We're all familiar with John 3:16 but are we just as familiar with verse 18? It says, "No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned" (CEV). That means God is not holding past failures against us. We have been acquitted of all past failures! He does not ask us to bring only significant problems to Him and deal with small ones ourselves. He wants to help us with both the significant and not so critical issues of our lives.
In other words, He wants us to have peaceful hearts that are free from daily concerns. That's why He gives us a strict charge to guard our hearts diligently. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (NKJV). The Hebrew word "keep" means to hedge about, guard, protect and attend to.
We are instructed to guard our hearts much like Adam was instructed to guard the Garden of Eden from intruders (Genesis 2:15). The gateway or entrance to our hearts is through our eyes and ears. For that reason, we must guard what goes in our eyes and ears, because what enters our hearts has the potential to steal our peace.
There is good cause for keeping our hearts — our lives depend on it! Verse 23 says it is from our hearts that the forces of life flow forth. From a well-kept heart flows life-giving power. Notice what the Apostle Paul instructs us to do:
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace...which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7 AMP).
Peace has an assignment much like that of a soldier appointed to guard a city: preventing intruders from gaining entry. But peace can only do its job when we do as the Apostle Paul instructed and refuse to fret or become anxious! We keep from becoming anxious when we pray about everything.
Peace can only mount a guard over our hearts after we truly surrender every situation to the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 6 directs us to: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (NAS). We do not have the knowledge or ability to solve every situation; we must trust in the Lord. He wants to be involved in every area of our lives.
When we cast all our care on the Lord then the peace that passes mental understanding will not only flood our being, but it will mount guard over our hearts and minds.
If trouble comes knocking at our doors, peace has been given the assignment and the power to stand guard over the situation. We must allow peace to do its job. We are the deciding factor. Not only will our decision allow peace to guard our hearts, but it will also allow peace to act as an umpire over these situations.
- Excerpt from the
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