This week, we had the incredible honor of hearing from Renae Burford, speaking about the condition of our heart and how to keep it carefully. Specifically, we dove into Proverbs 4.
Throughout this series – Psalms and Proverbs – we have been reminded of this truth: however our current situation looks, and however it turns out, God is who He says He is.
Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Friends, we are made to make it for the long haul. God did not create us for a sprint of faithfulness, but a marathon of faithfulness. To make it to the end as loving, believing people, we must guard and watch over our inner persons.
The determining factor of the life you experience has everything to do with your heart, and the truth that flows from it. The world tells us that what we produce is a correlation with our circumstances. In truth, your circumstances have nothing to do with your productivity or our sense of fulfillment; rather, your productivity and how you enjoy it is directly related to the condition of your heart. Because of this, we have to keep our hearts, and guard them because they are so precious.
Luke 6:45: The good person our of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks.”
When we talk about the heart, it can feel abstract. So, practically, what do we need to do?Thankfully, the Bible provides guardrails that are as relevant today as they ever were:
Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.”
John 15:7-8: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Ephesians 3:17: “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love…” . Jesus is the Word of God, made flesh.
Romans 10:10: “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confessed and is saved.”
A heart of good condition comes from knowing the Word of God. To know the Word is to have a holy fear of God, and those who fear the Lord lack no good thing.
Returning to Proverbs 4:23, we look at our verse of interest: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Vigilance, defined, is the careful state of keeping careful watch over potential dangers.
There is danger around us that has so many faces, but it is rooted most deeply in unbelief of the heart. A lot of us hold on to unbeliefs and the world reiterates those and perpetuates them as being factual. Eventually, the unbelief crowds out the belief; we become bitter, distracted, frustrated, and resentful. But, the longer we live and choose to take care of our hearts, the more we produce and the more we enjoy doing it.
Where is it that we fail most in taking care of our hearts?
- We procrastinate.
- We spend time perfecting our facades than we do getting to the root of our unbelief.
- We do the work. And, the more we work, the easier it becomes. Know the Word of God, because those places of unbelief will be more readily identifiable.
What are your deeply rooted unbeliefs? Where can you ask God for help in your unbelief? How do you remove unbelief? Believe! Ask God to increase your belief, for apart from Him, we can do nothing.
The way to experience and enjoy producing fruit with Jesus for the entirety of your life is to own your own heart. Invite Jesus in and let him take hold, and not any one else or any other circumstance. The very mission of Jesus was and is your heart. Keep it carefully, because you are worth it, and he wants you to experience abundant life through belief.
Join us on Sunday to hear the first of our next series!