“Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”
Am I being vigilant regarding my heart? Guarding it carefully, intently seeking to grow in purity, wisdom, and righteousness at my core? Or am I content to allow my heart to freely flit from one thing to the next, holding wisdom lightly and just trying to stay within the bounds of what seems acceptable?
In Christ, we have been set free from sin, which then shifts our focus and commitment toward righteousness. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).
This should completely change the intent of our actions. We are to work the members of our body to righteousness. “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13). This intention, this focus, applies to our heart as well. And our heart is vastly affected by what we set our minds on.
In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us a list of where to focus our thoughts. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Notice he doesn’t say “Don’t think on these things,” which would merely highlight that which we should avoid. No, he takes the better perspective of pointing us to where our thoughts should intentionally reside.
This isn’t a passive thought pattern. It doesn’t just happen. We must be active in cultivating it. Which fits with the call of Proverbs 4:23 to “keep your heart with all vigilance.”
This is too important to take lightly. The springs of life flow from our heart. And if all our springs are in our Lord (Psalm 87:7), that is where our heart must be rooted. He is our life. His Word is life to us (Deuteronomy 32:47).
Everything that is good and excellent and praiseworthy—everything really worth thinking about and meditating on—finds its root in Christ. This is where joy and peace are found. And isn’t that what we truly want? To be happy and at peace? To find rest and joy, to find a home? Let us fix our eyes, our heart, our mind on Christ. He is our hope. Our light. Our refuge. Our heart will find its home, its rest, and its joy in Him.
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.”