Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 keep |kēp|
verb ( past kept |kept|) [ trans. ] 1 have or retain possession of 2 continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc. 3 provide for the sustenance of (someone) 4 honor or fulfill (a commitment or undertaking) 5 make written entries in (a diary) on a regular basis
noun 2 archaic charge; control 3 the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge.
I think it is easy to forget to keep your heart.
When I was reading this verse in Proverbs the other night, I had to stop and think about why the author (namely, the Lord) was referring so much to the heart in general. And then I started noticing the word even more all over the Bible. It seems important.
I remember being in Jr. High at youth group when I was younger, sitting with all my other little seventh-grade girlfriends, and listening to a speaker imploring us over and over again to "guard your heart." We, thinking this was all incredibly romantic, would nod with our mouths half open and swear to only let our heart belong to Jesus for the rest of our lives. Not only was this a slightly twisted comprehension of what the speaker was trying to get across, but I think this whole attitude of ambivalence on one's heart posture has spilled over into the lives of many Christians today.
If you look at the definitions of the word "keep," you can see the intensity in which Solomon urges the reader to protect/keep/be aware/vigilant of his or her heart. Even the last explanation of keep as a noun, "the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge," shows how deep this should go. Now, I'm not just talking about "guarding your heart" in the realm of relationships/boys/romance/etc. (although it applies there too). I'm hashing out what the posture of a heart looks like on a day-to-day basis.
I picture myself, most days, like a balloon with a string unattached to anything. I just float around, sometimes bumping into walls, sometimes getting whisked upward in a great rush of air high into the sky, and sometimes losing all my helium and just floating down, an inch or two from the ground. Mindless. I'll just blow around wherever the wind takes me. There are so many of these times where I just live live live like a blob and don't tie myself down to a firm foundation. I don't keep the phone continually off the hook with the Lord (to quote the pastor at HopeCC, "Do you guys even know what that is anymore...like a phone and a hook? Back in the olden days, before cell phones, there was this cord that attached the phone to the receiver, and you had to hang-it-up when you were done").
I've found that the days where I have fear or am worrying about something continually are the days when I haven't checked in with God at all and have just let my heart fly around and do it's own thing all day. There is no vigilance. This very quickly leads to the believing of lies instead of living out of truth and the Lord's freedom.
Hopefully this all makes sense - I am sort of thought-dumping right now. This has officially become a ramble.
So. Hearts are crucial things. That's why they're talked about so much in the Bible. I am still working out in my head how the heart and mind and soul all converge into one (I will ask one day when I get to heaven, along with why we have toenails and other things). For now, I'm drawing things on my wrist to remind me about all of this because I forget things easily.
These bits of wisdom from Proverbs are getting craaazy deep.