Guarding your heart

REBUILD1By Joe LaGuardia

Our hearts, spirits, and minds take a beating every day.  There are the stresses that come with life; there are unexpected situations; hardships and various burdens show up at our doorstep when it is least convenient (when is hardship ever convenient)?

Yet, God provides in creative and blessed ways that allow us to carry on.  Even when we are called to “wait upon the Lord,” God gives us clues (if we are attentive!) as to how to put one foot in front of another.

In the biblical book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah rebuilds the wall and “grand gates” (there are about 9 or so gates) of Jerusalem.  For years, the city had been in disrepair; and; when Nehemiah saw its condition, he wept.

He rebuilt the walls, improved housing, motivated the people of Israel to take ownership of their religious heritage and their faith.

Upon completion, he set guards around the parameter.  But Nehemiah did not assign soldiers or warriors to these strategic and defensive positions; rather, Nehemiah ordered the priests and worship leaders to stand guard instead:

“Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors; the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed…”  (7:1).

Instead of weapons of war, Nehemiah understood that the true battles of Israel were waged with worship.  Instead of policies of triumph, the people raised prayers of trust to God.

What about you?  What is guarding the gates to your life today?

Are you waging the every-day warfare of life with worship, praise, and prayer; or are you restless by running in circles and failing to rely on God?

As Proverbs reminds us, we are to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding.”  In so doing, let us guard our lives with the very spiritual exercises that build muscles no enemy may overtake.

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