onto others! That means we must be vigilant in keeping guard over the great and precious treasure of our hearts.

Maria and her husband Jamil have a passion for outreach, and seeing people saved, whole, and delivered in all areas of their lives. They reside in Columbus, Ohio, and have three awesome young adult children.