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“Guard your heart above all else,

for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT

The paparazzi of today would have loved King Solomon. They wouldn’t be able to get enough! I’m quite certain that he would be offered his own reality television show. He was astoundingly wealthy, popular among the people, a generous philanthropist, and a great leader. He was world renowned in a period of time where that was almost impossible!

I Kings 10 tells the story of the Queen of Sheba coming to visit King Solomon to see if he was as amazing as she had heard.  The Bible tells us that after spending time with him, she exclaimed, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes.  In fact, I had not heard the half of it!  Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told.”  Later in the chapter, we are told that Solomon “became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.  People from every nation came to consult him and hear the wisdom God had given him.”But you can almost hear the “Jaws” music as chapter 11 begins, “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women.”  Verse 4 continues, “In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God.”  Like a heart-wrenching novel, the story of the eventual decline and ruin of Solomon’s kingdom unfolds.  Verse 9 says, “the Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord.”  And as punishment for Solomon’s actions, God declared that his kingdom would be split and that Solomon would barely survive.  The subsequent chapters in I Kings tell the story.

So a wise person will want to listen when Solomon tells us,

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Guard your heart.  Throughout the Bible, the term “heart” refers to the core of our being.  It is what makes us who we are.  Our “heart” reflects the way that we think about things, the way that we feel about things, the way that we value things.  And Solomon warns that whatever you do – guard your heart.  Guard what you let in – through television, books, and music, through friendships and romantic interests, through what you do and what you don’t do.  What we listen to – matters.  What we watch – matters.  Who we do life with – matters.  But you also must guard what you let out.  What are you pouring your “heart” into?  What takes up your thinking and your emotions?  What are you investing yourself in?

Do not miss that Solomon fell in love with foreign women and they turned his heart to worship other gods.  He didn’t fall in love with other gods first.  He fell in love with the women first and then they led him down the wrong path. We cannot always trust our hearts. If we are not cautious and aware, our hearts can lead us to places that we do not want to go. That is why it is critical that we protect our hearts so closely.

 

*Excerpt of a devotional taken from God Has More, a devotional by Shawna Keller. Available in the Relay store.

** If you have not yet started following Relay on social media, will you do so today? And will you please share the sites? Our intense desire is to encourage and inspire our walk with our Heavenly Father, and to make it easy to talk about and share.

 

Erin Pfister