Proverbs 4:23. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us one of the most important truths in all of life, especially the Christian life, that our hearts are the control center of our lives and as such it must be guarded at all times. But how does the Christina guard their hearts? Two ways: with a new reality and a new vision. Today we will start with the new reality and next time we will explore a new vision.
For the Christian, guarding the heart begins with accepting the new reality of the new heart. It is an objective fact that you have been given supernaturally and spiritually a new heart. This is the promise of the New Covenant. God puts a new heart within us.
Jeremiah 31:33. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ezekiel 36:26. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ok, but what does this mean. Surely we are not talking about the blood pumping muscle. So what is the heart? The heart is the seat of all desire and imaginations. How we perceive life. All of our beliefs, choices, emotions, and thoughts flow from the heart - “for from it flow the springs of life.”
There are two simultaneous truths happening for the Christian. His heart has been changed and yet it is being changed. In order to experience this change (which we all crave- this is a sign of the new heart) we must trust in our new reality. The reality of the new heart.
Many Christians go around quoting Jeremiah 17:9 to each other, telling each other that they have wicked hearts. Failing to realize that the promise of Jeremiah 31 is that God will replace that wicked heart with a new heart. This has already happened for us! It happened at your salvation. You are new! Your desires and imaginations have changed.
The question is do you trust your new heart? Your new reality? Your new position? Your new identity?
For the Christian the deepest loves of her heart have changed. How? Because we have experienced the love of God in Christ Jesus. We love because he first loved us. This deep deep love has changed our hearts. Again this is both a supernatural act, accomplished by God the Spirit inside of us that places God’s love in our hearts once and for all (Rom. 5:5), and also a psychological act that puts in place a progressive deepening of our own love for God and others (Eph. 3:18).
The beginning of keeping your heart with all vigilance is to trust in this new reality. The reality of a new heart. To do as Proverbs 3:3 says and bind God’s love and faithfulness around your neck and write them on your heart. Something which God has done for us permanently when he joined our hearts to Christ’s in his death and resurrection with us.
Do you trust in your new reality in Christ?
Do you have a heart changing vision that is consistent with this new reality- more on that in part 2.