Godly Character

 

Scripture Reading: Proverbs chapter 6

 

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

 

 

An issue of the heart

“The Fathers of the Church were not afraid to go out into the desert because they had a richness in their hearts. But we, with richness all around us, are afraid, because the desert is in our hearts.” (Donald G. Bloesch) As we continue in our study of Proverbs, it becomes more and more apparent, that we need be seeking God every moment, in every event of life and also actively guarding our hearts. It is far too easy to compromise and be sucked in to the world’s ways. Fervent, intentional seeking out God and His truth will focus us on Him and keep the desert from our hearts.

Proverbs 6 seems at first glance to be somewhat broken up in topic. However, if you read through them again slowly, you can see a common denominator; laziness, wickedness and adultery are all matters of the heart, acted out. Psalm 19:14 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

New creation

The Scriptures assure us that at the moment of salvation, we are a new creation, in Christ and that all things are new. This is our position in Christ and how the Father sees us. Even though our sanctification, or becoming more like Christ in character, takes a lifetime. As discussed in previous devotionals, we are now dead to sin and alive to Christ; having the choice and power now, through the Holy Spirit, to walk with God and be changed from the inside out. Verses 27 & 28 of chapter six state “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be seared?” In immediate context, these verses are in relation to the adulterous man, who commits sin with someone who is not his wife. However, it is possible to widen that application to many of these heart issues mentioned in chapter six, as a warning. There is no way possible that you can walk the fence, or play around with the behaviors of the world that are in no way glorifying to God and not have them eventually burn you.

Keeping our lives God-centered

Proverbs 4:23 states “Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” There are many instances of the word “heart” in Scripture, in reference to God’s concern for it. 1 Samuel 16:7 speaks of the LORD looking at the heart and not on outward appearance, as man does. Jeremiah 17:10 says that the LORD searches the heart. We must intentionally seek God daily, know His Word and attempt to be obedient to Him because of a great love for Him, which results in worship. The priorities of our life must change. We are no longer to be anthropocentric or man-centered in our spirituality, but rather theocentric or God-centered. There must be priority in the pursuit of God and the advancement of His kingdom.

What about you?

Are you diligently guarding your heart? Are the things of God and His kingdom a priority in your life?

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.