Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday's Wisdom 2

As I would expect, this past week has flown by, and it is already Wednesday again. Is it not interesting how quickly time goes when you stay busy? It's time for another edition of Wednesday's Wisdom.

Proverbs 4:23...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

In order to stay alive, you must have a brain. However, even if your brain stopped functioning correctly and you were a "vegetable," as long as your heart was still pumping blood throughout your body, you could stay alive. You could. But the second your heart stops it's beating, you are dead. This is one way of seeing it as the "wellspring of life."

Another road I like to go down is one in which specifies each of our hearts as entities all their own; we say that no two snowflakes are the same, and if I may, I'd like to say that no two hearts are the same. Sure- they all have the same function. But so do our brains, yet look how differing our personalities can be.

We all have different wants, different needs, different desires. A lot of our natural, human desires stem from our heart- the essence of who we are. However, Who does our heart belong to? Who is the keeper of our heart? Who knows our wants, needs, and desires, and so desperately wants to give them to us? Jesus. Let's not forget that.

Perhaps this is why Proverbs says, "ABOVE ALL ELSE, guard your heart." What does "guard" mean? If I said to you, "Name, would you please guard my plate of food?" Would you let someone eat it? Would you let someone throw it away? Would you let someone indulge in it? I would hope not. You would do the exact opposite- you would protect it from harm, keep it from damage, and make sure no one took it. That is what we should be doing with our hearts.

It's easier said than done. When we look to apply this concept to our life, there are so many different avenues to go down, but let's take the common one of the heart: desires. There are so many different desires of our heart, and it isn't always simple to sort them out and continue down the path of righteousness at the same time. A lot of times, our desires don't always match up with what is in the Word, because we are human beings, and the Bible also says that the ways of the heart are wicked. As Christians, our job becomes an effort to counteract this natural tendency... but we find that over time, as we work to align our lives with God's way, our wants, needs, and desires amazingly start to match up to what He wants for us.

In a more general sense, not all desires that come from our heart are necessarily wicked or evil. However, it is important to be discerning and remember the concept of "guarding" so that our heart doesn't allow us to become deceived and we end up twisted and hurt. Another trick of the heart occurs when we allow our heart to rule our lives instead of remembering that we have a brain that can think with a soul that needs God, and somehow our number one consultant gets put on the backburner behind "how we feel." Feelings, desires, wants.... these aren't bad things. We just need to remember to allow God to be the leader, and we need to follow the feelings, desires, and wants that further Christ's kingdom and stores us treasures up in Heaven rather than the other way around.

If we can succesfully master this concept, we can then GUARD our hearts.

Today's Application: Pick an area in your life where you know that your heart is the most unguarded. Ask God to take this area and give it to Him- don't carry around burdens you weren't intended to bear. Christ is there to help you as you guard your heart. One thing I have found is that in order to guard my heart and keep it guarded, I have to decide that God is in control and that my plans may not be the ones that come through. If God is in control, we are surrended to His will, and therefore, our heart is guarded becasue we don't allow ourselves to jump into a situation full of expectations that may be completely selfish and wrong.

This was a long one... sorry, all. If you figure out a way to make a "short" deovtion out of the subject of "guarding your heart," though, let me know. It's a great topic! I hope you all have a most excellent Wednesday. Love you all!



Anonymous said...

Hey Taryn~
Thanks for your post today, I really needed to here about that.
God Bless~
a sister in Christ

Luke said...

Guard your heart from what?

thedoorsopen said...

Luke... be kind, although it is funny that the 'what' wasn't directly addressed. Very intuitive finding, the what is something we all at least have some grip on.

Of course the line at the end admitts T's trying to keep this somewhat short. Either that or she's provoking one to read the passage for context. Or of course, she just forgot to mention the 'what' because she assummed the truth of the 'what' would be easily inferred...

hehe, I didn't answer the what myself...

taryn said...

I noticed that I never specified a "what," but in the end, I decided it needed to be that way since "what" can mean anything. There are several different areas that we should practice guarding our hearts from, and for me to address them all would, indeed, take pages.

So if that's what you want- a novel about guarding your heart- I'll get started now. It might take me awhile, though. KIDDING.

To everyone- thanks for reading and continually challenging me, and my closing remark will be the "what" is whatever you need for it to be.

Luke said...

the "what" is whatever you need for it to be.

T: No offense, but personally...I don't like that answer. It's too relative, and it lets too much up to the individual reader. It needs to be tempered with something else.

I'd be all for reading a novel by Taryn on guarding your heart. :)

taryn said...

Luke... none taken, keep in mind that I can't always please my audience all the time. Just for clarification, let me give you a listing of some possible things that we need to guard our heart from:

1. First and most obvious- feelings of love (again I emphasize, not a BAD feeling, just one that needs to have a healthy balance applied to it so that we can continue down the right path free of sin)
2. Deceit (Satan is alive and well in this world, and is out to attack our hearts, so we need to have them guarded!)
3. Anger and bitterness (natural feelings, as I discussed in last week's Wednesday's Wisdom, but if our hearts are guarded against such feelings, we can practice better attitude control)
4. False hope (it's ok to dream- but remember Who's in control and that not everything works out OUR way)
5. Sin (Again- Satan wants us to fail)

My goal was to write a post that was general enough to apply to any of the above points, and more.

trish p said...

i thought your post was awesome and i loved it.

i miss you taryn! france is great but im excited to come home and see you!

love love love


taryn said...

tp- I SO had a dream that I talked to you on the phone last night. Sadly, it wasn't true... I miss you, too! Thanks for the nice comment. I'll see you soon!

Jennifer said...

oh Taryn, i love it! I miss you and your wise words of advice! :]