After a week off for snow, we continued the "gods at war" series at WNW. We began the night by doing the activity "Would You Rather." Students answered which they would rather do in several different scenarios. One example was "Would you rather have to speak everything on your mind or never talk?" After going through several of these, we discussed why some of them were tough decisions and how our answer shows what is important to us in life which can potentially reveal our idols. We then went into a worship set that included "Running to You" (Newsboys), "SMS-Shine" (David Crowder Band), "Sovereign Over Us" (Aaron Keyes).
I gave a quick review of what we covered the previous time and what the series is about. We then discussed painting a wall that has cracks in it. We try out best to fill the cracks with extra paint and cover it as best possible. In a short period of time the crack will reappear. The problem with the wall is not the crack itself, but the foundation. We too must be most concerned with our foundation. I made reference to the tree I had used in the previous message and how our root system, or in other words our hear, is our personal foundation.
We looked at Proverbs 4:23 and broke it down into three parts:
1) Above All Else
Solomon, the author of this proverb is letting us know that this matter must take priority in our lives. It would be interesting if we all shared our top five priorities in life if we were truly honest. He is saying here that this matter of the heart that he is about to mention must be a priority in our lives.
2) Guard Your Heart
To guard something means that we must diligently protect against the enemy. We guard what is important to us because we know that an enemy wants to destroy it. Fort Knox, KY houses about 3% of all the refined gold in the world. The gold is stored in a 2 story building made up of 16,500 cubic ft of granite, over 1400 tons of steel, and 4200 cubic yards of concrete. The vault door weighs more than 20 tons. No single person has the combination to the vault, but several people in different locations must dial in to open the vault. We go to great measure to protect what is valuable to us and we must understand that our heart is extremely valuable.
3) Everything Flows From It
Our physical heart beats around 100,000 times a day and pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood a day. Every part of your body is a recipient of this blood. Whatever your mind or heart is connected to is going to determine how you grow. Whatever you allow into your heart is going to flow into every aspect of your life. Which god wins the war for you heart has a lot to do with how diligently you guard it.
So how do you guard your heart? I talked about these three practical basics of the Christian life that we all know we need to do, but maybe do not always put into practice.
This means laying down our pride. We need people in our lives to help keep us accountable in all areas of life, but especially with the area of idols.
When you are not guarding your heart, it becomes more difficult to pray. Prayer helps us guard our heart from the enemy.
3) Scripture Meditation/Memorization
We use the poor excuse often that we can't memorize Scripture. I asked the students to consider this: if i were to give them a piece of paper and asked them to write down everything they know about their favorite actor, singer, movie, athlete, tv show, video game, hobby, etc., would they be able to write down more information about that than they can quote Scripture. We probably all would write down more information about our favorite "thing" than we can Scripture. We will memorize what is important to us. David wrote in Psalm 119:11 "Your word I have treasured (hidden) in my heart that I may not sin against You." It's not just about what we guard our hearts from, but also what we open our hearts to.
We closed by thinking back to the passage in Joshua 24 where Joshua told them to choose who they would serve. I told them to in the same way to choose whether or not they will guard their heart, because their answer is based on which god they will serve.