Guarded Hearts

“Lord, teach me to listen.  The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them.  Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to You, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”  Let me hear You speaking in my heart.  Let me get used to the sound of Your voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Your speaking voice.  Amen”     (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God) “

Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears!

A Muslim friend gave me a slim little volume by a Muslim teacher one time and asked me to read it.  Curious about their faith, I read it.  The author spoke about guarding one’s heart and the pathways to the heart.  They are sensory pathways- our eyes, ears,  noses, voices, tactile senses, and the conscious sense of being present among influencers.  It was interesting to me that he said the MOST significant pathway is the ears….what we hear.  We can close our eyes or even move away from some influences.  But it is harder to not hear that which is around us. To what do we choose to listen?   


In reading the Psalms 119:37, we are told to ” Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity and quicken thou me in thy way.”  Philippians 4:6-7, advises, also, to “Be careful for nothing, but in every thing 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 throgh Christ Jesus.”  Then in Proverbs 4:20-27 we read:    

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

As one reads, these “pathways” to our souls, the sensory pathways, are noted. Be careful of what influences you allow into your presence.  Bad company corrupts.  A good friend blesses.  Smells that enter during times of trauma can become a noxious memory just as sweet fragrances can become a precious reminder of a dear person or precious time. Sounds of laughter, joy, and praise lift and delight our hearts. Sounds of agony, crying and cursing chill our spirits.  Be careful little eyes, little ears, little feet.