Guard Your Heart

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The little girls sat wide-eyed on the front row, meticulously watching each movement while attempting to sing along.  Some songs were more fun than others.  Marching in the Lord’s army while shooting the artillery was one of the most challenging.  But springing up from the chair for a rousing rendition of “Praise Ye the Lord — Hallelujah!” created raucous laughter throughout the room.

After settling into their seats, the littlest girl knew it was time for the quiet songs, the ones she loved to sing.  “Whisper a prayer in the morning, whisper a prayer at noon.  Whisper a prayer in the evening, twill keep you heart in tune…God answers prayer in the morning…”  Or this one:

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see,
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see;
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love;
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

It had many verses: little ears what you hear, little hands what you do, little mouth what you say, little feet where you go.

I learned to sing of my love for Jesus very early and began to understand some principles of Christian discipline through these simple songs.   They’ve been with me throughout my life.

So you can imagine my excitement when Steve Green came out with a song in the late 80’s which began, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see…”  The first time I heard it on the radio, the children’s voices took me back to sitting on the front row.  But then…it turned into a song written especially for me, a young mother with many desires and not much chance for fulfillment.  These words pierced my mind and began to search my soul: 

What appears to be harmless glance
Can turn to romance
And homes are divided;
Feelings that should never have been
Awakened within,
Tearing the heart in two —
Listen, I beg of you…

Guard your Heart,
Guard your Heart;
Don’t trade it for treasure,
Don’t give it away.

Guard your Heart,
Guard your Heart;
As a payment for pleasure,
It’s high price to pay.

For a soul that remains sincere with a conscience clear,
Guard your Heart.

The human heart is easily swayed
And often betrayed at the hand of emotion.
You dare not leave the outcome to chance
You must choose in advance,
Or live with the agony.
Such needless tragedy!

Guard your Heart,
Guard your Heart;
Don’t trade it for treasure,
Don’t give it away.

Guard your Heart,
Guard your Heart;
As a payment for pleasure,
It’s high price to pay.

For a soul that remains sincere with conscience clear,
Guard your Heart.

When I heard that song I remembered the discipline of guarding my heart.  I remembered the need for diligence to not let my mind wander.  I remembered the innocence of being a child and wanting to please Jesus.  I now know it’s a matter of perseverence and understanding the nature of warfare.  The enemy does roam around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  (1 Peter 5:8-9)  I don’t want that someone to be me.  And no matter how old I get, I need this reminder.

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.   ~2 Chronicles 16:9

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.  ~Proverbs 4:23

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.  But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  ~Luke 21:34-36

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  ~Philippians 4:6-8

What pulls you away?  Do you struggle with the things you see, think, do or say?

Don’t we all?!

How have you learned to guard your heart?

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28 responses »

  1. Often the sins we commit are because we settle. Instead of a meaningful relationship with a real person, we lust after models on the internet. We drink to forget how bad life is, instead of striving to make it better. We have to struggle because we settle for less than the very best God has in mind for us. Nothing sin offers is better than or even as good as what God has designed for our lives. We need to focus on God’s knowing what is best for us as we struggle with what we see, hear and say.

  2. I am more convinced than ever that trying to do things in our own strength instead of praying to God to help do them causes a lot of sins..

    Men and women ought to pray and not faint..

  3. settling and allowing my heart to fill itself with 2nd best..

    Wow this was a timely post.

    Love ya Michelle

  4. Hello, Clark. Welcome. We do settle for less than the very best, but so often what’s out there entices in such insidious ways. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and His plan for us, even when we can’t figure it out, is the only way I know to guard my heart. I have to “frisk” my thoughts or they can settle into my heart and mind and cause a discontent that is not pleasing to the Father.

    Yes NonConformer, trying to stand in our own strength, thinking we’re strong enough vs. .recognizing our weaknesses and calling out to Him for help. He does always give a way of escape.

    Hey, Heidi! I’m glad it spoke to you. Settling is so easy to do when “fighting the good fight” gets wearisome. I must remind myself to persevere (one of my favorite words) even when it would be so much easier to give in. Love you too.

  5. Definitely a timely post Sis. I’m not sure I have an answer to any of your questions. I just know that sometimes, guarding our hearts can be difficult, especially when we’re already in a vulnerable position emotionally. I’m not sure what the solution is. I know we are to seek God’s face at all times. We are to read His Word and gain strength and wisdom from it. We are to rebuke the enemy and the thoughts he presents. But before all that, especially for me at this point in my life, it’s important to just be still and know that He is God and allow Him to take you to a place where you can do those things. Often when we’re down emotionally, we don’t have the energy to actively partake in the process of guarding our hearts. And it is at that time where we have to rely on God’s strength to overwhelm us and to cover us from the enemy. I hope this made some sense. You know my struggles; thank you for praying with and for me during this time. Love you.

  6. Often when we’re down emotionally, we don’t have the energy to actively partake in the process of guarding our hearts. And it is at that time where we have to rely on God’s strength to overwhelm us and to cover us from the enemy.

    You get me. Thanks, Gch. You always make sense to me. 😉

  7. i landed on your blog through wordpress tag widget. and do not mean to invade your privacy. i just want to drop s line telling you i enjoy this piece that you wrote. Mainly the first part about the innocence of being young and not giving a care in the world, except to live and be happy and serve the lord. I wish upon the star for that day to be in my life again, but seems so hard to return into the past.

    anyhow, thank you for a good piece of writing. If you would like to exchange links and email communication sometime. I like to keep in touch. I feel that if I converse back and forth with you, i could have some positive life changing conversations (this conclusions come from reading your post of course).

    my email is justin @e9u.com , and blog is http://www.e9u.com

  8. Thanks, Donald.

    Hello, Justin. This is a public blog, no invasion of privacy here. I’m glad you stopped by and shared a bit. I’ve read over your blog and see you are a man searching for truth. You speak of wanting to go back to the innocence of youth. I left a couple of comments there, let’s see where this interaction leads. In honesty, we can know the truth and He will set us free.

  9. Good thoughts. Yeah, everyone has to put forward effort in this area. I wrote a couple poems myself when I was a teenager (I so wanted it to last longer than my teen years!) displaying some of what I thought on the romance side of guarding my heart. In other avenues … I recite Scripture. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer,” was a big one when I was younger. I still love that verse, but these days it’s the entire chapter of Psalm 23. I recite this to myself when I’m overwhelmed, feeling off course, anxious, afraid, sad, etc … It’s wonderful. It seems to hit every area of possibility. The opening line – “The LORD is my Shepherd” reminds me right away that no matter what is trying to sway my heart at that moment, that thing or circumstance or feeling is not my shepherd. It does not lead me; He does. The rest speaks peace, safety, care, provision, victory, and the eternity of all of these at the end of this life. Usually by the time I finish the psalm, my feelings have quieted down, my heart is more at rest, and I feel equal to the challenge that’s facing me. Some times it takes 2 times saying it. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to 3 times. God’s word is an amazing thing.

  10. When my mind starts to wander or starts filling with negative thoughts, I push them away. And focus on something positive. From Him.

    Well, most of the time.

    Okay…SOME of the time.

    All right! All right! RARELY!!!

    Geez.

    😉

  11. Hey, Annie! What you do with Psalm 23 really makes sense to me. The times I have done exactly that, it has been amazing to me the peace that comes. I also frisk my thoughts with Phil.4:8. I have to…I can get in loads of trouble if I don’t take every thought captive, I think it’s the curse of an active imagination. I love you, Annie. Hope you’re well.

    Hi, Dan! Yes, amen, considering those truths if we don’t take an active role in hiding His word in our hearts, we will be pulled away by our desires. It’s the warfare. Love you, Dan.

  12. I pull myself away….me, flesh. When I pray without ceasing, take my thoughts captive, be careful what my eyes see, my ears hear…then I’m good. God is good..everywhere I turn, it’s the dicipline of letting my mind and heart dwell on the goodness of God. The moment I take my eyes off His, I begin to slip and go down into the water….I’d much rather walk on top…

    Love you!

  13. That’s it exactly, Debs! Keeping my eyes on Him I am secure in His love and the many blessings He’s poured into my life.

    I’m celebrating 25 years with the most wonderful husband on earth today! Maybe I’ll be around tomorrow. Love you!

  14. This song..be careful little eyes..has been on my heart for the last few weeks..along with Philippians 4…we really need to be careful what we take in..it turns into a virus of sorts, and before you know it, it is coming out our mouth and in our actions..we look surprised as if “where did that come from”…I am seeing the importance of all of it, If I truly want to reflect Jesus in all I say and do.

  15. Hey, Darla! I’m with you on this — I truly want to reflect Jesus. It can be insidious though, the little things that worm their way into our thinking. We imagine we’re beyond it or things won’t affect us so why not engage just a bit. But it is a virus and we are infected, quickly! Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and what He has called us to — righteousness…right living — it’s key. Love you, Princess!

  16. Hey , I just put up a new post and linked here, ya wanna go read and approve..you really inspire me and put so much in perspective for me…these are things the Lord has been talking to me about..Love you!

  17. Casting Crowns took that lyric and used it in the song Slow Fade.

    Be careful little eyes what you see. It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings.

    Powerful stuff

  18. Michelle- where are you? are you okay..praying for you..and will be looking for you alittle later..I will have some down time..me needs me prayer requests..loves

  19. i have learned to unguard my heart in some things…taking down the walls. but im seeing that i have let it down a bit too much….ya know? i think we all do that. im finding theres a balance actually.

    i am a big piece of flesh. far from perfect. i would never profess to be. so i still have a lot to learn…and it will be a continual process between me and Him. im glad He is gentle and loving with me tho.

  20. Hey y’all!!

    I went off to celebrate my 25th Wedding Anniversary with Phat!!

    OOOOOO…He is quite the romantic, given 25 to perfect the art! 😉

    We had a lovely time at the Gaylord Texan – an airconditioned version of The Riverwalk in San Antonio and luxury hotel. Very cool.

    Thanks, Darla, for the link. We are seeing things the same here. If we aren’t careful we can be pulled away. Not to be legalistic but recognizing the call to holiness we have been given. Love you. Now you know where I’ve been. 😉

    Hey Scott, another honest soul. 🙂 It isn’t easy, actually I think it’s the hardest thing about being a Christian. We do war against the flesh constantly. That second glance warning, very true. Hangest thou in there!

    Hi, Tam, thanks for the link. Picasso Head has become a favorite past time for me. 😳 I am so thankful for His compassion and the fact that He knows us better than we know ourselves. Remembering with every temptation He does provide a way of escape convicts me because, honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to take it. His patience with us…amazing.

    Hey, Gch!! We had a lovely time. Thanks for the well wishes. Love you too, sweetie! 🙂

  21. I am so happy that you and Phat had a good time on your anniversary!!

    Phat..ooohhhh Phat…well done bro!

    love you!

  22. Thanks, Darla! It was great to get away, but we couldn’t afford two nights. I’m not even sure we could afford the one night but I’m so glad we did it anyway. 😉

    Love you!

  23. I love how devotional your posts are, Michelle. I love your point here about understanding the importance of perserverence in our relationshipswith God, and also the spiritual battle.
    The Scriptures you wrote have really inspired me this morning too, I’ll just sit with my coffee and re-read them :), this post has been a blessing, thank you, lots of love.

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