Being Hard versus Guarding Your Heart: These are not the same!

Butterfly caterpillars create something called a “Chrysalis” – a hardened exoskeleton that protects it whilst it changes. It’s cellular structure has already prepared it for the changes to come, and once the process has ended successfully? You have a butterfly!

Let’s talk about it.

The word of God instructs us to guard our hearts above all else because it determines the very course of your life (Proverbs 4:23 NLT paraphrase), the guarding of your heart as God creates in you a new clean heart after His heart is important. You cannot complete the transformation while still allowing the same kind of access to you that happened before. God doesn’t requires you to be open to everything and everybody—God requires you to be open to HIS spirit, and allow Him to direct for whom you open the doors of your life. You can have boundaries without being BITTER; you can pass on taking on OPP (other people’s problems) without being PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE. Modeling Jesus means moving in compassionate mercy for THEM and YOU.

Moreover, guarding your heart means being clearly aware of the devils devices—you can’t be ignorant of the strategies the enemy uses to distract, derail, and destroy you. Most involve the triggers associated with your heart—adverse and painful experiences you’ve had in relationship to those you love and those who may have harmed you instead of taken care of you. The habits of the heart become ingrained in how we perceive the world and interact with those around us. When the Lord delivers you out of those mindsets and strongholds. It is you

That said: If you’ve moved on from someone or something and still post passive aggressively on your page about “keeping that same energy” and “treating people” how they treat you and “I give you what you give me”, you haven’t grown in grace. You’ve built a heart block that will become a stronghold. You have chosen to disengage from the God work of perfecting until the day of Jesus Christ. And to you it seems like you’ve mastered a thing—you’ve forgiven, let go, made a change—but in reality, you’ve only done enough to protect yourself from getting hurt again. You’re not transforming; you’re hardening. You will look and sound whole, but the fruit of Christ will not blossom in you. So don’t mistake the shell of protection for the final product.

I’ve seen it before—a chrysalis that never opens up, but remains hard and rocklike, the creature inside never to be seen. It looks healthy like all the others around it, and the kids growing the butterflies wait with the same excited expectancy for what should come… but the chrysalis never produces the thing it was meant to produce.

This is not God’s Will for you.

Guarding your heart isn’t about keeping people and pain out. It is about keeping the revelatory word of God which is Jesus Christ in! Moses commanded the Children of Israel entering into the promised land to fix God’s word to their hearts (Deuteronomy 11:18); the writer of the Proverbs spoke of of having the word of instruction written on the tablet of the heart. Indeed, when you make Jesus the centerpiece of your very being, you become the embodiment of God’s word on the earth-seen, heard, felt, and experienced. Christ written inedibly on your heart creates a kind of change that speaks of the kingdom in a way that mere talking cannot produce. It’s the treasure carried in earthen vessel; the light on the candlestick; the savor of the salt.

But.

When you are guarded instead of guarding to make sure that the word of God rules your heart, you are none of these things. Instead you are bitter and dark, the heavy shadow of self righteous insecurity smothering what could be. You become locked inside a prison of your own making.

Let Jesus set you FREE.

Start by writing His Word on the tablet of your heart. Start by allowing His Word transform the way you think. Start by submitting yourself under His loving corrective hand. Start by snatching every vain imagination and high thought out the recesses of your mind and putting it under what you know about Jesus Christ.

Let Jesus set you free so that you can guard your heart through His precious word.

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