Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
“You are what you eat.” I wonder how differently my wife would look at me if I were “creamy caramel and roasted peanuts covered with real milk chocolate.” Imagine for a moment, how much differently society would look at food if we had to closely evaluate everything we allowed to enter into our bodies, fearing that we would become walking candy bars, fast food meals, or some combination of sugar, flour, and frosting. Diets, nutritional information, and food charts would suddenly become twice as popular as they currently are.
Although food is never emphasized as a factor in determining our character, the word of God places much importance on what we allow to enter into our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 is but one of the many verses that so clearly presents this truth to us. I fear that our lack of diligent study has allowed many Christians to miss the importance of this message and therefore slowly become hardened and distant from God. We long for a closer relationship with the Lord, a growing understanding of His will for our lives, and a peace in the midst of turmoil. Yet, at the same time, we unknowingly work against all of this because we fail to understand that from the heart, flow the springs of life.
Is your life in a seemingly uncontrollable downward spiral? Do you find it difficult to get up happy in the morning or to find any good in your day? Are your springs of life refreshing and active or stagnant and dying? I challenge you to evaluate the condition of your heart? To whom does it belong and how well are you guarding it? Is it dedicated to the Lord or divided up among several people and things? Deuteronomy 6:5 reminds us that the Lord demands the entirety of our heart to be devoted to Him. Psalm 119:2 promises we will be blessed if we seek God with all of our heart. This means that we must trust Him completely (Proverbs 3:5), seek Him only (Jeremiah 29:13), and hold back nothing for ourselves when coming to the Lord in repentance (Joel 2:12). A heart that is sold out to the Lord will wake up in prayer, spend the day in prayer, and fall asleep in prayer. To seek the Lord with all of your heart, requires that you abstain from all other desires.
As of now, I still have the privilege of ignoring those food charts and nutrition panels on the back of my junk food. I take joy in knowing that, even if it complicates my health, my eating habits will never mutate my body into a 5 foot 10 inch Snickers bar. I cannot, however, allow myself to believe I have obtained the same privileges with my heart as I have with my stomach. I must be very careful to guard it every minute of each day. Luke 6:45 says, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”