What would you do with a precious commodity? We go to great lengths to protect what is most important to us—our possessions, our family members, even ourselves. What are we doing with one of our most precious and often overlooked gifts? What are you doing with your heart? Here are three suggestions.
We should be guarding it. “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36). Jesus warns, very clearly, that the heart needs to be guarded against the influences of this world that we might be ready for the next. It takes a conscious effort to have that present in our minds—that the world we live in does have an influence on us, on our children and those we care about.
We should be training it. With the ever-present influences around us, we should be actively preparing our hearts. Peter wrote of those that have “eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Pet. 2:14-15). Sound familiar? Not unlike what we live in today. Did you catch what he said about training the heart? They had hearts “trained in greed.” If they can be trained in those unrighteous acts, they can certainly be trained in righteousness. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Don’t lose it. There are times when those things that stand against us might give us cause to rethink our dedication. To that end, God has not left us without a message. “Now [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1). “For consider [Jesus] who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin” (Heb. 12:3-4).
We must be actively involved in guarding our hearts against the influences that are seeping and oozing into our hearts and minds. If we are doing nothing to guard ourselves, then we are losing ground in the war for the soul.