[notice]A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan[/notice]
Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) we read this, “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
The Bible tells us very clearly that where a man’s treasure is, that is where his heart is also.
We, as a family, own several American quarter horses. We use them on the farm for pleasure but primarily to work with the cattle. Our horses are trained to move cattle and for cutting and roping animals in the herd. All our guys on the farm will talk for hours about horses because they are so much part of our daily life and because we all love horses. If it’s a matter of speaking about what is close to our hearts, it will be quarter horses definitely and maybe a couple of other things beside.
A man will always speak from his heart, so the Lord Jesus tells us to guard our hearts because they are the wellspring of our lives.
Clear and sweet water
As farmers, we know that water from a spring just comes out of the ground and there is never need to use a pump. A spring does need to be treated with care though, so that it flows strongly. A good farmer will always fence the area and open up around the spring being careful not to muddy it or put pressure on it because that might cause the water to stop flowing there. Sometimes springs stop and come out somewhere else, maybe quite some distance away. Spring water is usually clear and sweet and can be carefully siphoned off into troughs or reservoirs’ for drinking.
Some years ago I had a friend who was with World Vision. His work was to regularly go into the rural areas to re-establish springs that had been trampled by animals (mostly cattle and goats) looking for water. He would follow a similar procedure, fence the area, then open up the ground around the spring and coax the water to flow again into a nearby trough or reservoir, for the rural community to use.
There are lessons for us to learn here, I think. As Christians we need to carefully guard our hearts. Remember the mouth speaks the overflow of the heart. If our hearts are full of anger, fear, prejudice, jealousy or unforgiveness, these things will come out of our mouths in the words we speak. We need to deal with the issue in our hearts so that our words do not hurt, discourage or abuse others. That is our responsibility.
In John 10:10 (NKJV), Jesus says “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The life of Christ in us should create joy and happiness, peace and love in our hearts, which should overflow into the lives of those around us, encouraging, comforting and loving them for Jesus sake. Words can bring life to people but can also destroy people.
How to keep our wellspring pure
How do we keep the wellspring of our lives pure and free from dirt? Quite simply, we get up early in the morning and we spend time with God before we speak to others. We need to feed our hearts with God’s Word i.e. we need to read our Bibles. Then we need to pray for our loved ones, our country and for all the concerns on our hearts, bring them all to Father God. You know the old saying “Speak to God about people before you speak to people about God.” Pray for salvation for the lost, there are still many fields to be harvested for God.
Then lastly let’s watch well over the “water” that flows from our hearts. It must be clean and sweet, not full of dust which will eventually clog up the stream. Dirty water flows from a heart that is filled up with ungodly stuff. Watching pornographic material, reading literature (magazines) and books which are full of immorality, gossip and perversion, and spending time with those who are unfaithful and are involved in having affairs are likely to contaminate our wellsprings. Our lives then begin to take on a downward spiral.
So please let’s continue to guard our hearts and keep the wellspring of our lives clean and sweet and free flowing for Jesus sake and for the sake of those around us.