A Heart Test

When is the last time we have a health check. A follower a Christ, we are not only responsible of the health of our physical body but as well as our spiritual body.

Proverbs 4:23:

  1. New Living Translation (NLT): “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do
  2. New International Version (NIV): “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”
  3. Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB): ” Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life”
  4. Amplified bible: “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all your guard, for out of it flow the spring of life”
  5. New King James (NKJ): ” Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issue of life”
  6. Indonesian translation: “Jagalah hatimu dengan segala kewaspadaan, karena dari situlah terpancar kehidupan”.

The NKJ and Indonesian translation do not have a complete translation compare to the others.

The above verse can be separated into 3 parts:

  1. Above all else
  2. Guard your heart/Keep your heart
  3. Affects everything/Source of live/Wellspring of life

 

  1. 1.                  Above all else

What is that mean?

It is a pretty straight forward meaning = “the most important”, “the most crucial one” or “the highest priority”

From the verse, God is telling us right now that “Above all else or the most important thing or the highest priority” in our life is to guard our heart.

What is that mean in our daily life? It means, when we perform our highest prioritise tasks i.e. Pray, Quiet Time, Reading the Bible, etc then all the activities should come from our heart. God does not want us to do all the priorities based on “RITUAL” or “RELIGION” but rather comes from our heart.

The desires in our heart to Pray, Quiet Time and Reading the Bible would help us in our intimate relationship with God and helping our heart guarded all the time.

 

  1. 2.                  Guard your heart

Guard = to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over; to keep under close watch.

In the verse context, “Guard” means an activity need to be done (verb) and an instruction (not suggestion). God orders us to do “something” or “Pro Active” to protect our heart.

Why we need to guard our heart?

Romans 3:9 “Well then are we Jews better than the others? No. not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin”.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, all fall short of God’s glorious standard”

As a human being, we are still have a sinful nature. Our spirit has been a new born when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour however not our physical body. That explains why sometimes we have some “bad thoughts” in our mind which has been thrown by the devil to distract and deceit us.

One of the prominent example is when Judas betrayed Jesus. Luke 22 writes “Satan entered Judas” that does not mean in physical body (demon possessed) but rather in spiritual realm.

God tests your heart but Devil tempts your heart.

We will encounter with numerous tests or temptations on daily basis. Before we make any decision, we should now that we have options:

Give in to the temptation that may bring short live satisfaction but will contaminate your heart, or

  1. Walk away from the temptation and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

II Kor 10:5 “Casting down arguments and every high things that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”

How do we guard our heart?

 

  1. Vs 21-22: “Don’t lose sight of God’s word. Let the words penetrates deep into our heart. For they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers the meaning.
  2. Vs 24: “Avoid all perverse talk; stay far from corrupt speech. Some translation says “Don’t let            your mouth speak dishonestly and don’t let your lips talk deviously”
  3. Vs 25: “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you

            I think this is pretty straight forward, I don’t need to interpret too much. Basically, the bible tells         us to focus on Christ as the Author and Finisher of our faith.

  1. Vs 26: “Mark out a straight path for your feet then stick to the path and stay safe
  2. Vs 27: “Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil

 

  1. 3.                  Affects everything you do / Wellspring of life

Everything we do in this life has been influenced by our heart. That’s why Jesus in Matthew 5:6 says “God blesses those whose hearts are pure for the will see God”.

When we read the “The Sermon on the Mount” then we will realise how special people with pure heart in God’s eyes. One thing we can be sure that EVERYTIME WHEN SOMEONE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS THEIR LIFE CHANGES.

If we say we are the disciples of Jesus but our heart, life, characters, attitudes, do not change then we need to open your heart and seek God earnestly again.

So, how do we know that we have a pure heart? Or the heart that right with God?

The answer is only one: A HEART TEST

God will test your heart whether you like it or not? How does He do it? By putting more pressure, stretching us more, give us more challenges in life. God wants to know if we do have what we say we have.

We can highlight the bible verses, read all Christian based books, listen to many podcasts or attend as many seminars but we don’t know if we have it until we being tested.

As King David says in Psalms 17:3 “You have tested my heart, You have visited by night, You have tried me and found nothing evil; I have determined that my mouth will not sin”.

One important thing that we need to remember: “OUR RESPONSE TOWARDS THE TEST THAT GOD PUT IN OUR LIFE IS THE REFLECTION OF THE CONDITION OF OUR HEART“.

When we have a right heart towards God then our life will be full of Peace, Joy, Productivity, Creativity and become blessings to other people.

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