Proverbs 4: 23 ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART, FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FLOWS FROM IT (contd.)

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD 🙂

Today we will continue to look at Proverbs 4: 23, where the Wise Man counsels us to guard our hearts because everything we do comes from it.

4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Paul clearly warns us to guard our hearts against beliefs and doctrines contrary to GOD’s Word. It is easy to fall victim practices and doctrines of the world. During the time that time Timothy was abiding in Ephesus, there were people who propagated or promoted fables and genealogies that made raised questions about the Gospel, instead of making people believe in CHRIST. Of course, from a worldly point of view, this may have made sense, but the Gospel can only make sense to someone to whom the HOLY SPIRIT ministers. This is why the JESUS says that nobody comes unto HIM unless the HOLY SPIRIT draws him nearer (John 6: 44). Everybody at some point has raised questions about the Bible. Like ‘Who is GOD?’, ‘Where did HE come from?’, ‘Is JESUS really the Son of GOD?’, ‘Is Christianity the only way to have access to GOD?’ however, it takes the HOLY SPIRIT to find the answers to these questions in the Bible. There are also people who question the truth of events and things in the Bible. So, they say that the fact that something is in the Bible does not mean that it is true. Nonetheless, there has been, still is, and will be scientific and archaeological evidence discovered which corroborate events and practices in the Bible.  The Bible was written by men inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT. Sure, it reflects the conservative views of those days, but it is still the Word of GOD and you need the HOLY SPIRIT to understand and gain a lot from it. Peter says in 2 Peter 1: 21-

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (NIV).

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There are so-called prophets out there preaching doctrines that clearly contradict GOD’s Word. And people are falling victim to it. For example, there is this church around the school I attend that claims there is ‘God the Mother’. If ‘GOD the Mother exists’, why isn’t she ever referred to in the Bible? The Scriptures they quote to support their view do not imply that there is GOD the Mother. If ‘GOD the Mother’ does exist, JESUS would have referred to her at least once in the Bible. These people are clearly following pagan customs. In pagan religions, they serve and venerate goddesses. But, the concept of a goddess is absent from the Bible- there is not a single reference in the Bible of one- and trust me, I have done my research. Thus, trying to introduce the ‘goddess’ into Christianity is not only blasphemous, but stupid. Also, there are people around the world (I know of one in Latin America) claiming to be Christ or Anti-Christ. And people are falling for these things. Truly, we need to guard our hearts. IF SOMETHING IS NOT IN GOD’S WORD, DO NOT BELIEVE IT. The devil is surely looking for whom he could steal, kill and destroy. JESUS came so that you can have life in abundance on earth and make Heaven ultimately (John 10: 10). Focus on this goal of eternal life with CHRIST, rather than on re-mixed Christian doctrines men (so-called pastors) are using to draw followers and feed their families.

Many things are acceptable, but not everything is right. A parallel to this is found in 1 Corinthians 6: 12-

‘”I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything’.

Similarly, 1 Corinthians 10: 23-

I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive’.

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This is really self-explanatory. In the world of today, we don’t have the same moral values we had at the time of CHRIST or         HIS Apostles or even in the 20th century. The world has moved ‘ahead’ so much that we now have less moral values than before. Thus, more things are becoming ‘acceptable’, ‘normal’, or ‘usual’ or ‘palatable’. Not because they are good things, but because by worldly standards, they are ‘acceptable’. So, nobody speaks against these practices and nobody wants to do anything about it. For example, premarital sex (in any form), wearing desperately revealing clothes, tattooing your body all over, and engaging in certain illicit business is now becoming ‘acceptable’ in the Church. Pastors no longer preach against these practices for fear that members will leave their church. Moreover, many Christians no longer care about speaking the truth and being frank to fellow Christians. Instead, we tend to flatter everybody, even though we know that we should actually speak to fellow Christians about the wrong things they do and encourage them to desist from doing them, and pray to the HOLY SPIRIT to make them change. No wonder the Bible says that the faltering mouth worketh ruin (Proverbs 26: 28).

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Finally, there is that popular saying that the mind is a battle ground. And that is very true. Everyday, good thoughts war with evil thoughts in your mind, and the winner expresses itself in your actions. The state of your heart determines your thoughts and eventual actions. Moreover, Romans 12: 2-

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (NIV).

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We have seen why we should guard our hearts against the world, and against the devil. The question is how? The answer is found in Ephesians 6: 10-18:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (NIV).

Paul certainly understood why we have to guard our hearts against the enemy’s invasion.

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May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

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GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

© AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love), with specific direction to the original content at dauntingfactsofchristianity.wordpress.com.

PROVERBS 4: 23 ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART, FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FLOWS FROM IT

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD 🙂

Today we will be looking at Proverbs 4: 23 where the Wise Man counsels us to guard our hearts because everything, as in everything, we do flows from it.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (NIV).

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (KJV).

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life (AMP).

Above all else, you should guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

GOD is saying: guard your heart from fleshly desires, from the devil, from the world, from the darts of the enemy. Why? Before you do anything, you first have to think about it, and only then do you formulate the plan to do it. The mind is the source of all actions- good or evil. Your actions are an expression of the workings of you mind. This is why the wise man says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23: 7). Jeremiah also laments saying in relation to wicked people:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17: 9)

Your mind is so powerful that you have to imagine great things in order to achieve them. Great things also start from the mind. GOD acknowledges that when you imagine something in your heart, you can achieve it.  Awesome GOD recognises this when HE confuses the language of the men building the Tower of Babel because (Genesis 11: 1-7):

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do (Genesis 11: 6 KJV).

Why do you have to guard your heart from fleshly desires? Paul says:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12: 2 NIV).

Thus, the only way to guard your heart as the King Solomon counsels in Proverbs 4: 23, is to study and meditate on the Word of GOD.  Paul echoes this when he says to Timothy,

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2: 15).

If you do not study GOD’s Word to renew your mind, and thus guard your hearts, you would not be able to prevent yourself from conforming to the patterns of the world. And you would not be able to test what GOD’s Will is. We live in a world of moral decadence and debauchery. Unfortunately, many so-called Christians are falling prey to the works of the flesh and thereby soil the Name of our LORD JESUS and the Church. I was preaching to someone the other day, and counselling him against doing certain things. Then, he was telling me of so-called Christians who do bad things too. So, the question was: am I just a moralist or is it the Word of GOD I was preaching to him?

This is why this Scripture that counsels us to guard our hearts is very important in this age of moral decadence. Nobody is perfect, for sure. However, you would not be able to know what is good, acceptable and perfect in the Eyes of Awesome JEHOVAH, if you don’t study HIS Word. And you cannot guard you heart unless you know what to guard it against! Of course, to live a righteous life according to GOD’s Standards, you have to know what GOD’s Will is.

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Why do you have to guard your heart from the devil? JESUS says in John 10: 10, that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. The devil only has access to your heart if you let him in. In other words, if you do something that would invite the devil in, he will come in and he will bite you. This is why King Solomon says:

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him (Ecclesiates 10:8).

To break an hedge in this context is to do something that’s sinful or wrong, that will break GOD’s Hedge of Protection around you. The devil speaks of this Hedge of Protection when he tells GOD that the reason why Job is holy is because he has this Hedge of Protection around him:

Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land (Job 1: 10 NIV).

So, when you go into devil’s arena by doing what he will do, and committing sin, he will definitely attack you. Why? Because you have given him the chance to attack you.

Awesome JESUS has conquered the devil (Ephesians 1: 19-21), and the devil is powerless in relation to you unless you give him the power to attack you. JESUS also has the keys to death and hell (Revelations 1: 18). Yet, you must be spiritually sensitive and watch carefully (Matthew 26: 41). Why? So that you do not fall into temptation. The end is near. The devil knows it and he wants to destroy as many people as possible. The devil has truly come to kill, steal and destroy (John 10: 10).  Yes, it is the truth. We are truly in the End Time. Paul shows us why we should guard our hearts in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5, where he speaks of the End Time:

1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3: 1-5 KJV).

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Finally, 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 shows exactly why it is important to guard you heart so that you are part of the people Paul mentions in this Scripture. When I was growing up, I used to look at this list and tell myself that if I am more obedient to my parents, I would not be part of those mentioned on the list. The Bible says, ‘If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ (Psalm 11: 3 KJV). The foundation being referred to is the foundation of your life; the foundation of your destiny. What destroys the foundation of life and destiny? Sin/wickedness. This is emphasized in verse 2:

2For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.

Prayer: Thank YOU LORD for the study of YOUR Word. HOLY SPIRIT, empower me to guard against fleshly desires and the ‘vultures’ that prey upon the heart. Amen.

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May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

Reblog this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Googleplus, and sign-up to have every post delivered to your inbox ♥

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

© AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love), with specific direction to the original content at dauntingfactsofchristianity.wordpress.com.

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