Written by T.D. Jakes
Finally, my brother, guard your heart. The enemy wants to embitter and corrupt you. Guard your heart against contamination by lust and loneliness, bigotry and arrogance, and everything in between. Your enemies may even hide in good deeds done for evil motives. Only you can mount this guard because no other man can discern your motives and intentions.
If Samson had guarded his heart, Delilah wouldn’t have weakened him. Had Samson guarded his heart with the breastplate of righteousness that Paul talked about, he would have continued to be productive in Israel. But in the heat of his passion and the weariness of his life, Samson “told her all his heart” (Judges 16:17). What a tragedy! Samson’s weakness caused him to pollute his heart with lust and loneliness, and he gave it to someone other than God.
There are some things you give to no one but God.
Many men have given their hearts to people, to careers, and to ideals (not a God idea). They were shocked when these persons or things betrayed their heartfelt investment. Always reserve the deepest and innermost portion of your heart and trust for God. To go beyond borders on idolatry and will produce a pagan’s reward of failure.
God wants your heart for Himself. It was the basis of your original union with Him. God didn’t appeal to your intellect; He asked for faith. The enemy despises your heart because it is with your heart that you believe unto righteousness.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
Divine peace is one of the greatest security systems you can use to guard your heart. This peace is born out of prayer. It causes you to trust what you cannot trace. It leads you to rely on the character of God. A character cannot be proven; it must be believed. Nothing you read (including this book) will replace the personal experience that evolves from prayer and praise and from time spent learning to know the God your heart has believed. There is a realm of faith that supersedes believing, and that is the realm of knowing.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
You believe with your heart, and the process begins. Finally, your faith graduates through life’s experience into a confidence called knowing. Satan wants to stop the process because he knows that the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits! Guard your heart because there may be a Samson in you that the enemy wants to destroy!
When you lose your peace and become anxious and worried, you may make radical decisions that open up the door for demonic attack and turmoil! This allows the enemy to suggest threats of impending danger and leave you terrified and shaken, causing you to lose the guard that would preserve you in a storm. Don’t give up the peace of God! Peace empowers you to go through a test without the test going through you! You may lose things, but if you keep your peace, you can regain them again. If you are going to be a praying man, don’t give up the peace.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
The word keep is better translated as “guard.” God’s peace will guard your heart and mind. It will cause you to pick out what thoughts you will entertain. Samson entertained Delilah, and she infiltrated his heart and took his secrets. Avoid entertaining thoughts that will destroy your peace. Whenever I catch myself rehearsing problems over and over, I know I am entertaining those problems. They will “cut my hair of anointing” if I don’t abort them! How can a thought be “aborted”?
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
If life has dealt you some tough cards, don’t give up. You may be down, but bless God, you are not out. Strengthen the things that remain and go on. You will never survive the challenges of life if you make decisions without consultation. God wants to teach you the significance and power of daily communion with Him.
You are in the ring with a formidable opponent who wants to take you out right now! Your enemy knows that God has predestined you for greatness. He would love to destroy you with a single blow. But he doesn’t have the power to take out a man who really prays.
Make a commitment to stand in God’s strength, regardless of the challenges or questions life brings and regardless of how hard you are hit. You may feel the sting of the devil’s blows, and you may even wince in pain, but give him a clear message with fire in your eyes. There will be no towel-throwing in this fight.
That snake isn’t fighting a limp-wristed, emasculated coward of a man who has no stamina. You’ve been to hell’s door and back again for yourself, for your family, and maybe even for lost souls! You have been created and trained in the likeness and image of his worst nightmare! You are a resurrected man! You have been renewed in your faith, and you are firm in your conviction. Tell the enemy, “I am a man of prayer. I will be knocked no lower than my knees!”
I know this type of message is commonly directed to us sisters and guarding our hearts. For that reason, I knew I had to repost this article by T.D. Jakes because I love my brothers, too, and your hearts are just as important as ours.