Proverbs 4:23 says: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”* This is an idea that I have always liked, but only began to understand about 6 years ago, right before I met and started to date the man who is now my husband. I had many theories and many ideas about what this was and what it looked like, but it took me a long time to understand it, as I imagine is the case for many others. This is why I am actually going to spend several days on this topic, looking at guarding your heart from several different angles.
As a young girl struggling with the ideal of purity, but lacking many of the tools necessary to live it out, God gave me the wisdom to search the scriptures. I hope you will too. The verses following 4:23 read: “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:24-27).
Now this passage is clearly talking about much more than just sexual purity but, it can be applied to purity when it comes to the disciplines of our mind, which is what this passage deals with. Disciplines of our mind, which ultimately, can only be accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, changing us and making us like Christ. Because, ultimately, it is God who watches over us, guards and protects us.
So, before I give you my understanding of these verses and how they apply to the topic of purity, I want to remind you that ultimately, it is only by the grace and love of God that we are at all even remotely able to live purely and to discipline our minds to be pure. It is God and God alone who gives us the strength to do all these things, so today I am just going to end on this note, and tomorrow I will talk about the passage further. God is good, God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you. So whatever disciplines you learn to practice, He is the one who ultimately gives you the strength to live purely before him. The danger with this sort of blog is that I give all sorts of practical advice and forget to remind you of God and his grace and love and goodness. He is a great and loving and wise and wonderful God, and we desperately need him for all things.