Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guarding Your Heart for the Lord (Part 2)

How do we keep our hearts pure for the Lord? 
The Source must be clean. Before anything good can flow from our hearts, to the glory of God and to the good of others around us,our hearts must be changed. We must turn over our hearts, our lives to the Lord and He will give us a new heart. For those of us who have been saved and given a new heart (2 Cor. 5:17), it is only fitting for us to surrender that heart back to Him! He requests that from everyone of us. He says in Proverbs 23:26, "My son, give me your heart." I think of that little booklet by Robert Boyd Munger, "My Heart Christ Home." It is a beautiful illustration of how the Lord comes into the home of our hearts and He doesn't just want to be in the house, but a wants to be at home in your heart! He wants to be able to go into every room of your heart. If we are holding part of our heart for ourselves the enemy will target that area of our life and attack us through it. That is why we must surrender our hearts to the Lord.

The Source must be filtered. The filter for us as Believers is the Word of God. "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God (God breathed), and is profitable for doctrine (that which teaches us what's right), for reproof (that which teaches us when we go wrong), for correction (that which teaches us how to get right), for instruction (that which teaches us how to stay right), that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16). That is why it is so important to hide His Word in our hearts. The Psalmist knew about this filtering system to guard our hearts when he wrote, "How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word. With my whole heart I have sought you; Oh let me not wander from Your commandments.Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You."

The Source must be screened. We used to have a swimming pool and it had a good filtering system, but we also had to skim it with a screen, usually on top of the water, but at times the sediment would settled down deep into the pool. We had to screen out what didn't belong. I want to use this as a picture of cleaning out our hearts by the confession of sins. Things that we might have allowed in our lives by our actions or our attitudes. Scripture reminds us that, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

The Source must be protected. There are two things that protect our heart along with the Word of God and confess. They prayer and praise. We are instructed in Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God; and the peace of God which passing all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." In Acts 16 we see Paul and Silas in prison, having been beaten and locked in shackles. But their they were at midnight praying and praising God. I believe that their praying and praising guarded them from discouragement and disappointment. Out of their praying and praising hearts flowed a spring that affected the lives of all around them.

The Source is constantly looked after by another. We have seen that our hearts our always under attack by Satan, this world that we live in, and even by our own flesh. But we have someone that is very interested in our hearts and in every aspect of our lives. He is constantly praying for us just as He did for his disciples in John 17. He prayed that they be kept (guarded) from the evil one. In Hebrews 7:25 we read that this same One, our Lord and Savior now lives in Heaven as our Great High Priest and He is able to save or deliver us to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since He ever lives to make intercession for them. Our hearts can be guarded from giving into temptation when we come to Him confessing our weakness and our dependence on Him. He then supplies all we need!

Proverbs 4 speaks a lot about the path which we are on (4:11, 14-15, 18-19, 26-27). If we are going to walk on the path of wisdom, in a world that has turn it's back against God, we must guard our hearts by surrendering totally to Him, being in the word and allowing it to be a filtering system for us, by keeping short accounts of our sins and by being dependent in prayer and thankful in praise. And all the while realizing that we have a great High Priest to turn to in our weakness.

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