Proverb 4:23 is an ultra-significant verse.
It emphatically states, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. The last half of this verse lets us know why this is such an important verse. “For everything flows from it!” If someone tells you to guard something, and oh by the way, everything emanates from this! It determines who you, what you focus on, what you get done, your character and if you are going to be respected or not, I bet that he/she would get your attention.
Now, let’s go back and get specific about the first half of the verse. It tells what you meticulously with an all-out effort must guard. “Above all else, guard your heart.” You may ask, “What does that look like? I need to make sure that I know what the heart means in this context. It’s a bit nebulous to me.” Pay attention because this is important. The thoughts, the mindset that you have at the core of the core of the core of your mind is your heart. Proverb 23:7 (NKJV) states, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” God wants us to examine our core thoughts and your mindset. For example, if at the core of your being, you are fearful, emanating from your lifestyle and actions will be fear. If a core thought is anger, then your relationships will pay the price because of this core thought. How about lusts? If that is at the core, you will be addicted and live your life around fulfilling your desires. On the other hand, if at your core, you are pure, not fearful and anger free, your life will reflect Godly character and freedom.
Make a list of your core thoughts…good, bad and ugly. The Psalmist says in 139:23-24 to “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” The thoughts that do not glorify God, change. You may think, “There is no way that I can change.” I thought that way for years regarding fear/depression…simply overpowering. But, by meditating on scripture, God worked me into freedom through truth.
So, here is the deal. Diligently, “above all else” allow the Lord to change the sinful thoughts and patterns at the core of the core of the core of your being. Once you do, your life will become I-can-do-all-things-through-Christ-who-strengthens-me type life.