Keith Chandler, Journey Christian Church
I’d like for you to think about an area in your life that needs some attention.
Maybe it’s an eating problem, or an anger problem. Maybe it’s a pornography problem, or a gossip problem, or a spending problem. Can you think of something in your life that needs some attention?
Most of us, when we think about our problems, we want to make a list of behaviors that need changed (we focus on behavior modification). What do I need to do? What can I change right now that will bring about lasting change in my life?
Proverbs 4 says behavior modification isn’t the key to affective application. Solomon says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Solomon says, “Your actions are coming out of your heart.”
You might think you have an anger problem (You’ve got a heart problem).
You might think you have a spending problem (You’ve got a heart problem).
You might think you have an eating problem, or a pornography problem, or a gossip problem (You’ve got a heart problem).
Solomon says it’s about the heart.
In Hebrew culture, they saw the heart as the core of the person. Proverbs speaks of the heart more than 75 times because everything comes from it. Proverbs 27:19: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
It’s our heart that defines us.
It’s our heart that determines what we do, what we say, and how we act.
Think of it this way. Imagine you’ve gone for a walk in the woods and you come upon a heavily polluted river. You see trash in the water and you start cleaning up the trash as quickly as you can.
You spend hours cleaning up and you can see you’ve made a difference. You decide, “I’m gonna come back every day until I get this cleaned up.” But you come back the next day and there’s just as much trash as before.
It turns out that this river runs right through the dump.
Until you address the source of the problem, you’re not making any progress. Solomon says this is what the heart is for us. Sometimes trash shows up in our life and we don’t know where it came from.
Solomon says it’s flowing from your heart. Because that’s true. Solomon says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” Proverbs 4:23. Make this your greatest priority. Be proactive.
Fort Knox is one of the most guarded areas in the world. Why? It’s because what’s inside is that valuable. Solomon gives us some specific things we can do to guard your hearts.
Proverbs 4:20: “My son, pay attention, turn your ears to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.”
Throughout the book of Proverbs, Solomon says, “listen”. Why? Because your ears are a pathway to your heart. What you hear (good or bad) comes into your heart and eventually flows out of your life.
Another gateway are our eyes. “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25.
Why? Because what we see has a direct line to our heart. We remember 11% of what we hear and 80% of what we see. So protect your ears and eyes. There’s a cumulative effect. It’s like going to the doctor and you’ve gained 20 pounds since your last visit.
How did that happen? It wasn’t that one-time buffet; but something happened.
You changed something about your diet (your intake changed). It happened slowly, but it’s been building up.
There’s a law in psychology called the Law of Exposure, which says “Our minds absorb and reflect whatever we’re most exposed to.” What we allow into our ears and eyes makes its way into our hearts.
If our hearts are so valuable, doesn’t it make sense to make sure they’re guarded?
How do we guard our hearts?
1. Accountability. You need someone in your life you’re accountable to. Someone that knows what’s going on in your heart.
2. Pray and Meditate on God’s word.
3. Practice holy thinking. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Until next month,
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00