Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.–Proverbs 4:23
Some people claim that the way to victory is to “Just let go and let God”. They claim that spiritual progress requires no self-effort, just faith in God. That, however, is theory, not truth. A. W. Pink said,”As well might a poor man expect to be rich in this world without industry, or a weak man to become strong and healthy without food and exercise, as a Christian to be rich in faith and strong in the Lord without earnest endeavor and diligent effort. It is true that all our labors amount to nothing unless the Lord blesses them (Ps. 121:1), as it also is that apart from Him we can do nothing (John15:5)”.That is in keeping with what the Bible teaches clearly and repeatedly. Although every step of progress is to be attributed to God, He requires effort on our part. We are to “put off” and “put on” certain things (Eph. 4:21-24). We are to be active rather than passive. We must do what we can before we can expect God to do what we can’t.
So, let’s focus on where our focus should be. We must get to the heart of the problem, which just happens to be the problem of the heart. It is from there that all the issues of life proceed. If the heart is neglected all else will be affected. As the heart is the center and fountain of physical life, so it is spiritually. If the heart be wrong so will the life. What the heart is the person is. Keeping it is essential to all else– and that is a full-time job! We dare not let our guard down for a moment lest Satan get the advantage of us. As the old Puritan John Flavel said,”The keeping and right managing of the heart in every condition is the great business of a Christian’s life”. How true! If we fail here we fail everywhere.
If we fail to keep the heart our mind will be polluted, our will be weakened, temptation will overwhelm, lust will prevail, sin will conquer, and our character will unravel. So, this is not a matter that we can take or leave. We either keep the heart or face a fall— a crushing defeat. Your safety and happiness depends on your attention to your heart’s condition. Failure here leads to failure everywhere. This isn’t something someone else can do for you. Others might feed you, heap riches upon you, tend to your needs, and assist you in numerous ways, but when it comes to keeping your heart you must do it for yourself—it is your responsibility. –HDS