The most important thing in this world is YOUR HEART.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
We know the condition of our heart by what comes our of our mouth. If purity, honor and thanksgiving flows its because that’s whats in our hearts. If negativity, slander and a critical spirit flow, it’s because we’ve let that into our hearts.
The heart is a vulnerable organ. It is so vulnerable that God gave us a rib cage to protect it. We have 12 ribs on each side – 24 in total. 7 of these ribs specifically cover our hearts. These are called the “true ribs”. If we break a rib over our heart our heart becomes vulnerable and can damage easily.
Our spiritual hearts are also soft and vulnerable to damage also. It’s important that we have a “spiritual rib cage” to protect our spiritual hearts. Like our physical hearts, if our spiritual hearts are damaged – it affects or even kills our Christian walk.
Here are 7 spiritual ribs to protect our spiritual hearts:
Spiritual Rib 1) A genuine relationship with God.
Psalm 37:4 tells us to Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. This is the most important rib – If our walk with God suffers, then our spiritual heart suffers. A genuine relationship with Christ will always protect our hearts.
Spiritual Rib 2) A love for God’s word
The word of God has every answer you need and will light your way in the darkest times. Read it, live it, love it.
Joshua 1:8 says “Do not let this Book of the Law (the bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
A love for the bible will always help guard our hearts
Spiritual Rib 3) Have accountability in your life
Choose to be discipled well. Have people your accountable to and talk with when it comes to all areas of life. Remember dark, things hide in dark places – If you have to hide something then it probably isn’t good. Live an open life – This will help keep your heart safe.
Great accountability will always help guard our hearts.
Spiritual Rib 4) Partner with the wise, not fools.
Are your friends causing you to be more passionate for Jesus or more dull? The sign of a Godly friendship is a friendship that protects God’s call on your life.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Proverbs 13:20 really brings it home with “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
A true friend is a friend to your God destiny and a protector of your heart.
Spiritual Rib 5) Know your God call. Don’t just “wing it” in life. Learn your identity in Christ.
Knowing who you are in Christ makes it easier to say no when something or someone comes along that is going to conflict with your call.
Knowing who you are in Christ, gives you the confidence to stand when something or someone comes against you and your call.
Who are you? Here’s some foundations from the Word on who we are:
I am loved 1 John 3:3
I am accepted Ephesians 1:6
I am a child of God John 1:12
I am Jesus’ friend John 15:14
I am a joint heir with Jesus, sharing His inheritance with Him Romans 8:17
I am united with God and one spirit with Him 1 Corinthians 6:17
I am a temple of God. His spirit and his life live in me 1 Corinthians 6:19
I am a member of Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
I am a Saint Ephesians 1:1
I am redeemed and forgiven Colossians 1:14
I am complete in Jesus Christ Colossians 2:10
I am free from condemnation Romans 8:1
I am a new creation because I am in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17
I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved Colossians 3:12
I am established, anointed, and sealed by God 2 Corinthians 1:21
I do not have a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7
I am God’s co-worker 2 Corinthians 6:1
I am seated in heavenly places with Christ Ephesians 2:6
I have direct access to God Ephesians 2:18
I am chosen to bear fruit John 15:16
I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house 1 Peter 2:5
I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I share His nature 2 Peter 1:4
I can always know the presence of God because He never leaves me Hebrews 13:5
God works in me to help me do the things He wants me to do Philippians 2:13
I can ask God for wisdom and He will give me what I need James 1:5
Knowing who you are will help safeguard your heart.
Spiritual Rib 6) Listen to Leadership (Shepherds).
Live in freedom, not rebellion. Why? Because God has lovingly placed people in your life to help you on in the journey.
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Hebrews 13:17
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7
A great leader will always help guard your heart, even if sometimes we can’t see how at the time.
Spiritual Rib 7) Walking in faith, not fear.
Faith enables, fear paralysis. Walk in faith by getting a word from God.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
A walk of faith means a heart guarded.
Questions to ask yourself.
How is your heart? Is life or death flowing from it? If death, ask God to clean your heart through the forgiveness of sins.
How are your spiritual ribs looking? Are some broken? Are some missing? Ask God to help restore and strengthen these ribs.