30th September 2016
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
for from it flow the springs of life
Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)
Solomon’s advice to his son gives us a lot of insight into the need to diligently guard the condition of our hearts, the wellspring of our lives. Every human being has a built-in fountain that gives us the capacity to overflow with love in the same way that God does! While we were designed for this, we know that not everyone actually operates like an overflowing fountain all the time. Sure, we have moments of joy, generosity, compassion and kindness but then there are those other times…times when our internal fountain seems to either shut down or to spew things that are not so nice.
Here are four conditions that threaten the condition and capacity of our hearts to overflow. Guard against these things!
- Guard against contamination: “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?”James 3:11 (NKJV). What cars, factories and toxins are doing to our physical world should alert us to the dangers of heart pollution. In the economy of God’s kingdom, purity of heart is beyond value. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matt 5:8).
- Guard against leakage: “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water” Jeremiah 2:12-13 (NKJV). The human race has a long history of creating substitutes for God, of replacing Him with things that cannot satisfy. Jeremiah says that this is the equivalent of creating leaking containers and reducing us to wells without water.
- Guard against blockage: Isaac, the son of Abraham faced this problem when his neighbours became jealous of him and God’s blessings in his life: “Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth” Genesis 26:12-15(NKJV). Unforgiveness and anger are some of the surest ways to block the overflow of God’s life. Re-digging and unblocking our hearts from all offences will keep the river flowing!
- Guard against wastage: “Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you” Prov 5:15-17 (NKJV). In this verse, Solomon is speaking about moral and sexual purity. Sex within marriage is one of the best and most beautiful gifts that God has given to us. However, when this gift is removed from the protection of a marriage covenant, it becomes a mere physical transaction, the fulfilment of an appetite that can happen casually and potentially with more than one partner. The dangers of wasting the very personal, private and holy gift of sexuality outside of the safety of marriage are very real. The reason Paul warns us to “flee from immorality” is expressed clearly in the message translation of I Cor 6:16 “There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact.”
Our hearts are a sacred garden, a reservoir of pure water that must be cared for and preserved. Give attention to your heart, it really is the wellspring of life!
From the heart,