Written by: Trey Mitcham

“Above all else, guard your heart; for out of it flows the wellsprings of life.” - Proverbs 4:23

ABOVE all else… There’s a certain priority level God is communicating in this verse. God wants us to know He isn’t a “rules” king or a “theology” king or a “performance” king, He is a heart king. Man looks at outward appearance, but God sees the heart. God doesn’t want your tithe because He needs your money. God doesn’t want your worship because He’s insecure. God is jealousy after winning the affections of your heart!

So many organizations and relationships I’ve witnessed have looked really good on the outside, and all the right things were said, but it seems as if their hearts were far from knowing life itself. Matthew 7:22-23 puts it this way, “I can see it now - at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’”

Jesus blows my mind because He completely disarms the inferior knowledge and religious striving of the people by exposing their hearts. In story after story of the gospel, Jesus is so savage in His responses to the religious of the day.

Growing up, I would hear this phrase so often in the church and from my mom, “Guard your heart.” However, I have struggled so hard at understanding what the motive of this scripture had to do with my heart condition and not just in my pursuit of a woman or after a career. Is it just me or does it feel almost impossible to navigate the right way to date in christian communities? Everything feels so high pressure and I almost always feel confused from the advice and opinions of others pulling me different ways. I’ve crossed boundaries emotionally and physically. I have led girls on. I have craved a platform and a purpose more than I’ve desired relationship with Jesus at times. I’ve been afraid of trusting God and people. But from all of my failures and disappointments, God is beginning to heal the wounds of the past, establish dependency on His wisdom instead of my own, and quickening my spirit to a joyful love-based surrender everyday by anchoring my affections into His love and character. Jesus has been such a good friend, and a life of romance with Jesus is exhilarating, fascinating, and it’s consuming every part of me.

I am totally still on a journey and haven’t arrived, but here are a few revelations on guarding your heart that I pray will encourage you, convict you, inspire you and equip you to PROTECT the beautiful, brilliant, unique and powerful call of God on your life.

1. Guarding your heart is messy, so give yourself grace and patience in the process. It takes grit, honesty and community, but is the most empowering thing you could ever say yes to.

2. Guarding your heart is a lot more about what you decide to do than what you try not to do. It’s not just about saying no to something, it’s about saying yes to someone, that when your spirit says yes to making Jesus the object of your love, significance and attention, you will naturally have wisdom and confidence in whatever relationship or step you take. Guarding your heart is saying yes to a jealous God who knows you more than you know yourself. Guarding your heart is letting the presence of a living God liberate your mind, body and soul.

3. To guard your heart doesn’t mean to run from intimacy, it means to run into intimacy. Guarding your heart isn’t running, hiding and defending the brokenness in your life by trying to prove yourself to the world.

4. Guarding your heart means exposing the subconscious dependencies in our lives where we derive our worth and significance. Depression isn’t the issue. Your addiction isn’t the issue. Your broken heart isn’t the issue. Your bad habits aren’t the issue. The issue is found in your negligence to let your Heavenly Father satisfy the deep places in your heart.

I wrote a poem once, and I think this kinda paints a picture of what I’m trying to say...

Like an elephant in the room, we walk around. The weight of an adversary who sits there cowardly disguised in a sugar coded death. Your passivity is it’s strength and your isolation nurtures it’s poison. You fail to confront the criminal that breaks inside the living room of your heart perverting the sacred honeymoon and connection with life itself. Fight for Love, my beloved what is love. You see love is One, and love is not love until I’m won by One. Beloved there are rivers of living water flowing inside your veins. Your life is dripping with Glory. The uncertainty you feel in letting go excites the hidden possibilities of a life set apart, the brilliance of saying yes to One satisfies me in this moment. There is no place I’d rather be. You are everything my heart wants.

Like what you’ve read, or looking for more information, posts or connection? Give Trey a follow on instagram at @treymitcham