Even when we fully desire to live in and rely upon the wisdom of God, there are many distractions and pitfalls which can take us off course. Therefore, our encouragement today is to guard our hearts. Make it a matter of prayer and focus and God will reward you…
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
At the core of this teaching is vs. 23: guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. We see both sides of the equation here. We pour wisdom into our hearts to fill us up and build our character and life. Then we see that there are threats to our wisdom and our possession of live-giving knowledge.
Perversity and corruption of talk, distractions which draw our eyes away from the straight path, and the sinful rabbit trails of life all want to interfere with our steadfastness. If you do not want to turn to the right or to the left, guard your heart. If you want to stay steadfast, you’ll need to resist those temptations.
The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4, offers some advice for guarding our hearts:
6 By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Be a person of prayer, bringing everything before the Lord, and then dwell upon things which reflect the character of God (true, noble, right, pure, etc). What we think about influences our steadfastness greatly. If we are dwelling upon the right things and bringing all things to God, we will be framing our days with the intentions of a Christ follower.
Invite God’s wisdom into your life and guard it in your heart.