In the first chapter of First Timothy, Paul exhorts his spiritual son to fight the good fight by following instructions. What is the good fight? How often do we fight needless, unworthy battles? Good soldiers follow the commander’s orders. Our Commander Jesus Christ tells us what battles to fight and how to fight them, if we make the study of scripture a lifelong passion, listening to His instructions each day.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) The New American Standard Bible translates the same verse as: ” Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the streams of life.”
In this context, I think guard means to supervise entries and exits – to prevent all enemies from entry and to cast out all that will poison the living water within. This responsibility requires a warrior’s strength and courage. It is a wise person’s top priority. It demands absolute concentration and vigilance. This battle for one’s heart is a matter of life and death.
Paul tells me in Ephesians 4: 31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Colossians 3:8 tells me I must rid myself of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. It is not, that I am immune to these emotions and thoughts, but it is up to me to establish a zero tolerance policy and as guard of my own heart, fighting the good fight, to cast them away.
As guard of the integrity of my own heart, I need to fling the door wide open to welcome that which my Lord tells me to embrace: love, kindness, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.
I am not much of a warrior, but praise God, He promises me His power and reminds weak and whimpy me that I am indeed an overcomer.
Lord God, this day empower me to fight the good fight and guard my own heart as top priority.