based on the Love God Greatly study, The Armor of God / w2d2
Scripture Proverbs 4:20-23 / SOAP: 23
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.Proverbs 4:23 NLT
I love this passage of Proverbs and committed it to memory many years ago. It has helped me tremendously, teaching me the importance of knowing and remembering God’s Word, which has proven to be the victory in my battles with anxiety and fear.
Proverbs is known as the book of wisdom. Solomon wrote most of the book, including this chapter. He makes it clear that he is speaking to his “sons.” He reminds them here, as in other chapters, to not just listen to his words but to pay attention to what he is saying. He paints a word picture of cherishing his words as something valuable – always on their mind and close to their heart. Why is he so animated and insistent? Because he is talking to them about the commands and wisdom of God and has learned for himself how valuable they are. It would seem that Solomon, as the Psalmist in chapter 119, understands that the words and teachings of God offer protection to the one who knows and follows them. He refers to them as “life and healing” for the entire body. Then, trusting that they will heed his advice to keep them within their hearts, he instructs them to “guard their hearts,” reminding them that their heart determines the course of their life. Gotquestions.org sheds more light on this verse, commenting that “the heart is the source of our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and actions,” which agrees with Jesus’ words in Luke 6:45, where He said: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Father, help us not only read and listen to Your words but also help us to remember them and store them in our hearts. Help us to use them in the battles waged against us and to encourage others with them – that they might do the same, and may they be our strength to serve and obey You well. They truly are the source of life in Jesus’ name – without them, we will stumble in the dark, for they are the “source of light” on our path and in our hearts as we live and breathe. They are the hope and peace of each new day and the reminder of Your amazing grace and mercies that never end. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Reflection on the Journey
- Why is it important to guard your hearts and minds?
- How can we put this advice into practice in our daily lives?
For more on guarding your heart visit gotquestions.org/guard-your-heart.html