Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Prov 4:23)
Your heart is a fountain, a natural wellspring of what the Bible describes as “the inner man.” It is the center of your consciousness, the source of your thinking, the fount of your feelings, the seat of your affections, and the root of your decisions. Those things that Solomon describes as “the springs of life”—your emotions, dreams, attachments, allegiances, determinations, words, actions and reactions—all flow from the fountain of your heart. As a result, your heart has immeasurable value.
Therefore, when God says things like he did in Jeremiah 4:18, we ought to fearfully pay attention, humbly evaluate our present condition, and prayerfully raise our defenses.
“Your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you. This is your doom, and it is bitter; it has reached your very heart.”
The men and women of Jeremiah’s day had sown selfish seeds of unrighteousness. Now it was time to reap the bitter fruit of rebellion against their Creator. The resulting doom was a terrible ripple effect of their ways. Their deeds had brought it upon them. Sin had taken them farther than they ever imagined. Their corruption had reached their very heart.
It’s not unusual for people to continue reasoning that they’ve got a handle on their unholiness. We deceive ourselves by adopting the delusion that we can keep sin on the surface. “My flesh will indulge, but my heart is immune.” It is a lie of the worst kind.
Not only are my ways and my deeds a reflection of what resides within my heart (Mark 7:21-23), but they are a critical gateway to the center of my consciousness, the source of my thinking, the fount of my feelings, the seat of my affections, and the root of my decisions. I cannot engage in the sinful works of the flesh without the “springs of my life” becoming polluted.
Think about that today. The filth that I allow my eyes to gaze upon will eventually reach my very heart. The unrighteous venom that I allow to soak on my tongue will eventually permeate my very heart. The bitter gossip that my ears welcome will eventually take root in my very heart. Idolatry will lead to spiritually clogged arteries. Laziness will lead to heart failure. Wickedness will lead to cardiac arrest.
Guard your heart with all diligence today. It has immeasurable value. Shine the light of the gospel on the lies of the Enemy. Your ways and your deeds matter.