“God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.” – Genesis 28:3
I pray all of you have a great year ahead filled with the love of God and the joy of the Holy Spirit. May all your dreams come true if they are within the will of God for your lives.
In light of new beginnings, one cannot truly begin to live a new life unless you proclaim with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died and rose again and that He is the one true Messiah, Son of the Living God. In making this confession you become a new being, renewed in Christ. Through this simple act of faith you will be reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ.
“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” – Romans 10:9-11
However as you walk along this path of salvation, you will quickly realize the world is pulling at you from all sides. It took me a long time to understand that being saved doesn’t mean you are suddenly immune to the course of life. Instead, it’s almost as though your eyes are open to all the bad things in the world. In the midst of this confusion, our hearts are troubled. For now, not only are you aware of what’s right and wrong, you are actively trying to change from the normalcy of the world by staying away from the bad. This is made doubly difficult by the fact that your renewed spirit is still heavily within a body made of flesh. Flesh that has human desires. It’s never easy, but the Bible has one simple verse that may help you in this onerous journey.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23
I’m sure you have heard of this verse many times before. I thought I had too until God spoke it to me in a different way. When you see this verse at first, the words, “guard your heart” allude to avoiding situations that may commit your heart to wrong things. This is a true position to hold. As the verse aptly concludes, “… for it determines the course of your life.” Who would want to commit to something that would ruin your preferred course of life?
It has become all the more apparent that there’s more to this verse. It applies to more than just the single people. In marriage, even having given yourself to your spouse, you have to guard your heart. It’s only human to expect our spouses to be perfect in every way. We often forget they’re just human beings who are susceptible to sin, wrong and most importantly disappointment. So to are our children. They can never be perfect. We must be aware of their capability to hurt us. Our friends are no better. They are just like us; very much affected by worldly things. This is probably why even the best of friends will fight over time. It is often said that those closest to you hurt you the most. You care about them more and expect them not to hurt you in return. We let our guards down, allow ourselves to be vulnerable and believe we can never be hurt.
You have to guard your hearts against negative influences from every part of your life. Yes, your spouses too. It could come in many ways; from a simple “We don’t have enough money to give tithe. We should be saving for that other thing” to “You should completely cut off your parents. We don’t need them” or much worse. This is probably why one of my favorite Bible verses was written:
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23
It’s the little things you really like and feel you can’t do without that hurt you. Introspect for a second and list them down. See what I mean? Little behaviors like Tuesday Pizza and Friday Fried Chicken dates. Little habits like masturbating just twice a week to get a feeling of ecstasy for a few minutes. After all, you aren’t sleeping around so who’s really in danger? (You’re heart is!). God’s creation is phenomenal. Look at the blue skies we’ve been having and tell me this isn’t a life you’d want to have? (Maybe with a little more breeze). Did you see how beautiful the super blue blood moon was on the 31st of January? Only God can do that. Then again, just because he allowed us to invent fries and ice cream doesn’t mean you should be eating them everyday. Just because you can have something doesn’t mean it is for you – or for your heart.
Sometimes, because of being subservient to our loved ones, we will unwillingly agree to their ridiculous demands of us. Our hearts become completely worn out because deep down you know these demands are wrong. Out of feeling loyal perhaps afraid to hurt them, we cannot say no. But you should say no. You should stand up for what you believe in regardless.
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.” – Matthew 18:8
This verse doesn’t say if you need your hand you may consider cutting off a finger. It says cut it off and throw it away. Same would apply to whatever it is that makes you compromise your heart. Guard your heart and do not compromise it. This is not a call for divorces or cutting off your close friends; far from it. This is a call to stand up for what is right. It is a call to keep your hearts safe from the enemy.
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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
So ask yourself this, what is it that edifies your heart? Now hold on to it without any compromise.