Guarding your heart is just as important today as it always has been.
Proverbs 4:23 & 25 in the God’s Word translation says, “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it……..Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you“. Guarding your heart is just as important today as it always has been; but in the age that we live in, we need to be especially diligent because of the constant stream of information and images that are fighting for our attention. This was not the case prior to the 20th Century and it has increased at an amazing rate, as the 21st Century has progressed. As a parent of small children, I have seen the importance of being aware of what programmes my children are watching on television. There have been a number of children’s programmes which I have been uncomfortable with, sometimes I would be able to explain why, other times not. But whether or not I can explain what the issue is, is irrelevant. Colossians 3:15 in the Easy to Read Version says, “Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking“, I have learned that whilst God certainly does speak directly to us, another way that He speaks to us is through the inner sense of peace (or lack thereof). Regarding these programmes, because I had a sense of unease about them, I was obedient to the Holy Spirit and did not allow my children continue watching them.
We need to develop spiritual blinkers.
Paying close attention to what Proverbs 4:25 says about keeping your eyes looking straight ahead is essential. Anytime that there are things around that we should not be looking at, that we should not be focusing on, we need to focus our attention straight ahead and not allow ourselves to be distracted. We need to develop spiritual blinkers like those that horses sometimes wear. Of course, it not just a case of avoiding the bad things, we also need to actively focus on good, beneficial things. Philippians 4:8 in the J.B. Phillips translation says, “Fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good“. For example, I ensure that my children get a good dose of Christian TV at least most days; and don’t think that this necessarily has to always be children’s programming, because it doesn’t. Whilst a child may not be able to understand teaching which is aimed mainly at adults with their minds, their spirits are totally capable of understanding, and being strengthened by this spiritual food that they are being fed. There are also times when I will put on praise and worship music for my children to listen to, rather than watch secular TV. Don’t get me wrong, they do still watch some secular TV, as do I, but I am observant of what they are watching and how much time they are spending watching it.
David’s instructions were carried out with the ruthless efficiency of a mafia killing.
The account of David & Bathsheba, as recorded in 2 Samuel 11 & 12, serves as a warning of how important it is to guard our hearts and to never be complacent about what is entering our hearts via our eyes. 2 Samuel 11:2 in The Message translation says,”One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful“. Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, was bathing in the privacy of her garden; however she could be seen by David from the high vantage point of the palace roof. But rather than looking away when he saw Bathsheba, David allowed his eyes to focus on her. Although this action may have seemed insignificant at the time, the result was tragic. David’s decision not to avert his eyes resulted in the death of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah at David’s instructions, carried out with the ruthless efficiency of a mafia killing. The child which was born as a result of David & Bathsheba’s adultery, also died because of David’s sin. However, it is a testimony to God’s mercy, that when David repented, God forgave him. God’s blessing on David was restored and David & Bathsheba’s marriage resulted in the birth of the boy who would later become Israel’s wisest and most prosperous king, Solomon.
Do not be surprised when the fruit that your life produces is bad.
If we want to focus on “things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good“, the best advice possible is from Hebrews 12:2 which tells us to look unto Jesus. But how exactly do we do that? The answer is extremely simple and yet it is something which Christians too often fail to do. John 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God“; Jesus is the Word, so the simplest way of “looking unto Jesus“, is to study the Bible. “Looking unto Jesus” means following the instructions in Proverbs 4:20-21, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart“. Make reading and meditating on God’s Word a regular part of your daily routine and be diligent to protect your heart throughout each and every day. Matthew 12:35 in the New Living Translation says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart“. We need to decide if we want to be producing good things in our life, or bad things. You may not view yourself as evil, but if you are putting bad things into your heart through what you look at, do not be surprised when the fruit that your life produces is bad.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.