Today's verse on YouVersion was Prov. 4:23. As I read it this morning, I was struck by how amazing it still is to me the many different things God can and will teach you. Even through the "same old verses", when we are tuning in to what he has to say.
I mean, typically this verse is used simply to say make sure you are guarding what your heart believes, because you need to be living right.
Today, though, after being set free from so many of the lies my traumas have told me, I hear it another way as well. Guard your heart. Don't give away the part of you that determines how you live your life; what you believe about God, yourself and the purpose you have; to the wrong people.
Keep God first, not only because he is God, but because he and only he can love you perfectly. Giving anyone else more access to your heart than God is a disaster waiting to happen. This doesn't mean not to love others whole heartedly, or to wall ourselves off from letting people in. It's a matter of priority. If God has all of our heart, and we know he will keep it safe, then anyone else we give portions of our love and life too cannot change the wholeness of how much we are loved. No matter how humans may break our hearts, God is already holding it together. If we are fully and firstly committed to God, then our hearts are forever safe.
God's directions and commands are ALWAYS for our good, and given in love. He never tells us to do something just because he can. He embodies love, he is love. Nowhere is God described as a dictator in scripture. Yes, he is all powerful, but not in an unloving way. It's not about power for him, it's always about love.
"There are three main characteristics of a dictatorship.
Dictators tend to resort to force or fraud to gain political power.
Dictators use intimidation, terror, and the suppression of fundamental civil liberties.
Dictators employ techniques of mass propaganda to sustain public support." (Study.com)
This is not God!! God walks alongside us, guides us in loving ways to the things that he knows are best for us. He knows us inside and out and cares for every detail of our lives, heart, soul and mind.
Guard your heart, don't let the dictators of the world get a piece of it. Protect it so that it is reserved for the only one who will never break it