Guarding Our Hearts
- Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Prov. 4:23)
- I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Ps. 139:14)
- “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.... 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezek. 18:4, 19-20)
- Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Rom. 5:12).
- I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. (Rom. 7:9-10)
Our defilement is because we have been deceived and vanquished by lust. Our purity is because we control these lusts and “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14).
As we were deceived and killed by sin, we activated lusts that seek fulfillment and continually war against our soul. Peter begged us “as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,” (1Pet. 2:11-12). This is the battle we all fight and a battle we are fully responsible for. If we don’t fight, we can become “slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19). But if that happens it is because of what we have done, not what Adam or Eve did.
The purity we had as an infant slowly changes to the perverted mind we have as an adult one lust and one temptation at a time. If we minimized the lusts and “set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Ps 101:3-4), we can maintain our purity in those areas. If we realized “evil companionship corrupt good morals” (1Cor. 15:33) and did not develop such relationships, to that degree we can “keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (Jas. 1:27)
For these reasons, it is imperative we “keep your heart with all diligence.” Our eternal soul is ours to win or lose. It is up to us to keep the pure heart God gave us as clean and undefiled as possible. Even a single experience can open new defiling sources into our heart, and activate a lust that can create a lifetime of sorrow and regret.
This is what happened to David, “the man after God’s own heart.” As he watched Bathsheba bathe, a lust was activated. Job’s counsel to make a “covenant with his eyes” (Job 31:1-10) would have protected him, but his lust won the battle for his soul.
Others, like Joseph cried out “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). Thus our defilement is based on our choices. But if we don’t keep our heart with all diligence, the once pure heart we received from God can lead us to become one who is “defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).
The progression is always the same. “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas. 1:14-15)
As a “first time” lust grows and strengthens, it gives birth to sin and “sin comes alive.” When that happened to Paul he died. When it happens to us it “brings forth death.”
David won his soul back after his death, while Judas went on to become the son of perdition (Jn. 17:12). Yet each as an infant child had the same potential. Their own decisions led to the final outcome. They illustrate the absolute truth: We reap what we sow.
- Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal 6:7-8)
- But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom 13:14)
- Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ... 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Col. 3:5, 7-8)
- Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Col. 3:12-16)