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With All Vigilance

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Imagine if you discovered a diamond of priceless value. That diamond isn’t something you would just tell everyone about. You wouldn’t leave it out on the table in your living room and kitchen for all to see. You would likely lock your doors when you left the house if you even kept the diamond there. The point is: you would guard it. You would be vigilant to protect that diamond and ensure its safe keeping. 

Our passage today tells us this kind of vigilance is a good thing, and we should guard and keep our hearts with that type of urgency. The proverb tells us that our hearts need keeping and to be watched like this. Why? Because from the heart flows the springs of life. It is from the heart that all immoral thoughts and actions stem from. The spring of life refers to it being a fountain and source of all activity we see. It’s the engine that drives behavior. 

Why do people commit adultery? They don’t keep and guard their heart from lust.

Why do people gossip and slander others? They don’t keep and guard their heart from hate.

Why do people avoid work? They don’t keep and guard their heart from laziness. 

The heart is the engine that drives behavior. So the proverb tells us to keep our hearts. Guard it. 

How do we guard our hearts? We begin by understanding its proneness to wander and drift. We have hearts that stray by nature. Our fallen condition means the natural gravitation of our hearts is toward sin. So we have to direct them. We must lead our hearts as we recognize its tendency toward error and ungodliness. Ask the Lord to transform your heart. He is king over our hearts, and He alone possesses the power to make them new. Thank Jesus for the grace of a new heart, and ask the Holy Spirit to work in yours to help you keep it holy.

Reflection & Journal: 
- What are some examples of sin in your own life that trace back down to not guarding the heart?
- How does this passage inform us theologically about what is underneath our actions? 
- What role can other believers play in helping us keep our hearts?

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