Revival Of Our Hearts Part 2 by Pastor Kris Belfils (Audio Sermon)
Guard Your Heart
When you think about it your physical heart is the most vital organ in your body. Without it you will die. If it doesn’t work properly your entire body will suffer. We strive to have healthy hearts by watching what we eat and getting enough exercise. We wouldn’t do something intentionally to harm our hearts. By getting enough sleep, exercise, and proper foods our heart will work and function properly.
What about our Spiritual/Emotional heart? Are we vigilant in guarding and taking care of it?
Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified Bible)
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
In the King James Version of the Bible this verse reads like this: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
In the original Hebrew (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions H3820 and H3824) I want to look at a few of the words we just read. The word “heart” means: “Feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the center of anything. Courage, mind, and understanding.”
As you can see by the definition, our heart has such a big roll in our survival. If we don’t have courage or understanding, we will not advance, but retreat. Again, what are you feeding your heart? Feed it with things that will build courage and bring peace. It is vital for your survival to do this!
Diligence means: “A guard (the man, the post, or the prison), office, ward, watch, hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc., beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep, mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save, sure, wait, watch (-man)” (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions H4924 and H8104).
From this definition we can see we need to view protecting our hearts seriously. To protect or attend to the condition of our hearts daily should be a priority. Everyday the threat of something or someone can infiltrate our hearts and cause us to fail or worse, give up. Surround yourself with encouragers. I would even go as far as to say surround yourself with “yes” people. People who will say, “You can do it!” They see you through God’s eyes and not your own! They are vital to your survival! Our hearts are in desperate need of life. Why would you surround yourself with naysayers? They only bring death!
Let’s go back to Proverbs 4:23 KJV again; “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The phrase “issues of life” is translated; “To go, bear out, break out, bring forth, carry out, depart, escape, get away, go abroad, going out, grow, proceed, shoot forth, spring out, and take forth.”
It is the very thing that comes out of us on a daily basis. It’s the outgoings, the springs that flow or come forth from us. They are the thoughts we think, and the words we say. They will determine our present and our future. No wonder why we are told to guard with all diligence or vigilance, it becomes the very essence of who we are.
A guard at the Buckingham Palace never leaves their post. They never allow outside influence to distract them. They are there to make sure no one or nothing gets in the palace that shouldn’t be there. They are armed and always on alert.
This is what we need to do with our own heart! There are things we can do to protect our heart so it will work and function properly.
Guards to place in front of your heart:
1. Don’t give your heart away so easily.
Too often we give our heart and trust way too quickly and easily. We want to think the best of others. It is nice to get attention, be it in a friendship or a dating relation ship. I have witnessed single friends dating and on the second or third date they start making statements like; “He is everything I’ve dreamed of.” or “We will get married within the year.” I see them neglecting their regular friends, family, or duties to “be” with this new person. Too often these relationships end up leaving them empty or hurt. Why? Because they gave their heart away too quickly.
God has given us a command in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our heart with everything inside of us. We never think a sour relationship will happen to us, but they do. I like how the New Living Translation stats this verse: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” The entire course of our life can change for the worse just because we gave our heart away too quickly.
If we continue reading in Proverbs 4 verses 25 27, we will see some ways to not give our heart away too quickly.
Proverbs 4:25 27 (NLT)
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”
2. Fix your eyes on Jesus!
Keep your focus on your relationship with Jesus and allow Him to be all that you need. Don’t turn your focus onto something else or someone else. If you do, they become your idol, your god, instead of the Son of God!
Remember that God is the strength of your heart and not someone else.
Psalms 73:25 – 26
“Whom have I in heaven but You: I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.”
Why would you give up the “strength of your heart” for something or someone on this earth? Many people want someone tangible to touch and be with. When that person becomes more in their heart then God, they are in an unhealthy relationship, and their feet are following evil (Proverbs 4:27).
3. Listen to what you are saying.
We can learn a lot about ourselves if we would just listen to what we are saying. Our heart can deceive us if we don’t take the time to listen. If you are repeating things often, or talking about a person or situation often, it is a good sign that is where your treasure is.
Matthew 6:21 (KJV)
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
What have you been saying lately? Is there something or someone that you find yourself talking about more often then other things? If so, take a really good look at why you are doing this. It is understandable if you are talking more often about a situation if it just happened, but if it is something or someone that has happened months or even years ago, chances are you are obsessed with it.
4. What are you feeding your heart?
Are you watching inappropriate movies or television shows? Do you listen to music that is not edifying? Are you reading material that is questionable if it is good for you or not? We will become what we are feeding our heart.
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
Just like our natural heart will be affected by what we are feeding our bodies, so too our emotional/spiritual heart will be affected by what we are filling it. One thing about a “treasury” is that it will accumulate what is put into it.
This is true of our heart; The more junk you put into it the more junk will pile up in your treasury. Your heart will flow with what is in it and the junk you allowed to pile up will flow out to others because that is what hearts do. They pump out what is put in.
5. Exercise to strengthen your heart.
Spend time with God in prayer and Bible study. Allow God to be the strength of your life. Spend time helping others, as this will get the focus off of you and onto others. Remember point number 3; Listen to what you are saying. If you are talking about yourself often, you are not taking and giving. You are stagnating. What would happen to our natural heart if it never received blood and it never pumped out the blood inside of it? It would eventually get damaged and affect the entire body. This can bring death. We have to exercise our hearts on a regular basis to prevent this from happening to our emotional heart as well.
Keeping a guard over our hearts doesn’t mean to put up walls and not allow people into our life. Keeping a guard over our hearts is putting up healthy boundaries to protect us from creating an unhealthy heart.
If you feel like you have been hurt or struggling with heart issues, allow God to bring His healing. Prevent any heart issue from coming by guarding your heart with all diligence.
Don’t allow any heart issues to prevent you from experiencing true revival in your life.
6. Don’t lose heart.
Luke 18:1 (NKJV)
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
Prayer is such a vital exercising component to help us not lose heart. We can pour our hearts out to God in prayer and tell Him all that is weighing on us. We can express our frustrations and our concerns. We are human. God already knows, but something happens when we are honest with God and share a true heart response.
Sometimes God will change our circumstances, and sometimes He changes us in the middle of the circumstance. Either way change comes and it is all because we didn’t lose heart, but went to the One who created us and told Him how we were feeling. Believe it or not, this brings peace. When you are all upset and frustrated about life, nothing is better than to go to God and tell Him how you are feeling. You will be a better person to others if you take the time to go into your secret place with the Lover of your soul, and allow His peace to sooth and calm you down. Then, we can respond to people better. Then we can face our day better. Often just spending time soaking in God’s presence does a heart good.
7. Don’t Harden Your heart.
A final note I want to leave you with is to always keep your heart tender. It is easy to harden our hearts after experiencing hard times in this life. Once our heart is revived, the enemy will try and harden your heart to God, people, and even yourself. Don’t let this happen. Pray for a tender heart. God will give it to you!
Ezekiel 11:19 – 20 (Amplified Bible)
“And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God], That they may walk in My statues and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.”
Allow God to soften your heart and bring revival to you today. Why stay in the place of complacency, fear, or torment any longer? Today is the day for our hearts to awaken to God and what He wants to do in our life, our church, and our world! You can make a difference everywhere you go and whomever you meet. Open your eyes and your heart to a dying world without Jesus and be determined to live your life to build God’s Kingdom and not yours. May your prayer be; “Wake me up Lord, burn in my heart and bring revival to this land for Your glory, in Jesus name, Amen!”
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils