Spirit Radio’s word for today was from Proverbs: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23.
I’m reading through the bible again and again there is this ongoing theme throughout about the first commandment: Love God above all and first of all.
Time and again (and again and again) the message comes through “Don’t worship false idols”. This is a matter of the heart’s direction. Take it from me, after 35 years I know what this means. My heart and its leanings have determined the course of my life. It is the same for everyone.
So what does it mean to “Guard your heart”? To me it seems obvious that it means to keep it focused on obeying those commandments that Jesus said sums up every commandment:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart……”
What direction are you going in?
There is a wonderful Hebrew word called “aman” from which we get our word “amen”. According to Strong’s Concordance it means “Be established, firm”. But it can also mean “Believe” and shows the connection between stability and faith that James talks about in James 1:
“6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
There is a place for being absolutely dogged and firm when it comes to doing and thinking what we believe is right. Faith, in a deep sense, means to stand firm (cf. Ephesians 6).
Wouldn’t it be great if our wills and God’s were always perfectly aligned like Jesus’ will is?
Oh, wait, he did say “Not my will but yours be done” on one occasion. I guess then that makes him more like us than would otherwise be the case.
“Not my will but yours be done” I’ve said to my Father about a thing I don’t want to do.
Just so you know, it doesn’t compare in any way with what Jesus had to go through, in fact if I told you what it was you would think, wow, can I do it instead if you don’t want to? In fact I am competing to do it. The only similarity is that I don’t want to do it but I believe my Father wants me to do it. Mind you that wouldn’t be the first time that happened sadly.
No one – except God – can really share your pain and neither can anyone really know your joy. We are all so different. But His love surrounds us when our thoughts wage war and all our emotions are like a volcano inside. He is the Prince of Peace.
Not my will but Yours be done!
Yesterday I posted an Old Testament command to not allow feelings of depression to overcome me. Or at least that is the way I interpreted Joshua 1:9 and, with some success but also some failure, put into practice yesterday. Being brave and not allowing myself to be discouraged certainly beats moping about all day (or even moping for an hour or any amount of time). This morning the Lord brought to my mind the New Testament command (by the Spirit through Paul in 1 Thess. 5:16-18) to:
- Rejoice always
- Pray without ceasing
- In everything give thanks
Which is a step up on what I was putting into practice yesterday.
The Holy Spirit in us is our hope and one of the fruits of the Spirit is self control. If God is commanding this then it must be possible. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.
This is God’s Word and it is either living and active to you or it is not. If this word is living and active to you then why not put it into practice? He wouldn’t have brought it to your attention unless He wanted to give you the strength to also do it.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).
If God commands then it must be possible to do:
- Be strong
- Be brave
- Do not be afraid
- Do not be dismayed
And the reason? The all powerful Holy Spirit will be with us wherever we go.