Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

This proverb does not suggest, but commands us to keep or guard our hearts with all diligence. The word keep can also be translated guard. Think of a soldier or armed officer guarding the life of the president. Or a security system for a house or bank or business that will sound an alarm if an intruder attempts to break in. You get the idea. Like those earthly examples of the importance of guarding valuable people or earthly, temporal things, is the picture I want you to have in your mind today.

The human heart, apart from the influence of The Holy Spirit, is not a pretty picture. Listen to what God says about the workings of our unregenerate hearts. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man…” (Matthew 15:19-20) Once we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we receive new hearts. But it is our responsibility to steward that heart by renewing our minds and diligently guarding the entrance from any unholy or ungodly intruders.

The fruit of The Spirit is self control – not controlling self, but being controlled by The Spirit. One of the ways that we demonstrate that self-control is in the area of protecting our fellowship with God from unholy, ungodly, or worldly influences. When we drop our guard, the inevitable consequence is influences of information or philosophies or fleshly lusts that war against the soul and weaken our ability to hear God’s voice. Guarding the heart includes what we attach our eyes and ears to. It includes guarding our thoughts and motives. We cannot avoid contact or exposure with the world as Christians, but we are responsible to steward our responses to what we hear and see in a way that glorifies The Lord by the power of the living, indwelling Spirit.

May you walk diligently today, my dear family of Jesus Christ. Guard your eyes, ears, thoughts, and motives from those influences that can clog your fellowship with The Lord, grieve The Spirit of God, or defile the things that you are doing. You are a temple of The Holy Ghost and in a real sense, you have been given the incredible privilege of “protecting” the Spirit of Christ within you from the very things that He died on the cross to redeem you from. Selah