Keep your heart with all vigilance

Good works are a what I do. Knowledge is of the mind. Wisdom is a matter of the heart.

In early January, most of us have a tendency to focus our goals on good works. Others of us desire to learn and so we seek to make that the priority. Both good works and knowledge are commendable, but they are not primary. The target of the God’s Word and the Holy Spirit is primarily my heart.

From the heart flows the springs of life, so we are to “keep it with all vigilance.” In John 7:38-39, Jesus says that the Spirit is the spring of life that flows out of our hearts.

In all the instructions for practical living we find in the Proverbs, one might be tempted to mistake the goal as knowledge or good works. But here we see that it is the guarding of the heart. 2 Thessalonians 2:17 tells us that God will establish us in good works and knowledge. This will be an outworking (overflowing) of His work in my heart, not an inworking into my heart. The river of life flows in one direction.

At the same time, our three great enemies (our fleshly sin nature, the world, and the Adversary) are pressing in from the outside to work against the Spirit’s work in our hearts, so we must be vigilant. How can we guard our heart? We put away unrighteous and devious words from our mouth. We don’t let our eyes wander where our hearts shouldn’t go. We consider our next steps rather than moving thoughtlessly through our day. We are careful to follow God’s Word and leading in every area of our life and in each choice we make.

Let us be vigilant to guard our hearts for from it flow the springs of life.