Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts. Message
Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life. Living
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life. NLT
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life – NASB
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life – Amplified
What does this mean?
I have for years taken this verse to mean that we should put up walls around our hearts to ensure we don’t easily give away our affections into potentially harmful relationships or things. Is putting walls up to relating people always a great idea though? Is this perhaps sometimes a mistake? On reflection I think of Jesus having an open heart into which he receives the fathers loves every moment and out of which flows love, compassion and mercy.
This year since, helping hundreds of people to discover more about their life purpose and their God given destinies, I have realized the importance of our hearts in relation to fulfilling our destinies.
Our calling, the very thing that God created us for, comes out of our divinely placed passions, those places in our hearts where we engage fully, where we feel most alive and fulfilled. I don’t mean passions that come from unmet desires and wounds and places where we still need healing. I’m talking about passions that give us a sense of purpose. Places on earth where we long to impact and make change for the better. Things on earth which we desire to establish, improve, change, bring into alignment, to bring justice to.
What areas of your heart have passion alive so strong that even talking about these things brings you great life. Living for these issues, giving your time, your money, your physical strength for these things doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice but more like a dream come true.
So many people that I coach have lost touch completely with these areas in their heart and have fallen into a life of compromise. I don’t mean a life of sin, but a life where their dreams and passions have been suppressed. Other matters and opportunities have come along and completely distracted them from these original plans.
I would like to propose to you that guarding our hearts is an act of nurturing our hearts and allowing those deep seeds of desire that point to our destiny to grow. Maybe you have let the fire smolder on some of your deeper passions and ideas of how you want the world to change. Maybe over years and years you have even forgotten some of the grander, more idealistic ideas you had.
Maybe your fullest, greatest destiny on earth, the places where you are designed to shine the brightest, where you most display the Glory of God relate to these passions in your heart.
Your calling is your passion. Guarding our hearts is wisdom because as the verse says this is where springs of life flow from, where life starts.
I have seen many people who have not guarded these passions in their heart. They have let them go cold over years and years. So how can you guard parts of your heart that point so directly to your calling?
The Bible says, “A people without vision perish”. One way to nurture your heart is to work on your vision. Prayerfully and using your mind and intellect, start to design how your ideas and dreams of changing the world could actually come about. Think of strategies; imagine what you can do to prepare to be the catalyst of these things. For example, you could explore what skills you need to learn. Prayerfully ask God to grow your vision, to give you His ideas too.
Whatever age you are at or stage of life, believe! Believe that this is an imrpotant part of your destiny and no matter what the circumstances or the season you happen to be in, even if it looks like the opposite of the vision you are building, keep believing. Abraham did this, as did many other Biblical characters. We are called to live the same way as they did. Except now we have The Holy Spirit, the supernatural power of God living inside us, ever since Jesus did His work on the cross. So we have help and power to believe, to imagine the impossible and to dream bigger and beyond our own capabilities in the areas we most want to see transformed on earth.
So what are your deepest passions? How are you going to guard these in your heart?