I’ve been playing connect the dots with bible verses. I hope that the conclusions I’m drawing will make as much sense to anyone that reads this as it does to me.
Let’s start with what I mentioned in my last post.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
These verses explain something that is brilliant and often forgotten, especially by those of us who were raised in the church: through prayer, our ever evolving conversation with God, we gain peace that guards our hearts and minds. Simple enough, and an incredible reason to pray more often, especially since guarding our hearts is a big deal:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23
Oh snap! Our hearts are the wellspring of life, and other translations also say that everything you do flows from it, that out of it are the issues of life. It makes sense, no matter how you look at it, since our hearts are what bring about just about everything that we do. If we want something, if we love someone, if we hate someone, if we’re afraid, if we’re filled with joy; all of these things are centered in the heart. But there are issues to be had with our hearts, since we are all incredibly sinful. Each of us has a dark, seeping, oozing heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
What a crap-shoot. Our wellsprings of life, that we’re supposed to guard and protect are not even worthy of being protected! They are constantly trying to bring about destruction and death. They want everything the world has to offer, not just to be near to God. But there’s a way to change that:
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:15-17
When we give our filthy, dirty hearts over to Christ he gives us new ones. It’s his gift to anyone who will receive, and it’s our key to having a heart we want to protect and guard. When we put our hearts into God’s hands, allowing him to take over the entire thing and breathe his life into the putrid mess, we end up having tragically beautiful hearts, the kind that we should be careful with. And through making our relationship with Christ the top priority we continue to anchor our hearts in his living water, which is the safest place to be, and the best way to ensure that our wellsprings are flowing with life.
In case this was hard to follow, here’s the breakdown: God gave his son in exchange for the chance to give us life. In Christ we have new life, new hearts. That’s really cool because our hearts are bad. Since we get shiny new hearts we need to guard them. The best way to guard your heart is to have prayer time, worship time, and general quality heart/Jesus time. And Jesus said:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21
So if Christ Jesus is your treasure, your heart will be with him. If your heart is with him, you are having a continual conversation with God, your heart is safe. If your heart is safe, there’s no need to worry. And that’s how I connect the dots.