Guarding Your Heart
                             Zephaniah 3:17
                                        "The Lord your God is in the midst of you.
                                          He will rejoice over you with joy;
                                           He will exult over you with singing."


                      Isaiah 12:3
                             "Therefore with joy
                                          will you draw water from the wells of salvation."


Philippians 4:7-8
"And may God's peace
garrison and mount guard over your heart.
Fix your mind on things that are true,
worthy of respect, honorable, just and pure,
whatever is lovely, kind, and gracious.
Weigh and take account of these things."


Luke 3:8
"Bear fruits that are deserving and
consistent with a changed heart."

*****






"The Lord God is in the midst of you..."
How exciting it is when we are alive in a "Living Word."  
Some thought or idea has conceived within our deepest selves
and taken root.  
We feel this sense of joy...a sense of feeling alive again.
We wake up in the mornings with a song.
Our steps carry energy.  Our vigor for "living" returns to us again.
This is truly a time when we experience
His delightful presence rejoicing over us with joy
and exulting over us with singing.
God is so blest when we turn to engage Him.
God is in our midst...creating anew.
What joy!


"Therefore with joy shall you draw water..."                                            
Each time we return to the source of "new life"                                                        
that is slowly forming within us,                                                             
we are watered.  We are refreshed.                                                             
When an act of grace has fallen upon us and                                                              
awakened our inner being,  we find it so easy                                                          
to return and be nurtured and carried along.                                                          
We don't feel all the resistance we used to feel                                                          
about getting close to what is "important."                                                      
Every move comes from an "overflowing" that we feel.                                                    
It seems effortless as we drink from this new spring                                               
that gushes from within us.                                                           
It is a time of joy!  It is a springtime, indeed.                                                        


"And may God's peace
garrison and mount guard over your heart."
We are exhorted, especially at this time of new growth and development,
to guard our hearts.  There are many forces
in the world that want to carry us away from what is most
important:  the issues within our own hearts and souls.
This particular scripture encourages us to
"Fix our minds on things that are true,
worthy of respect, honorable, just and pure,
whatever is lovely, kind, and gracious, and to
weigh and take account of these things."
We must learn to take care of the "new things"
that are being birthed into our lives.  Just as when Jesus
was born, there were enemies ready to take His life
and never let it get a foothold.
And so it is also in spiritual things.  We must guard our hearts!
One way to protect our hearts is to allow God's peace to rule
within the center of our beings.  Whatever draws us away from
His peace must be challenged and engaged.













"Bear fruits that are deserving and                                                         
consistent with a changed heart."                                                       
It is not enough to just be excited and drawn to the                                                          
"new life" within us.                                                                      
We must take the step of "repentance."                                                              
It is a step towards                                                                       
changing the way we have lived.                                                                   
Any visitation of God will confront old ways within us                                                         
that have mired us in deep troubles.                                                                    
He calls us to embrace change.                                                                      
He calls us to allow the grace that is operating                                                                 
within us an unobstructed path to accomplish that                                                              
for which it was sent.                                                                          
Of course, we can always resist.                                                                        
And if we do, we are most miserable again.                                                                       
Yet, God in His great mercy,                                                                         
woos us and even helps us                                                                         
yield where we have become so stuck.                                                                            
The new awakening needs room                                                                            
to grow and flourish in our lives.                                                                              
A changed heart is the result.                                                                           
We will never be the same again.                                                                           
God is so good!