Proverbs 4:23 advises us to guard our hearts. It says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” When Paul writes to the Philippians he tells them not to worry about anything but to commit all our problems to God in prayer and then trust Him for the results. If we do that, Paul goes on, “the peace of God will guard your heart…”

Having spent many years in the military, I’m always excited about military phrases. The word “guard” is a military term that described a Roman soldier holding his weapon, walking back and forth in front of an open gate so that no one could enter. It is an exhortation to vigilance. Shih Huang-ti, one-time emperor of China, claimed to have eighty thousand eyes. For along the Great Wall of China were forty thousand watchtowers and every day and night a sentinel was posted at each one of them to guard the safety of China. This is said to have been “the greatest example of vigilance ever known to the world.”

Although vigilance in the Christian life is crucial, it’s a vigilance that rests in God’s sovereignty. Like Emperor Shih’s vigilance, ours is at best only human watchfulness. There are so many things outside of our control that we’d worry ourselves to death if we’re not careful. We must look to and care for and pay attention to those things we can control, but what about the rest? That’s what Paul wants us to know. There is a greater vigilance that Shih’s or our own, it’s the watchfulness of Almighty God. He is ever vigilant over those who “trust in Him.”

“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” Proverbs 4:23