Bob reached for another donut. He had a busy day ahead. Sure, he meant to get that gym membership, but it would just have to wait. Other things had his attention right now…things that were just too important to let go. Bob never expected he would have heart trouble. Now, suddenly he was riding in the back of an ambulance! The little choices of his daily routine had taken their toll.
The little choices of our daily routine have an effect on our spiritual heart too. Oh, it’s not the donuts or the lack of exercise that causes our spiritual heart distress. We live in a culture that pulls our heart like a magnet in a direction that can leave us feeling distant from our God. We need to be mindful of the care of our hearts. God tells us,
“Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
The pull of our hearts away from our God is subtle. It seldom happens in one step. It is usually an accumulation of little choices made in the course of daily routines. Things happen that disappoint us, worry us or hurt us. We can become distracted by a value system that promises satisfaction but is opposite to God’s values and proves hollow when pursued.
One day we realize we feel unsatisfied, negative and void within our heart. We recall a time when God felt so much closer. We know deep down that true satisfaction in life comes from our walk with God yet we feel the pull of our heart away from Him. We know that if we continue in that direction we will loose sight of God’s value system… and that is simply too much to lose. His value system is really the only one that brings true fulfillment.
So how does one guard her heart in this busy world with so many distractions and temptations pulling us in a direction we do not want to go?
The simple answer is to pay attention to your little choices each day just as you do when minding your physical health.
- Pay attention to what you think about. Your thoughts will play out in your behavior. That’s why God tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Pay attention to your attitudes. Be conscious about keeping a thankful heart. It will change you in ways that will surprise you. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thessalonians 5:18).
- Pay attention to the things that draw your attention. Be mindful of what value system you are buying into. Monitor what is becoming the desire of your heart.
- Pay attention to God. Your heart will move from wholeness to hollowness when you let your Bible gather dust. Ask Him to speak to you.
- Pay attention to your words. God tells us “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). What spills out your mouth gives you a good indication of how well you are guarding your heart.
- Pay attention to your daily habits. Am old saying reminds us that “the secret to our future lies in our daily routines.”
Be alert and make it a daily habit to guard your heart by paying attention to these areas. Christian leaders, mentors and anyone like you who desires to impact the world for Christ will find the enemy of our souls trying to draw us away from Jesus with subtle distractions that will minimize His influence in your life.
Take some time today to think about each one of these areas. Ask yourself where your thoughts and desires have focused this past week. Think about what your attitudes have been. Think about how you have included or neglected God in your routines. Listen to your words and observe your habits.
These things will give you a good indication of how well you have been guarding your heart. A guarded heart moves toward wholeness while an unguarded heart will soon feel chilled and hard with a hollowness creeping into your life.
Ask God to remind you to make the little choices every day that will move your heart toward Him. Ask His Holy Spirit to fill you and give your heart a wholeness that is only the result of the God of Heaven working in you and through you. Your life will touch others and you will be blessed beyond measure.
~ Gail Rodgers has a passion for discovering and sharing how the Scriptures apply in very practical ways where we live and walk each day. She is a wife, mother of three, businesswoman and a pastor to women. She resides in Alberta, Canada with her family. Visit Gail’s website at http://www.gailrodgers.ca. Click to e-mail Gail.
Check out more from the “Alive in Christ” series.