Our Bible verse for today: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Sabbath-rest helps to guard your heart.”
In Proverbs 4:23 Solomon issued an important word of caution regarding the critical role the heart plays in the quality and character of our lives. He says that the heart is the wellspring of life, meaning that the rest of life flows from the heart. Therefore we have to guard the heart by controlling what is allowed into it. And, if the heart has been polluted, then steps need to be taken to cleanse it.
Jesus spoke to this important truth on multiple occasions. In Luke 6:45 He told us, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” In other words, sooner or later whatever is in your heart will rise to the surface and show itself in words and deeds. You may effectively control your words and actions for a while, despite what is really in your heart, but sooner or later the good or bad that is in your heart will show itself in words and deeds. So you had better pay attention to what is in your heart. Guard it.
As Curtis and Eldredge explain in their book “The Sacred Romance”, “Our heart is the key to the Christian life.” And, “Sadly, most of us watch the oil level in our car more carefully than we watch over the life of our heart.”
It’s true – most of us pay much more attention to the external things of life than we do to the internal things of the heart. But God is much more concerned about our inner life than our outer life because it’s the inner life that drives the outer life. That’s exactly what Solomon and Jesus were trying to get us to understand.
Sabbath-rest, in all of its various manifestations, helps us to focus less on the externals of life and more on the internals of the heart. It is possible to reclaim a healthy heart-life. But you need to put your focus where the focus needs to be, and that is on your relationship with God.