Guard Your Heart
(Part#2 A Pick and a Path)
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publication
Keep [guard] your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
The TV show Cops exposes human behavior. Discovering drugs in someone's pocket, a policeman will ask, Are these yours? No, sir.Then, whose are they? I don't know, sir. How did they get there?Honest to God, sir, I don't know. I borrowed these pants from a friend. Maybe he put them there. What's your friend's name and where does he live? Uh . . . uh, his name is Bob, sir. I don't remember his last name and I don't know where he lives, sir.
Jeremiah described such behavior: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick [wicked]; 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."1
God has made each person responsible to garden his or her own heart. In Matthew 13:1-23, Jesus said each heart has one of four kinds of soil. We will look at the first one today . . . a hardened path.
What causes a hard heart? Obviously, it can be self-induced by pride or unbelief. It can also be hardened by others walking on it. How? By violating your dignity, verbally or physically abusing you, imposing social injustice . . . the list is endless.
Know this, endless will be the stream of feet stomping on your heart. Life does not get easier with age. Just as a path is packed harder over time, so your heart will grow harder if you do not take the right divine now.
Here's the only solution that works. God has handed to you a pick. He expects you, as the appointed gardener, to swing it at the first sign of hardness in your heart to keep it soft and fertile, capable of producing an eternal crop.
Don't waste time blaming others for your hardness of heart. A police officer in Las Vegas asked a young prostitute, who appeared to be from a cultured background, why she would risk her health and life for such degradation.
"My parents are religious," she replied, "and I don't want to live under their rules."
The enemy was obviously allowed to snatch the seed of God's Word from her hardened heart, making goodness feel like bondage. Thus, whether her parent's rules were fair or not, she is fully responsible for her self-destruction.
So, grab hold of the pick and strike into the hardened soil. Rip it up! Swing the pick of confession. Dig deeper with forgiveness and repentance. Loosen the hardness that demands your own way.
Anything less leads to crop failure, and that leads to a malnourished soul. Place before the searching eyes of our God a heart in which He can produce a healthy, robust and productive crop.
Immanuel: God is with you!
1Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV
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