What does “guard your heart” mean, anyway? “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life,” Proverbs 4:23 tells us. The King James version tells us “for out of it are the issues of life.”
I believe that one facet is this: It is to be sure that our self-image and self-worth is rooted where it should be. God is constant in how He sees us. Ever since He created us. If we put our self image or self worth in anything else, say, a hobby, our physical appearance, our work, or a relationship .. Take that relationship away and what do you have? You. Gain 10 pounds (the undesired kind, in this case), and what do you have? You’re still you. If you were rooted in that relationship or body image, that piece of you goes with it. It makes you less of a person, right? Ouch. Do these things really define who we are?
This is not the design that God had in mind. What are we allowing to shape our perception of ourselves? What does define who we are? Is it what other people think of us? Is it what a certain family member thinks of us? Is it a father or mother? Is it our boss?Is it our spouse or significant other? Is it our best friend?
Those around us should be confirming the heart of God for us and encouraging us to live from a place of only getting our identity and direction from Him.
Are we building our identity on the Rock, or on something else? Do we think God will love us more if we accomplish something “great” for Him? If we work harder? If we are in a relationship? If we are single? If we eat healthy? If we exercise well?
Do we think that He will love us more if we try our hardest to live righteously?
No. The truth is, He will never love us more, and He will never love us less. He simply loves us. He simply loves us.
Love is not work. Love, yes indeed, is seen in action, but at the root motive, love simply loves because love just IS. Just because. It’s inexplicable. Love loves just because, just for the sake of loving. It doesn’t need a reason.
If we can grasp a more firm understanding of His unfailing, unrelenting, constant, stable, all-encompassing love for us, then we can rest in that love and freely share it with those in our lives. We can let go of the reins of control and rest easy; we can live in the peace that surpasses all understanding that seems to be so rare in this world. The peace that is so rare, yet so desired. The entire world aches for it.
Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Pair it with Psalm 37:4: “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Take away it all: education, past, relationships, house, car, work, hobbies .. and, who are we?
Is it okay to be nothing, to simply be ourselves, no striving, just being? Is it possible?
With God, I believe it is. We are all still a work in progress as the pressures of this world push and shove and pull us this way and that .. but to focus, oh to focus! Like Peter walking on the water in Luke 14, if we can keep our focus on Him, on Jesus, on God, who’s to say where He will take us and what all He will add to us? I’ll take my bet that He has a plan better than we could have concocted ourselves.
love you! be blessed!
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:15-21