Last week I shared a word I felt the Lord had shown me. It was a powerful word for me and one I needed to hear from the Lord and it was for many others. The word was concerning the issues of our hearts. The Word says in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” That verse came alive to me 25+ years ago. It changed my life when I realized all those thoughts running around in my mind that became a belief of my heart, were thoughts of life or death. So much legalism was inside me and I had absolute thoughts of my unworthines to the Lord. Since that time I have studied the Word concerning the areas of the heart and I now know the truth of my identity in Jesus Christ but I must,
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 AMPC
Guard my heart. He has spoken that to me many, many times. I shared a few weeks back how I keep speaking that something caught me off guard. I caught myself saying it one time and I asked the Lord to help me with that. Sometimes I was caught off guard because of lack of knowledge in an area, sometimes I was caught off guard because I wasn’t listening and other times, I became so self-focused that I was just plain and simple not on guard of what was going on. There were times fear caught me off guard when I was focusing on something besides His precious love and Word. When I wasn’t feeling well and hadn’t received my healing many thoughts and situation just caught me off guard. Doubt caught me off guard a time or two. Basically, when I wasn’t guard my heart with all diligence or vigilance it was easy to get caught off guard or surprised by a situation. Ephesians 6:18 says: Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). This verse follows our instructions to put on the full armor of God. It says to keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance. This comes from being fully clothed in His armor, praying in the Spirit and praying all the time. The answer is not complicated but the enemy does all he can to get us distracted.
When I get caught off guard, I am not paying attention as I should. My mind is wandering or maybe even dreaming. “Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs, issue of life.” Watchmen must guard what they let enter in their heart. Our feelings, will, emotions, intellect, want to run our lives and emotions. We are the doorkeepers and determine what is let in our hearts which determines who we are in word and deed. We are who we are because of what we allow in our minds causing us to think a certain way. Another way to say it is whatever a person lets into his soul, so will he be. Each of us is the product of what we allowed to get into our mind and heart. That means to be careful who you around. Our pastor used to say, “You become like who you hang around”. It doesn’t mean you don’t minister to or talk to someone who you do not want to be like, but you don’t keep constant company with them. One rotten apple spoils the whole bushel It’s just critical we are gatekeepers or doorkeepers of our own heart. I read in one of Dutch Sheets books, “We, as human beings, are not controlled by that which is true. We are controlled by that which we believe is true, whether it is or not”. When we are controlled by something that is not even true, though we believe in our hearts to be true, that is a stronghold. A stronghold is a prison in the mind. We all have different strongholds and during our lives we have plenty of opportunity to develop strongholds. Everything we have ever experienced is recorded in our souls. We’ve all had negative experiences that have caused us to think in certain ways. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts for out of it flows the issues of life. As gatekeepers of our heart, we must not get caught off guard and let things in that will allow satan to succeed in establishing strongholds.
Becoming a Believer doesn’t automatically erase all the hurts, traumas, unbiblical information that came into our hearts before we know Jesus. There will be strongholds and as soon as we realize there is a stronghold affecting your life, you need to take that caught captive to the obedience of the Word.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 12:3-5
In Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The process of letting go and sending away the strongholds in your heart can somethings take time and diligence. Some things get ahold of our hearts and the enemy wants to use it to destroy each of us. But it is vitally important to be the doorkeepers of our heart so we don’t let these thoughts become strongholds. The fear of the pandemic and COVID 3 years ago became strongholds in the minds of a vast number of people. They did things they would have never thought they would do because they believed the deceptions and lies the enemy was feeding them. They thought things were true that were not. We all probably got caught up in deception during that time in one area or another. I’ve shared my struggle of last fall that I got into fear of all the shortages that were coming for the next year. They were presented in a way that the enemy used the lies to cause me to fear how I would care for my mom in one of these horrible nuclear attacks or whatever. My issue was I let the words of fear and dome in at least 3 times and many more times we talked about it in causal conversations with one another. I didn’t even realize the depth of the fear until I almost fell apart emotionally.
In Hebrews 4:11-12 the Lord gives us some insight to destroying strongholds in our heart.
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
These verses are deep and have many details to sending away the strongholds but the answer is the Word of God. The Word is actively alive and is filled with the life of God. It works in our hearts and is effective, it is adequate to accomplish its goal of healing our hearts. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart and gets rid of those strongholds that are trying to destroy. We must get into the living Word and find a truth that needs to be hidden in our heart to replace that lie. We meditate on the truth, soak it in, believe it, receive it, and let the truth conqueror every lie and replace it with truth. The Word says to renew our minds daily. Daily we feed upon His truths.
Next, we “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” Be careful what you listen to. Be aware of the words you are speaking. It’s much easier to guard your heart from deceptions in the beginning than to get rid of the stronghold later.
This is one of my passions and I want so much for others to learn the truth of the power of our thoughts and words. Be the gatekeeper of all that tries to get in. Only let His truth past the gate of your heart. This is a daily devotion of your heart and time and effects every area of life: health, relationships, finances, prosperity, and your oneness with Him. Be the gatekeeper. It is more important today than ever before. Don’t get caught off guard! You will be blessed!