Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Hoping to be a little more heart-healthy? When the Bible mentions our heart, it is essentially referring to the spiritual part about us where our emotions and desires reside. “Heart” is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. Since our heart can easily be swayed, Scripture warns us to guard it because everything we do flows from it. In a practical sense, how do we do that? How do we keep our heart from being led down a dark path away from God?
Theologian Sinclair Ferguson offers this powerful prescription for guarding our heart.
First, I must guard my heart as if everything depended on it. This means that I should keep my heart like a sanctuary for the presence of the Lord Jesus.
Second, I must keep my heart healthy by proper diet, growing strong on a regular diet of God’s Word – reading it for myself and meditating on its truth, and being fed on it in the preaching of the Word.
Third, I must take regular spiritual exercise, since my heart will be strengthened by worship when my whole being is given over to God in expressions of love for and trust in Him.
Fourth, I must give myself to prayer in which my heart holds on to the promises of God, rests in His will, and asks for His sustaining grace – and do this not only on my own but with others so that we may encourage one another to maintain a heart for God.*
Finally, I would add that memorizing God’s Word helps us maintain a healthy heart. As the psalmist wrote, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
I want to have a strong and healthy heart, don’t you? Let’s commit to this life-long prescription.
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*Adapted by Providence Presbyterian from Sinclair Ferguson’s Catechism of the Heart