Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.”
The well in a village is the most important resource it has. The need for water is great, not only for cooking and drinking, but for medicinal purposes too. What happens if the well is poisoned though? Useless right? Who’s going to cook with that water or drink it for that mater?
What a picture of the Christian life. Our hearts are the “well spring of life” that have been poisoned by our own self-inflicted sin and rebellion. Useless, right? Yes, until it is redeemed and restored to usefulness. This happens through the gospel. Jesus didn’t come to “sweeten” the bitter waters or simply to persuade us that the water isn’t really all that bad. Instead He, unlike any other religious figure head, promises abundant, pure, life giving water that will well up within us in exchange for our broken, poison, lifeless waters. This is the gospel and it happens through the cross of Jesus, not through sifting out the poison ourselves. (II Cor 5:17, 21)
But, where do we go from there? New water, new life, everything is down hill from there right? Just as the farmer knows and desires to grow crops, it’s never an easy process. There’s plowing and sowing and gathering and sorting and washing and processing and selling and hoping that there’s enough money coming in to start all over. The Christian, in the same way, is a man of action. Battling the world from without and battling the flesh from within in order to “guard…the wellspring” which is our heart. From it flows the “exit point” of life. Guarding the entry way and exit point of the city is the most important thing.
How can this be done? Seemingly impossible! God gives the weapons of His Word (Eph. 6, Psalm 119:9-11). Immerse yourself in it, memorize it and wield it in battle as you “guard your heart” against the onslaught of sin and the world. But He not only gives us this tool, but even greater, He gives us Himself. The Holy Spirit’s power is our source and the chosen weapon of our progress and fight in guarding our hearts against the internal struggle with the flesh (Galatians 5:25, Philippians 1:6).
This week “guard your heart” with the weapons of the Word and the Spirit and watch God not only guard, but flourish a life that was once broken and useless into a well overflowing.
The great war of the Christian is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6) nor do we “battle” with the weapons of the world (II Cor. 10, Luke 22:38). Our great battle is the war within.