Some things we guard our heart against very well. We are like Ninja Warriors – Heyyaaaa! It can’t get past us, but some stuff not so much. Is it sickening knowing some of the junk we allow to live in our hearts? We would go to all sorts of efforts to get cancer out, but we allow nastier stuff than cancer to live in our heart. Proverbs says above all things guard your heart for from it come the issues of life.

PROVERBS
By Pastor Delbert Young

Proverbs Adventure With Your Heart 2

Proverbs Adventure With Your Heart Pt 2 – 

Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 4:23, Mark 7:20-23, Matthew 5:27-28, Proverbs 20:9, Mark 12:30, Matthew 5:8, Romans 7:24-8:3, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Luke 11:24-26, Proverbs 15:26, Genesis 6:5, Matthew 15:19-20, Daniel 1:8, Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 14:30, Proverbs 15:14, Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 16:23, Proverbs 10:20, Proverbs 18:12, Proverbs 27:19, Proverbs 28:14, Proverbs 5:12, Proverbs 22:15, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 5:23

We are learning the entire book of Proverbs, and actually, all of life is readily understood when we grasp every blessing in life, and every problem of life is a result of our pursuing Lady Wisdom or our being seduced by Whore Folly. Lady Wisdom is God’s guide to our success. Whore Folly is the enemy’s way to ruin – kill, steal, and destroy (Joh 10:10). If we pursue Lady Wisdom, our life is blessed, prosperous, and we live long lives full of happiness and peace. If seduced by Whore Folly we experience ruined lives, no true prosperity, addictions, missed opportunities, unrest, sadness, and lives of devastation.

Last time, we began looking at an Adventure with Your Heart. I do not want to recap what we did last time. We make available the notes, CDs, DVDs, and internet just for you. However, I do want to enhance some of the things we said to get us to where I feel the Lord would have us go.

I told you, we’ve heard people say, “Just follow your heart.” This is about the dumbest statement you will ever hear and the dumbest thing you will ever do.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The human heart is MOST DECEITFUL AND DESPERATELY WICKED. Who really knows how bad it is?

You don’t even know how bad your own heart is. I don’t know how wicked my heart is. So, you can’t afford to follow your heart. It will lead you into more trouble than you can imagine. We can’t allow ourselves to follow our heart. I told you we must lead our heart, not follow it. A better way to say it, and where we are going today, is YOU MUST GUARD IT.

There’s a battle for your heart. Lady Wisdom and God war with Whore Folly and the enemy. They all know the tremendous value of your heart. It’s why God talks so much about the heart in the Scriptures (nearly 800 times). Who gets your heart gets you. Though the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it possesses the incredible power to control our lives, so it must be KEPT AND GUARDED.

 (Amp) Proverbs 4:23 KEEP AND GUARD YOUR HEART with all vigilance AND ABOVE ALL THAT YOU GUARD, for out of it flow the SPRINGS OF LIFE.

…ABOVE ALL THAT YOU GUARD! A wise person realizes the heart is the most valuable possession they possess. Wisdom explains your life as a river fed by springs originating within your heart. What is allowed into the springs determines the issues in life you experience. All sorts of vile stuff are attempting to get into your heart. As pollutants are placed into the unguarded heart, your river/life becomes polluted as despicable issues float down the river determining what’s in your future coming from upstream, what’s in your present today, and what has happened in your past. Every issue of life originates within your heart. Jesus said…

Mark 7:20-23 …For from WITHIN, OUT OF A PERSON’S HEART, come evil THOUGHTS, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from WITHIN; they are what defile you…

We are going to talk about it more, but notice the issue first mentioned is evil thoughts. It’s not a sexual problem. It’s a heart problem. It’s not a greed and money problem. It’s a heart problem. All these are what mess up/defile your life. So, when things are not going well in your life, take a look at your heart and what you allowed into it upstream – yesterday, last month, last year, years past, etc.

What we attempt to do is “Behavior Modification.” I used the example of a person having a problem overeating. We modify our behavior with a diet. We put rules as to what we can and can’t eat, etc. and it seems to work. We lose a ton of weight but only find the weight drifts back into our lives a few months later. We modified our behavior but never dealt with the real problem, the heart. Laws, rules, and commands never fix the problem. Jesus said…

Matthew 5:27-28 “YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her IN HIS HEART.

Who said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exo 20:14)? God did through Moses, right? Did this command stop adultery? Jesus’ point is not even God himself giving the Behavior Modification command will fix the problem. The law says 55 MPH in a specific zone. How many of us never go over 55 in a 55 MPH zone? You will modify your behavior if you see a State Patrol, Sheriff, or Police, but as soon as you are past him or her… It’s the same with spending money, smoking, drugs, porn, work habits, finances, name it. Every issue of life can be modified. We can go around the banks of the river and net up all the issues, but those same issues will come back down your river of life again if never addressed upstream at the heart.

However, we have another even more severe problem. It’s impossible for you to clean up your own heart or the heart of anyone else.

(Amp) Proverbs 20:9 WHO CAN SAY, I have made my HEART CLEAN, I am PURE from my SIN?

The inference is no one can say they made their heart clean and pure because no one can. It’s impossible to do. Sin goes all the way back to Adam, and we are spiritually genetically born with sin wired into – built into – our hearts (Ps 58:3; Pro 22:15). Sin is genetically in the walls and fiber of the heart. The Adamic sin nature contaminates the heart so severely it can’t be fixed or cleaned. This gets worse. We are doomed unless something happens to our heart. Jesus said…

Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God WITH ALL YOUR HEART

Jesus said nothing is more important than loving God with ALL your heart, but we can’t love God with ALL our heart because the heart is messed up, deceitful, wicked, and sinful.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the PURE IN HEART, for they will SEE God.

We see God with or through our heart, but can’t see him at all with a vile heart. Our river is polluted and dirty. So, we are doomed to hell and death. But, no. There’s hope. The apostle Paul said…

Romans 7:24-8:3 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a SLAVE TO GOD’S LAW, but in THE SINFUL NATURE A SLAVE TO THE LAW OF SIN. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the SPIRIT OF LIFE set me free from the law of sin and death. FOR WHAT THE LAW WAS POWERLESS TO DO in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering…

Paul said he was wretched and doomed. He was a slave to his sinful nature, but being a slave to the law didn’t help. In fact, all those commandments are POWERLESS. What could possibly help? He gives the one and only answer. It’s Jesus Christ, the son of God. So, how does God do it if not with commandments to modify behavior?

Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you A NEW HEART with NEW AND RIGHT DESIRES, and I will put a NEW SPIRIT in you. I WILL TAKE OUT YOUR STONY HEART OF SIN and give you a NEW, OBEDIENT HEART.

Biblically, God does not do Behavior Modification today. It didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now. Today, God does a heart transplant (regeneration). When a person indeed has an experience with Jesus Christ, their HEART, SPIRIT, and DESIRES change.

Now, let’s reason about this. You would know in the natural if you had a heart transplant, right? It’s a major surgical procedure. To have experienced this successfully, you would have physically died when your heart was stopped and replaced. In the spiritual, you died to the old person. The Bible refers to this as becoming a “new creation” (2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15) “born again” (Jn 3:3, 7), dying to the flesh, etc. You know if this happened to you! In the natural, you don’t say, “Well, I think I had a heart transplant.” It’s the same in the spiritual. You know and here’s how. Your desires changed but not because of commands, laws, or Behavior modification. A deep desire within your heart came alive to love God more than anything and do what he said and please him. You desired to stop doing the things you did you knew were sinful. You began doing spiritual things because you had a new spirit. You wanted to go to church. You wanted to pray. You desired to read the Bible. You desired to give. You desired to grow in your knowledge of the Lord. You actually became a new creation. People commented about how you were different. You were born again. If you are a Christian, you experienced this. How many actually experienced precisely what I’m describing? Raise your hand. So, what happened? What happened to those desires in people? What happened to those desires in you to attend church, read the scriptures, give, pray, worship, grow in the things of God, talk about Jesus to people, etc.?

I get to frequently watch this fantastic new heart take place within people who come to Christ. I watch them become excited about the Lord, be very faithful to the church, read their scriptures for the first time in their life, pray, grow, do all those new things a new creature does, but then something happens, sometimes within only a few weeks. Those desires became polluted with many other things. What happened? They did not guard their heart and allowed those old issues back into their heart polluting their river all over again. We’ve all done this to some degree or another, but some people actually become worse than before they came to Jesus. Jesus gave an analogy of this. He used an example of a strong man armed and guarding his house (heart) and cleaning it up. Then he said…

Luke 11:24-26 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I WILL RETURN UNTO MY HO– USE WHENCE I CAME OUT. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST.

I attempt to keep up with people who I know had a real “new heart” experience, but dried up. What Jesus described is far too accurate. If the new heart is left unguarded, the nasty things comes back again. Not only is it back, but nastier things come in with it. THE LAST STATE OF THAT PERSON IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST. You likely know people to whom this happened.

So, what do we do about the unclean heart? How do we keep and guard it? In the time we have left, let’s list some key guards to post at the entrance to our heart.

(1) GUARD OF JESUS CHRIST. Without Christ, you are doomed. I don’t say this without thought. Not only will you go to hell when you die, but your life is miserable now. There is no Behavior Modification to fix your life. Unless the new heart happens, none of the following guards we will talk about matter. So, have you experienced a new heart, new spirit, and new desires? Have you had a heart transplant by God? If not, you will have an opportunity in a few minutes to trust God and receive a new heart. He wants to give you one. Remember, he’s fighting for your heart. Give him your old heart. He’ll give you a new heart.

If you have experienced the new heart, then let’s go to the next guard.

(2) GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS.

Proverbs 15:26 The LORD detests the THOUGHTS OF THE WICKED, but those of the pure are pleasing to him.

A primary guard is against evil thoughts. Evil imaginations and thoughts are what brought the flood in Noah’s day.

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART was only EVIL continually.

Even today, the deluges and storms we individually face in our lives are nearly always because we allowed imaginations and thoughts to invade our hearts. Jesus said…

Matthew 15:19-20 For OUT OF THE HEART COME EVIL THOUGHTS, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.

If the thought cannot get in, it cannot play out. Jesus was explicitly speaking about religious hand washing. We make our children wash their hands religiously as it were, but fail to pay any attention to what’s getting into their heart.

How do we guard against thoughts? You simply say, “I can’t allow myself to think this. If this thought gets into me, it will mess up my river.” I think it’s necessary to realize the thought coming to you is not sin. Because it’s a thought does not make it a sin. Jesus was blasted with thoughts from the devil’s temptation, so the thought coming to your mind is not sin. It’s what we do with the thought that matters.

Several years ago Judy and I were on a trip. Judy left our hotel room and would be gone for several hours. I had some work to do, so I cranked up my laptop, grabbed the TV remote, and climbed into bed to watch Fox news while I worked. The TV clicked and the very first thing coming on was a sexy female voice offering the adult movie channel with XXX movies. The screen filled with beautiful nearly naked women. There I was in the bed of a hotel room all alone. I didn’t have time to say to myself, “If a porn advertisement comes on, I will shut my eyes and change channels.” Thoughts don’t come this way. It’s a surprise attack and often an ambush. Here’s how they come. “Why don’t you watch one of those movies? You can handle it (Hath God said thou shalt not watch a porn movie?). Judy will be gone long enough, and if she sees the bill, you can say you watched some regular movie.” Do you let the thought in and entertain it, or do you block the thought by stopping it right there? I literally shook my head “No,” and proceeded to the channel listing and watched Bill O’Reilly (so it’s been a while) but the spin did stop there for me. Talk about a thought change, it was one – Bill O’Reilly! Guarding your heart is actually this simple. Thoughts get in because we allow them in. You’ve got to purpose in your heart you will not defile yourself.

Daniel 1:8 But DANIEL PURPOSED IN HIS HEART THAT HE WOULD NOT DEFILE HIMSELF with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank…

It’s not only with porn thoughts. It’s thoughts about drinking wine or alcohol. It’s thoughts to do drugs. It’s thoughts to overeat or eat the wrong things. Call it a temptation. Call it anything you want, but it’s a thought coming for your heart with the intent of destroying up your life.

I’m out of time and can’t even mention some guards I have listed for you. Maybe you will read them. I will close with one more guard #12.

(3) GUARD OF TRUSTING THE LORD.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

You have to trust it when the Lord says, “This will mess up your life if you let it in.” The enemy and Whore Folly will say, “You can handle it.” No. Trust the Lord. You can’t play with the thought, and you are not an exception.

Guard your heart by laying hold of fresh teaching. Keep God’s word fresh and alive. It will guard your heart.

(4) GUARD OF WISDOM. 

Proverbs 10:8 The WISE IN HEART accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

When a wise person tells you something is not good for you, listen. Whore Folly says you will be ok, but listening to her will bring you to ruin.

(5) GUARD OF PEACE.

Proverbs 14:30 A HEART AT PEACE gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem peaceful to do the right/wise thing, but as soon as you do the wise thing, peace comes. The kingdom of God is righteousness, PEACE, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Don’t allow anything into your heart you are not at peace with. If you do, it will damage your health.

(6) GUARD OF DISCERNMENT

Proverbs 15:14 THE DISCERNING HEART seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

You pick up on things not of God and pick up on things of God. You discern the two. Block anything you perceive is not of God. If you allow it in, in comes the Whore Folly.

(7) THE GUARD OF CHEER AND JOY

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the CHEERFUL HEART has a continual feast.

Find something every day to feast about in life. Let it in. Find the good in every day and every situation. Keep out the oppressing.

(8) GUARD OF SPEAKING TOO QUICKLY

Proverbs 15:28 THE HEART OF THE RIGHTEOUS WEIGHS ITS ANSWERS, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverbs 16:23 A WISE MAN’S HEART GUIDES HIS MOUTH, and his lips promote instruction.

Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

Guard your tongue. Think before you speak. The guarded heart is considerate of the feelings of others and thinks before speaking. This will make you valuable like choice silver to your family, friends, workplace, and God.

(9) GUARD OF HUMILITY.

Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

Guard your heart against pride. When pride comes in, downfall is on its way.

(10) GUARD OF EXPRESSIONS.

Proverbs 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a MAN’S HEART REFLECTS THE MAN.

We are a reflection of our heart. Guard how you express anger, disappointments, anxiousness, etc.

(11) GUARD OF FEAR OF THE LORD

Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

Never drop your guard of a healthy fear of the Lord. Realize God doesn’t want to, but God will get you.

(12) GUARD OF DISCIPLINE

Proverbs 5:12 You will say, “How I hated DISCIPLINE! How my heart spurned correction!”

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of DISCIPLINE will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and DISCIPLINE.

Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of DISCIPLINE, led astray by his own GREAT folly.

This one summarizes the others. We’ve already done a lesson on Adventure in Discipline, but as you see, discipline is connected to the heart and will fight off foolishness not only in a child but also for everyone. Daniel said he purposed in his heart to not defile himself. He meant he disciplined himself to fight off things coming for his heart. You discipline yourself to get you and your family to church on Sunday. You discipline yourself to worship. You discipline yourself to give. You discipline yourself to read God’s word and pray. You discipline yourself to not spend money you don’t have or should go to something else like bills. You discipline yourself to not do addictive things. Discipline is a huge guard. A fool spurns discipline. An undisciplined person is immature. Fools despise discipline, and GREAT FOLLY has been in the river’s past, river’s present, and river’s future for the fool.

Some things we guard our heart against very well. We are like Ninja Warriors – Heyyaaaa! It can’t get past us, but some stuff not so much. Is it sickening knowing some of the junk we allow to live in our hearts? We would go to all sorts of efforts to get cancer out, but we allow nastier stuff than cancer to live in our heart. Proverbs says above all things guard your heart for from it come the issues of life.

Other Related Sermons:

Marvel of Believing – sermon video audio notes

Antichrist – sermon video audio notes

Time of the Kingdom – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young