I believe God is going to allow many of you to receive the freedom that is yours in Christ from studying these passages. Let’s recap our past few weeks together, because today, God is going to speak to you about what is causing so much anxiety in your heart or preventing you from seeing Him clearly today.
According to Proverbs 4:23, guarding your heart is:
- Keeping the sin that flows from your heart under the submission of the Lord to prevent yourself from hurting others
- Protecting others from the damage that you can cause that may have lifelong effects
- Putting to death any indulgences of any sin in your heart that can damage your fellowship with God and your relationship with others
According to Proverbs 4:23, guarding your heart is not:
- Putting up walls around your heart so that you don’t get hurt
- Withholding your true feelings, self, emotions, opinions from a significant other out of fear of being hurt or their response
- Protecting the ugly, inner parts of our personality and habits to ensure perfection in a relationship
I also mentioned that it is actually impossible to guard such a precious thing. In fact, God is the only One, by His Spirit, who can guard your heart. You cannot put up the necessary barriers and guards to what comes out of your heart or affects it. Why? You have to trust God and turn your heart towards Him. Trusting in yourself with what you are capable of is dangerous and foolish. Also trusting yourself to try to “handle” a situation where you will have to resist the enemy, temptation to sin or temptation to respond sinfully in a hurtful circumstance will usually not end well if we are honest.
Jeremiah 17:5 says, “…Cursed is the man who trust in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Verse 7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is in the LORD.” On top of that, Jeremiah 17:9-10 continues to say that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” ( proving that it is something which no one will understand) and goes on to say, “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
You must trust God with your heart.
You must trust God with the hearts of your friends and family.
You must trust God with the heart of your significant other or spouse.
You must trust the power of God’s Spirit in you to give you the ability to resist the devil and temptation.
GOD IS THE ONE WHO GUARDS THE HEART.
We do, however, play a cooperative part in working with the Spirit of God in our lives to apply this. I shared with you that this whole thing is not about being a good woman, the best wife, mom, or girlfriend. This is about you following Jesus and His ways and He will empower you to fulfill any role He allows you occupy.
Remember that being a wife or mom is not promised to any of us.
Being a follower of Jesus is what we must focus on in order to fulfill these roles, if they ever are afforded to us. Colossians 3 is clear about “putting to death” earthly things in you and to,
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…and above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the PEACE OF GOD RULE IN YOUR HEARTS, to which indeed you were called in one body.”
This passage is very similar to Philippians in explaining what we should be doing to cooperate with the work of the Spirit inside of us. Verse 18 solidifies the order of events in your life. First, put off worldliness. Second, put on Christ-likeness. And THEN wives submit, husbands love, children obey, fathers don’t provoke, bondservants or workers obey, and work as unto the Lord, masters or bosses be just and fair. The order is clear sisters. Know your place in Christ. This passage covers work and family! Paul is very clear in this passage in Colossians about the order to seek God, know your identity is in Jesus, cooperate with His work in you to remove anything earthly in you, and fill yourself with the acts that reflect, and are empowered by, Him.
This is how we get back to Philippians 4 which gives us clear instructions on how to position ourselves to have our hearts guarded by God.
Let’s review how to cooperate with the work of God that brings peace to guard our hearts:
- Rejoice in the Lord
- Be known as a gracious woman who extends grace and does not impose legalism
- Be aware of Christ’s soon coming
- Do not be anxious nor filled with anxiety about anything
- Pray and pray consistently and often
- Give thanks to God
- Tell God what you desire, no matter what it is
“AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS”