There is no greater battle going on today than the battle for your heart. Your heart is “high ground” and whoever controls it has the advantage in your life. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 15:19 … “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Everything thing you do will flow from your heart. Every word, every thought, and every action … it starts on the inside. Whoever has control of this has the advantage in your life.
We live in a spiritual war zone. There is a battle going on around us every day, but I believe the greatest battle happens inside. Paul Tripp said it this way: “The great spiritual war is fought on the turf of your heart and it’s fought for control of your soul. Your life is lived every day in the middle of that war. It’s a war of doubt and faith. It’s a war of submission and rebellion. It’s a war of anxiety and trust. It’s a war of wisdom and foolishness. It’s a war of hope and despair. It’s a war of allegiance and disloyalty.” Your heart is the prize the enemy is after because everything you do will flow from it. That’s why Solomon said this in Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.” Whoever controls my heart has the advantage in my life. Whoever controls my heart directly influences my actions, my words, my thoughts, and my motives. If I’m the spiritual enemy, more than anything else, I’m going after the heart.
If I don’t guard my heart, I’ll run to anything that temporarily massages my spiritual hunger. There’s no shortage of seductions out there looking to assault my heart and weasel their way into my soul. My greatest defense and offense against the seductions of my heart is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
My heart is Jesus' territory. Only He can transform the desires of my heart and help me to magnify Him. But, I will be unable to magnify Him if I minimize His word. God did not preserve His Word for centuries just to give me some good advice. His word is designed to transform the desires of my heart and speak the truth to me. The more I allow the “sword of the Spirit” to cut through all the junk in my life and allow the blade of it’s truth to penetrate my heart; the more I will be activated for the purposes of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.”
I cannot magnify God if I minimize His word because I will not be equipped to do so. Yes, I want swing the sword of the Spirit at the enemy’s lies and have every spiritual right to do so as a child of God. But, I also want to swing it at my own heart because everything I do flows from it. I want to allow its truth to penetrate deep in to my soul because God’s truth never harms but always heals. “If my heart is unhealthy, it threatens everything else: my family, friends, career … everything.” (Hyatt) I must guard my heart. If it is lost in my life, everything is lost in my life.
That is why I try to give Jesus the first shot at my heart every day. This is just me, but what I have found is that when I allow Jesus the first shot at my heart every day, I’m less prone to drift toward a lie. I’m certainly not perfect at this, but I try to start my day out with God. I’m given 1,440 minutes every day. In my mind, I’m setting my heart up to be under God’s control when I say, “God, today You’ve given me 1,440 minutes. So, I’m going to give you the first 5 … the first 10 … the first 20, etc. I want You to have the first shot at my heart and allow You to set the ‘course and direction of my life.’” As He sets the course and direction of my life, my actions begin to follow. I can now offer grace and patience because I have been saved from an old way of life to a new way of life. I can offer kindness and gentleness because I have been saved from an old way of life to a new way of life. I can be generous and courageous because I have been saved from an old way of life to a new way of life.
Whoever has control of your heart has the advantage in your life. Are you allowing Jesus, through His word, to have the first shot at your heart? Who is going to be the authority in your life?