"At the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart." I still remember that phrase. It came from a sermon that I heard Dr. Warren Wiersbe preach many years ago when he pastored a Baptist Church in Covington Kentucky. I believe that he was right because the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23, (KJV) Keep[5341] thy heart[3820] with all diligence[4929]; for out of it are the issues[8444] of life[2416]. The numbers in the brackets are Strongs numbers.

You do not have to be a theologian to see that your heart is important according to this verse, so let's examine the verse closely.

We are told to "keep" our heart.

The word translated "keep" is the Hebrew word that means to guard, to protect or preserve.

We are told to diligently keep our heart.

The word "diligence" is actually another word that means to guard or protect. It means to hedge about, to pay close attention to or watch carefully. In other words protect your heart doubly. Make it your priority to protect your heart.

But why?

The heart is the control center of your being.

The Hebrew word for heart is "LEB" (pronounced labe). The Strongs number is 3820. The Greek counterpart is "KARDIA" (2588). When we think of the heart, we think of the internal organ that pumps blood through our bodies. But that is not the primary way the word is used in the Bible. Zodhiates says in his Hebrew Lexicon, that the main use of the word heart refers to "the totality of man's inner or immaterial mature." I venture to speculate that this explanation is not a lot of help. So let me try a different angle. The heart is the seat of your intellect, feelings and will. It is "almost a synonym for mind." 2 Chr 9:23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.

With this in view, back to Proverbs 4:23. The phrase "issues of life" is a difficult one to translate, but it refers to the heart being the control center or source of our lives. What happens if the control center malfunctions in a machine? There are major problems. The same thing happens when the control center malfunctions in a human being. Since the heart is the control center of life, it would be wise for us to guard our hearts carefully.

How to Guard Your Hearts

Don't allow anything or anyone to control your mind except the Lord through His Holy Spirit and the Bible.

1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV) --

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

The Word of God is to control your mind. We can see that from 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The word of God is to be used to bring our thinking under God's control. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. It says,

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Further, The Holy Spirit is to be allowed to control our minds. Ephesians 5:18 verifies this when it says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" When the Holy Spirit controls the believers life, the Fruit of The Holy Spirit is obvious in the that person's life (Galatians 5:22-23). To the degree that the Fruit of the Spirit is obvious in the believers life, to that same degree that person is Biblically spiritual.

Satan's Counterfeit

Satan has a counterfeit spirituality that he is offering as a substitute for Biblical spirituality. Just as a Christian must open up his or her heart (mind) to the control of the Holy Spirit in order to be Biblically Spiritual, so a person must open up their heart (mind) to the control of the unholy spirits if they are to be "spiritual." Spiritual in this sense means devoted to and controlled by a higher power other the the Lord God Almighty. Ananias is an illustration of being controlled by unholy spirits. Acts 5:3 (KJV)

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"Don't allow anything or anyone to control your mind except the Lord through His Holy Spirit and the Bible."