Friday, February 26, 2010


“Above all else, guard your heart; it is the wellspring of life.”  (Prov. 4:23)

                I have a habit each morning of sitting down and visiting with an old friend.  Sometimes I invite several friends into my home and we have a roundtable discussion.  They are not always the same friends, but all of them are important for encouragement, strength, and protection for the day ahead.  You probably know some of my friends.  They may be your friends as well.  Many of them have been dead a long time (dead to this world).  Men like Paul, Peter, John, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, David,  and even the rascal Solomon (he inspired my writing today), I find so refreshing in a world so void of wise men.  Some of my friends, while still dead to this world, live in this world majestically by passing on their writings to the generations.  Men and women like Luther, Calvin (who inspired yesterday’s devotion), Campbell, Edwards, Spener, or Chambers gave their lives in devotion to God that I might draw a little closer to Him in my life.  Women, who wrote even under men’s names, like Julian of Norwich or St. Teresa of Avilia, gave their earthly time to a spiritual relationship with Christ, that I might have one in my generation.  And many of my friends are still alive today.  Men like Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, John Piper, N.W. Wright, R.C. Sproul, and Bill Hull boldly speak and write about the gospel, even when their writing skills could catapult them into earthly wealth if they would channel these skills to earthly goals.  And their writings move me deeply.

                And I can tell you, these men and women, none of whom know me at all, are the best friends I have ever had.  They counsel me, guide me, comfort me, and best of all they draw me closer to Christ.  They serve the purpose of “guarding my heart.”  You see, as you take time to visit with godly friends – men and women whose lives were or are fully vested in a relationship with God – they will faithfully guard our hearts.  They become the sentinels that stand guard at the gateways into the inner chambers of our lives.  The people we appoint as sentinels are of the highest importance.  Too many today appoint economists (Bernake, Greenspan, etc.), media pundits (Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Sean Hannity,  or Katie Curic), or sports figures as their sentinels.  Even Christians appoint populist writers and speakers to be their sentinels.  By populist writers I mean men and women who have traded their ability to write and think to produce for best seller books with no spiritual meat.  These writers seem to be most satisfying to the modern Christian because they can make us feel good without devotion or deep thought.  But make no mistake about it, the friends we begin our day with, are the ones we appoint as the sentinels to our hearts.  And when our hearts are not guarded by the truth of Christ, with all of its unfettered grace and sternness, we set ourselves up to have our wellsprings run dry.

You see, guarding our hearts is guarding the wellsprings of our lives.  A wellspring in Scripture is the source of life.  Water to the people of biblical days, in the desert regions was the all encompassing commodity which drove them.  To our generation who get water from any faucet, it seems less urgent.  But to them it meant life and to find the source of that water was to find the source of life.  Our hearts are the wellsprings of our lives.  We, like the writers of Scripture, live in the desert, but our desert is a vast spiritual desert.  And our hearts (both physical and spiritual hearts) are our source of life.  Therefore the sentinels we put in charge of our hearts are essential to its health.  And the health of our hearts, determines the health of our souls, and the health of our souls is the source our eternity -- and even the footsteps in which we take our daily walk into the world.

I am saddened that I don’t know my friends face to face.  They all mean so much to me.  But I know this, if I make these friends as the guards to the gateways of my wellspring, my fountain will stay fresh, my life will stay refreshing, and my daily walk with Christ will grow closer.  And deep down within my ego-centric life, I find that I hope someday I will be appointed as a sentinel to help guard the gateway into another Christian’s heart.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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