5 Ways to Guard Your Heart

My mom died of a heart attack when I was 9 years old.  She had familial hypercholesterolemia, which led to angina, which led to her death.

I have inherited her condition.   What that means is that my liver is defective and it produces way more cholesterol than I need.  So, I have been taking cholesterol lowering medication for over 20 years.  If I do not take my medication every day I would have died many years ago.

So, apart from a miracle, I will be on medication for the rest of my life.  It is an easy choice:  life with some minor side effects, or death.  My medication is how I guard my heart against heart attack.  There are some other things I can be doing, like exercise and eating a little differently, but my little pill does the lion’s share of guarding my heart against attack.

Now, let’s switch from the physical heart to our spiritual heart.  As we are aware, our hearts – not the organ – is the deepest part of us.  It is our true essence.  It is our place of deepest conviction, commitment, passion, purpose, identity and life.

Scripture tells us much about the heart:  God has placed eternity in our hearts; we must believe in our hearts; we must seek God with all our heart; good men bring good things out of the good stored in his heart…there are well over 600 references to the heart in scripture.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.”

We must guard our hearts because that is where our life springs up from.  That is where the image of God and the spirit of God abide.  Our enemy knows that, and that is why the story of your life is a long and sustained attack from the enemy of your soul against your heart to steal kill and destroy the life that Jesus has for you.

We must guard our hearts – but how?  Here are 5 ways you must guard your heart against the assault of the enemy:

1.  Meditate on the truth

Get alone, get still and fill your heart with the Truth of who He is and who He says you are.

2.  Metacognition

This means thinking about thinking – be aware of what you are thinking about.  Take captive your thoughts to the truth. If what you are thinking about does not bring life, hope, and peace then it isn’t based in truth.

3.  Recreation

You heart needs to breathe.  Get outside, paint, go boating, hike, garden, ride horses, make music – whatever it is that makes your heart come alive, do it on a regular basis.

4.  Rest

When you are tired you are more susceptible to the lies of the enemy, to being impatient, angry, to sickness, etc.  Sleep and take holidays.

5.  Community

Create a community of allies with whom you do life.  A man alone is easy prey.  We need to live in community with allies who will walk with us at a heart level – a band of brothers.

Hey guys, it’s a battle out there – let’s make sure we guard our hearts so we can appropriate all that Jesus has for us.

Psalm 4:4b

“Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.”

II Corinthians 10:5

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”

John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

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