Proverbs 4:23: Keeping the heart


Every one of us is two people, there is the person that we project and there is the person we are within. Peter calls this inner person, ‘the hidden person of the heart’ 1 Pet. 3:4. Today in this message I want do an under the hood check. Think of a yacht sitting at anchor, we all see what is above the water line but don’t think much about what is below the water line. The top of the yacht can be beautiful woods and colourful sails with well-polished finishings. The yacht can have a pool and a bar and a well kitted entertainment area. It can have a huge engine, a large cabin crew to attend to your every convenience, gourmet chefs, and the best navigation equipment. But if you don’t look after the boat under the water line, it is all useless and your beautiful yacht will sink. Today I want us to take a close look under the water line and remember to do maintenance there.

As you look into your heart today how does it look? Perhaps you are fresh from the dry docks where you have been de-barnacled and water blasted to a factory newness. Perhaps you are in a good place spiritually you have recently had a spiritual spring clean and the dark corners of your heart are freshly swept. This message then will be an encouragement to keep it that way. Or maybe you are here today and you haven’t seen a dry dock in ages. You have forgotten about what lies below the water line and there is the beginning of damage that is being ignored. Perhaps there are some cracks from hitting a hidden reef, some trial or calamity, or from colliding with another boat. Perhaps there is rust or rot that is setting in and your hull is paper thin and a shipwreck is on the horizon. Or worse perhaps you have sprung a leak and you are sinking. No longer is the ship in the sea but the sea is in the ship, no longer is the Christian in the world but the world has come home into your life and you are breached. Today we want to tend to this inner person of the heart and in order to do that we will be reflecting on Proverbs 4:23, ‘Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.’

So as we look at our test today we will investigate this issue under three headings, the importance of the heart, keeping the heart, life and the heart.