I was pondering today on scripture found in Proverbs 4:23 which tells us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” This isn’t an all too new scripture most especially if you’ve been following Jesus for quite a while now. But it’s amazing just how much truth is packed in this one verse alone.
Coming back to this scripture, I was reminded of a two seemingly insignificant occurrences this week that have proved to be great messages that have made all the difference for me, and I’m hoping that it can do the same for you.
First scenario: My sister’s house- which she’s been renting out for a while now- was just vacated recently and I’ve been helping her cater some inquiries. This week, I was showing an inquirer around the house. At one point he had asked about water pressure so I go to a bathroom to turn a faucet on to demonstrate.
Much to my horror (and embarrassment) when I turned on the faucet, instead of clear water what came out was a reddish gooey spurt of I don’t know. Apparently, that faucet had not been used for months. So I don’t know where the last tenant was brushing his teeth.
Second scenario: Last night my wife was horrified to have found that a container of drinking water we had purchased and been drinking out of had some moss inside it. Apparently it was an old batch that might have not been sold right away. Rest assured, I was not happy with the water supplier we bought from, and he was extremely embarrassed as well.
Springs And Hearts
Water is important. 60 percent of our body is made up of water. We don’t just need water, but we need good quality, clean, refreshing and safe sources of water. When water is not clean, no one wants to be around that source. Proverbs 4:23 likens our hearts to springs. We don’t have springs today, but we do have faucets and drinking water suppliers.
I guess you know where this is heading. Those two scenarios we were faced with water this week, we had problems with the water supply. They were dirty, icky and definitely not useful. In fact, if consumed or utilized, it would do more harm than good.
What do those two scenarios have in common? Aside from being dirty, the reason why they were dirty was pretty much the same. The sources had not been utilized for a long time.
The quality of life that comes out of you depends on one thing- if the source has been utilized.
Likewise, our hearts operate the same way. They are springs of life, but what kind of life do you give? Do you give the clear, refreshing and safe kind or do you give the gooey, reddish or mold-filled kind? The quality of life that comes out of you depends on one thing- if the source has been utilized.
What Our Hearts Were Made For
The same way water containers and faucets were never meant to store anything up, our hearts were never meant to store things up either. That’s why the Bible tells us to “store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20, NLT).
The heart is not good for storing and hoarding love, blessing, peace, provision, value and affirmation. So what was it meant to do? Just like water sources, they are meant to be conduits. When water becomes stagnant, it turns into a pool of germs, disease, and rotten things. Water was meant to be on the move. In the same way the life that comes into our hearts was meant to be moved- to be given away, to be expressed in generosity towards others and worship towards God.
The moment our hearts become stagnant water sources, what comes out of us is not refreshing life, but gooey attitudes and problems. And just like those two scenarios with water, someone’s going to be embarrassed and chances are it won’t be the recipient.
Jesus’ Refreshing Solution
Have you ever wondered why all you give your spouse, children, officemates or friends are complaints, fits of rage, insults, insensitive comments or ridiculously uncalled for statements? Chances are your heart is not a running wellspring. It’s a clogged up faucet or an old water container.
If that’s you then the good news is this: Jesus is in the business of making your hearts new. That’s what David asked in Psalm 51:10 saying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
The work of Christ will cleanse our hearts, not just for the sake of having a clean heart but so that God can and will use our hearts to be a spring of refreshing, joyous, clean and blessed life to other people. Just as Christ has come to give us life and life to the full (John 10:10), He longs for you to be a channel of life for other people as well.