Guard Your Heart | Andy Elmes | Sunday 13th March 2022

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This week Pastor Andy speaks about guarding our hearts. The key verse is Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. In these verses, the writer of this proverb, Solomon, encourages us to place great importance on protecting our hearts. But does he mean the physical organ or the inner man? The Hebrew word for heart is lēḇ and refers to….

  • The inner man, mind, will, heart & understanding
  • Our inner parts
  • Our mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection and memory
  • The seat (throne) of all appetites, emotions and passions and of courage

This heart is not the physical blood pump of a person but rather the central core place, inner person or soul of a person. Consequently it needs protection because it is the part of us that can be most affected or vulnerable to things like fear and anxiety. The heart is the engine room of us which processes things like fear, anxiety and worry, as well as joy, happiness and hope. Solomon calls for us to be a watchman concerning what is trying to get in and what we allow or welcome in. The Devil wants us to have a heart attack by attacking our hearts (John 10:10 & Luke 21:26 refer). Fear is a root causing things like worry, anxiety, depression, hopelessness.

What exactly is meant by ‘guarding’? In Hebrew the word ‘Guard’ is nāṣar meaning

  • To guard, watch, watch over
  • To preserve and guard from dangers
  • To keep, observe, guard with fidelity
  • To be a watchman

We may be living in fear-filled times, but we should have peace-filled hearts. God did not give us fear and so we do not need to let it in (2 Timothy 1:7). God wants us to know His peace and to be kept in “perfect peace”. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) states “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You”. We can know peace that comes from Jesus. John 14:27 NKJV states “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. This is not a worldly peace, which is fickle and temporary, rather God’s peace which is stable and constant. This verse calls us to control the activity happening within our hearts!

John 16:33 (NKJV) says “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” - This is Jesus saying, “Don’t worry, I got this”!

Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. God’s peace is the other doorman that protects the entrance of our lives.

Colossians 3:15 (NKJV) states “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful”. Let (allow) the peace of God not fear from the devil or this world rule in us. Rule = brabeuō – to be an umpire, decide, determine, direct & control

Ultimately, we can get more peace from spending more time with Jesus Prince of Peace and devoting more time to the Word hearing His thoughts and promises.

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