“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” – Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
“With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life” – Proverbs 4:23 (NAB)
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” – Proverbs 4:23 (RSV)
“Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it” – Proverbs 4:23 (GWT)
Do you get it yet?
My heart has been asleep. I get lazy, I get tired and I let my heart sleep. But no one sets an alarm clock for our hearts, though someone really should. A really, really, REALLY loud alarm clock for our hearts – the kind that wake you up when you are dead asleep and jolt you awake in such a way that you think you will never, ever sleep again. That’s what my heart needs – WAKE UP! Wake up dear heart, for the Lord lives in you, the Lord flows from you – how could be sleeping?
My heart sleeps like the apostles fell asleep when Jesus withdrew to pray in the Garden in Gethsemane – “When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?”” (Matthew 26:40 – NAB).
Every time I read that passage I can’t help but be disappointed with the apostles. Really?! Jesus is praying and you fell asleep?! What were you thinking, how tired could you possibly be?! Its not until recently that I’ve begun to identify with the apostles. I get busy doing so many other things for so many other people, I get lazy and just want to have some “me” time that I forget about having “Him” time. Then I read passages like Proverbs 4:23 or Matthew 26:40 and I think, “how could I be sleeping?”
Wake up dear heart, the Lord is knocking. The Lord is calling. My heart has been asleep for far too long. Even when its not asleep, its certainly not focused on the Lord, its not waiting eagerly for His tender and majestic whispers. When I was in adoration this morning I was struck by the phrasing in the book I was reading (“Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge…one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read). Stasi was talking about how her heart had been awakened. I want my heart to be awakened! I want my heart to be shocked back to life, a life lived for the glory of the Lord! WAKE UP!
Proverbs 4:23, as much as I talk about it, is my heart’s alarm clock. If I’m really guarding my heart then I have to be awake, I can’t guard it if I’m sleeping. Besides, if the Lord is calling me and wants to use me as His hands and feet (and He does…its really not an “if” here, its more like “the Lord IS calling”, He’s calling you and He is calling me) then how could I sleep? The God of the Universe, the Lord who made me and fashioned me and not only did He make me, but He wants to use me in His plan?! Why would I sleep through that?! It jolts me awake to think, let alone realize that He wants to use me if only I could get my lazy heart out of sleep-mode and into follow-Him-mode.
I don’t know how to put the words to it other than to simply keep saying WAKE UP! The days may seem long but life is short, far too short to live in a half-asleep stupor when God is calling you, calling you by name (Isaiah 43:1). Do you get it yet? I know that I’m far from perfect and far from fully awake but I also know that the Lord is calling, its time to stop hitting the snooze button on my heart and wake up to the glorious love of God and His glorious and humbling desire to use me.
Do you get it yet?
Are you awake or is your heart fast asleep?
Lord, awaken my heart. Keep my heart from drowsiness that I would be open and willing to follow Your Son as He calls me and leads me along the path You have laid out for me. Awaken my heart to live for Your glory. Awaken my heart because the days are few and there is joy to be found in rising for love of You. Awaken my heart. Amen.