In Others’ Words: Peace Like a River

proverb 4 23 NAS 11.8.13

I read this verse yesterday — Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. — and knew it would be the focus of today’s post.

The Old Testament perspective of the heart encompassed a person’s physical, mental and spiritual life. So guarding the heart was significant because an unprotected heart put so much in danger: your actions, your thoughts, your faith journey.

And here’s an interesting observation on the word “diligence”: In the original Hebrew, diligence means to watch over your heart like a guard watches over a prison. 

It would be easy for me to have read that verse and heard a rebuke — an “I’m so disappointed in how you’re not protecting your heart” message whispered to me by God.

But that’s not what happened.

Reading those words were more of a gentle reminder to keep my guard up from the Father-God who loves me with an everlasting, unshakeable love.

I just wanted to share that reminder with you today.

In Your Words: How’s your heart? Are you keeping your guard up? 

Watch Over Your Heart Click to tweet

The Dangers of an Unprotected Heart Click to Tweet

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  1. November 8, 2013, 6:12 am   /  Reply

    It’s a struggle sometimes. I support some causes whose task in fighting cruelty can feel so overwhelming that it’s easy to lose the meaning of joy. George Orwell wrote that our world may be some other planet’s Hell, and he’s got a point.

    The trick is to be able to reach into Hell to fight it, to look into the eyes of evil, and to realize that joy comes not from an illusory view of a ‘nice’ world, but from the knowledge that God is with me, fighting by my side.

    • November 8, 2013, 6:24 pm   /  Reply

      You do guard your heart, even as you fight to protect what you value, what you love. You choose what you focus on, Andrew.

  2. November 8, 2013, 7:34 am   /  Reply

    I love this verse, and the reminder. I think it’s good to remember God never condemns, even when He has to rebuke us. That “tone of voice” comes from me, or from the enemy. His words lift up.

    I keep my guard up by spending time in the Word daily. God has also been reminding me to keep a guard over my lips. SOMETIMES, I guard my heart best by not saying a word to someone, especially one that will complain and bring the other person down.

    Pondering this verse today.

    • November 8, 2013, 6:24 pm   /  Reply

      I often like to pray: Lord, help me know what to say … and what NOT to say.

  3. November 8, 2013, 7:49 am   /  Reply

    If there are prizes for blogs, (& there must be, I just don’t know where), you deserve one for consistently providing uplifting, well-worded, thought-provoking nuggets of wisdom. I/we look forward to these moments of refreshment. Thank you for your skilled service.

    • November 8, 2013, 6:25 pm   /  Reply

      And thank you for being a constant source of encouragement, Dee.

  4. November 8, 2013, 8:00 am   /  Reply

    NowI have that old camp song in my head, which is GREAT!!

    John and I decided years around to put a hedge of protection around our marriage. A nice, titanium hedge loaded with motion sensor grenades, some rocket launchers and maybe a few pounds of my sister’s meatloaf. Which, by the way, even she said was inedible.

    If you do not guard your heart, no one else will. No one has as vested an interest in your faithfulness as you. It is important to never willingly be in a situation that makes that adrenaline rush feel more like an alarm system. If you can’t explain your behaviour without blushing or saying “It’s not what you think”, then you are wrong to be wherever it is you are.

    In the same manner, never be willingly at a place where you have to say “Lord, okay, here’s what happened…”
    He knows.
    And He will love you back into His arms.
    Grace and forgiveness are wonderful.

    Build that hedge with His Word, and the history that you and He have together.

    • November 8, 2013, 6:26 pm   /  Reply

      Such wisdom, JZM.
      Such wisdom.

  5. November 8, 2013, 8:58 am   /  Reply

    Your beautiful insights fill my heart with this morning, Friend. The best thing? We don’t have to rely on ourselves to be the lone guard. God with His matchless strength fortifies us when we grow weary. Let His praises ring…

    • November 8, 2013, 6:26 pm   /  Reply

      Amen and Amen, Donna.

  6. November 8, 2013, 1:51 pm   /  Reply

    A beautiful reminder, Beth. I don’t know if you saw the Billy Graham message on television last night, but it was about “hope.” Hope comes from our innermost being. From our heart. Your post today reflects that same uplifting and timeless message. Thanks for a great start to my day!

    • November 8, 2013, 6:29 pm   /  Reply

      I’m sorry to say I missed that broadcast — but I am not surprised that Billy Graham spoke of hope. He’s an amazing man — and he speaks truth and offers hope to so many.

  7. November 10, 2013, 10:27 pm   /  Reply

    To me, the injunction to “protect your heart” seems like a useful reminder to value my own creative process so highly that I don’t avoid it out of fear, prioritize less important activities (running errands, etc.) above it, or fail to set boundaries regarding the amount of time I spend with others to ensure that I have enough time to write.

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