This weekend my dear husband spoke at a Disciple Now at Cypress Family Fellowship in Houston. What an amazing experience to see my husband stand and present the precious Word of God to forty students. I am grateful that I was able to be there to learn myself.
The weekend theme verse was Proverbs 4:23. “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.” This verse has been embedded into my brain since I memorized it in junior high. However, this weekend Matt dissected the verse and shared some things that I had never known before.
This word is clearly not talking about the beating organ inside the chest. It is referencing the mind and inner being of a person. The heart can be something good, if Christ has taken over. But, in its natural state, the heart is desperately wicked.
The word used here for “guard” in Hebrew has a duel meaning. One meaning is that what is inside must be guarded from getting out. When we think about the inherent evil of the heart, we know we don’t want that sin to come out. We must guard against letting this sin exhibit itself in thoughts, words, or actions. On the other hand, this word also shows that we must guard our hearts from things of the world and evil influences creeping in.
We must not only guard our hearts, but we must do it diligently. The word diligent is defined as: constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything. To diligently guard our hearts we need to be devoted to the Truth and putting God’s Word daily in front of us. This will lead to a greater dependence on Christ, and He will be there to teach and give direction.
Issues of Life
This is the most fascinating phrase in the verse. Some translations say “wellspring of life” or ”springs of life.” This is literally referring to the inner root of our life itself. This is the same Hebrew phrase used in Genesis 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” This breath of life that God breathed in us is what makes us who we are. It is God’s life in us. From our hearts this life springs out. We must guard our hearts to protect this treasure of God’s life, and work diligently to protect it.
Although Matt was speaking to teens on purity and dating, this message still rings true to this married woman. Sin can easily (and often does) seep into my heart and shows itself in my attitude and actions. My daily prayer is that I will be diligent to guard the life God breathed into my inner being so that I can, in turn, glorify Him.