Spiritual Wisdom for Guarding Your Heart - Boaz Koat 2023-05-09 17:22:02.0 / 265 Hits
In last week's short article, I said that the first of the most important things in life is to guard your heart. This is because, as Proverbs 4:23 says, this is where the source of life comes from. Recently, I participated in a study group of pastors for personal development. It's a 10-week course called "Developing a Discerning Heart".
The first session was an introduction, which delved into the topic of the heart in a biblical approach to helping believers. The human heart is addressed more than 540 times in the entire Bible. When I think back to the book of Samuel, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but I, the LORD, look at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7), I don't think I've given much thought or study to this important aspect of the heart.
Of course, it wasn't until I realized God's providence that I realized that I had been backed into a corner in the midst of a time of hardship and adversity in my past life journey. When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, a common saying was, "Life is what you make of it." This is because the interpretation and response to the same situation depends on how you think about it. However, after walking down the road of life, I realized that it is the mind that determines these thoughts.
As a pastor, how do we overcome the mental difficulties we often experience in our daily lives? And how can we help our congregation? This question is a big prayer and homework for pastors. I think back to all the times when I was studying abroad, when I faced visa problems and living difficulties, when my wife's cancer battle and my own health were red flags, and when I was in a ministry crisis. A typical pastor's response would be, "It's all by the grace of God". It's the same confession, of course.
But when it comes to the details, the grace is that Almighty God touches the heart by giving the Spirit of wisdom. In the pastor's Bible study mentioned above, when dealing with the heart, we covered four aspects of the heart in the Bible. It can be broken down into desires, thoughts, choices, and emotions. When we take a closer look at our hearts, we understand that they are driven by our intellect, will, and emotions, starting with our central longing.
Knowing the grace that takes into account my intellect, emotions, and will in the midst of my burning longings, and fills, guides, and envelops them with what is appropriate, the problem I was facing did not change much, but I was able to overcome it, because God gave me the spiritual wisdom to reflect on the knowledge, experience, and consequences of God's Word on top of the longing at the center of my heart.
Guard your heart more than anything else, for from it are your life's resources (Proverbs 4:23).