First I want to say, Happy Anniversary to me and everyone that has been reading my posts for the past year! I didn’t even know that this was going to be the exact date, like I am so thankful and blessed! Initially I used to see this part of my calling as a burden but sharing with you all has contributed to my deliverance process and so I say thank you! I really love y’all, like forreal forreal! 😭💙
Second, Happy Father’s Day to everyone’s daddy! Now for all those who this day is often sad and triggering, You are NOT fatherless! You have and will always have a Heavenly Father so you will always have a father’s love. I pray the joy of The Lord washes over you right now like a flood overpowering all the lies of the enemy!
Let’s jump right in to today’s post…
There are many common misconceptions associated with Christianity and Bible scriptures, particularly those that have been integrated into popular culture. One of these misconceptions include Proverbs 4:23. It says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it springs the issues of life” (NKJV). In another translation, it says to guard your heart above all else. Interchanging keep with guard is actually pretty accurate because in Hebrew, which is the language of the Old Testament, keep is Shamar. Shamar also means, to guard, protect, keep watch, and etc.
Oftentimes, this verse has been interpreted as permission to defend ourselves when someone does us wrong or closing our heart off to people, pain, and hurt. Essentially we can take it as far as putting barriers around our heart. We have taken words and completely separated them from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe that Proverbs 4:23 is telling us to be the defender of our hearts because The Bible does not contradict itself and in Philippians 4:7, it says that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. In Romans 12:9 it says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord” (NKJV). In addition, Matthew 18:21-22 tells us to forgive 70 X 7 times and chapter 5 verse 39 tells us how to react when someone wrongs us which is contrary to closing off. We are God’s sheep so let us allow Him to be our Shepherd, because a good shepherd KEEPS his/her sheep.
You might be thinking, okay, so what did God intend for us to do after reading Proverbs 4:23? The entire chapter of Proverbs 4 can be summarized as a father giving advice to his children, specifically on good things to follow, indulge in, and live life by. With that context being established, let’s reread verse 23 and see that The Lord was trying to tell us more to be mindful if what we indulge in during our life span, because all those things will serve as seeds sown in the soil of our heart and we will reap the appropriate harvest.
For instance, taking in shows and movies that have high amounts of sexual scenes is one way to plant the seed of lust into our hearts and the rotten fruits will be represented as inability to have healthy intimacy or not being able to control ourselves when it comes to the impure way we view God’s children, our fellow siblings in Christ. Another example would be telling a “white lie” (no such thing by the way) just a few times. Before you are aware of it, you are reaping the fruit of deception as part of your everyday life. When you withhold encouragement and/or compliments due to insecurities, you reap a bitter, jealous heart and relationships with no trust or transparency.
On the opposite side, if you tithe even when you have little, you reap the fruit of financial protection and stability straight from the hands of The Lord and increase in a giving heart, a heart that finds joy in obeying God. When you continue to do the same level of work even on the days your supervisor isn’t watching you, you reap integrity, becoming a person God can trust. When you make it a habit of praying for those who have hurt you, you reap a forgiving heart and wherever you go, you are a peacemaker. God is telling is to be watchful and mindful of what we partake in or consume because Luke 6:45. It’s kind of like “you are what you eat” or “you can only give what you have”. You can’t pour water into a cup, yet what you drink is wine (unless you’re my main man, Jesus lol). You cannot pull out of something what isn’t already in it.
During this past week, The Lord showed me a lot concerning the contents of my heart. He showed me that prior to the fast, my harvest wasn’t all good; there were some rotten fruits amongst it; and when you put rotten fruit with good fruit, the good becomes contaminated. As I exit my plowing season and enter my planting season, God wants to make me aware of what seeds I choose to sow this time around. I count that a blessing and an honor that God is so concerned about us that He involves is in His plans for us. And His plans are GOOD (Jeremiah 29:11). No longer can I use the excuse of I didn’t know better, because I now know Him. And so I ask all of you as well, what seeds are you sowing in the soil of your heart and will you be honestly pleased with the harvest when reaping season comes? God loves you all! I pray your planting season is one to produce a good harvest!