Recently, a small, privately owned plane was deemed to be too close to the location of President Barack Obama. The results: several F-16 fighter planes were scrambled and they “escorted” the civilian plane to a safe location at an airport some distance away. This has happened several times during Obama’s Presidency. Why is it done? Safety and security in the wake of the terrorist attacks throughout the world, generally, and more specifically as a result of the attacks on the U. S. on 9/11 and later.
Are the security forces over-reacting or being over-protective? I think most Americans would answer no, not if there was the possibility of harm coming to the leader of our country. As I have been thinking about this, I began to see a corollary between these type of events and how the Bible tells the believer to guard their hearts. Shouldn’t the Christian be as diligent about guarding their hearts? Shouldn’t the believer be as diligent about securing their eyes and ears – all “gates” to the heart? What does God have to say about the heart?
We should guard it:
- Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Prov. 4:23
- Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Prov. 23:19
- Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Prov. 28:14
- Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD Prov. 23:17
What our heart says about us:
- As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Prov. 27:19
- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jer. 17:9-10
- “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7
What happens when we don’t guard our heart:
- But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. Rom. 2:5
- do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” Heb. 3:8-11
Here are some reasons the heart needs guarding:
(1) The heart needs guarding because we do not naturally think and look at life like God does.
(2) The heart needs guarding because, like sheep, we are prone to wander from God in our hearts (Isa. 53:6).
(3) The heart needs guarding because the heart is not just deceitful, it is more deceitful than all else (Jer. 17:9).
(4) The heart needs guarding because the heart is desperately sick, i.e., incurably wicked (Jer. 17:9).
(5) The heart needs guarding because the heart cannot be understood by our own wisdom.
(6) The heart needs guarding because the heart is the wellspring of life; the fountain of attitudes, values, beliefs, aspirations, and pursuits (Pr. 4:23; Matt. 13:34; 15:18; 6:21).
(7) The heart needs guarding because, as is the fountain, so must be the streams that flow from it—the eyes, the mouth, the feet, i.e., words and actions. – (list compiled by J. Hampton Keathley III)