THURSDAY, APRIL 30
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT2)
GUARD YOUR HEART
A cow and a chicken were framed and thrown into prison. They knew they had to get out to bring the criminals to justice, so they spent weeks designing escape plans. Finally, a month after they had been thrown in, they escaped in the middle of the night. However, they weren’t silent enough and they had to flee from the prison guards…Finally they came to a road. “This is it,” said the cow. “Once we’re on the other side we’ll be across the border and free from the guards”. The chicken looks sadly at the road and replies, “You go on ahead” The cow stares at him. “Why are you giving up now after all the time we’ve spent planning?” The chicken replied, “If I cross that road, they’ll never stop asking questions.”
The picture of “guard” in Philippians 4:7 is to protect by a Roman guard or soldier holding his weapon on guard duty, either to prevent hostile invasion or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight (ponder this last aspect in the context of the effect that “anxiety” often has on one’s psyche – don’t you sometimes feel like you just want to take flight or run away?) The armed guard is walking back and forth in front of an open gate so that no one can enter. This picture would have been familiar to the Philippians, since the Romans stationed troops in the Roman colony of Philippi to protect their interests. Just as the Roman soldiers watched over the city, so God’s peace will actively guard and protect those saints who confidently trust in Him and show their trust by obeying the exhortations in the preceding verse.
“Your heart” in this passage is a metaphor to describe the seat of your emotions. Life can get hectic and crazy and our emotions can seem out of control. Part of God’s spiritual remedy for our emotional need is to promise to watch over our heart. As if our heart is a castle and God wants to guard it. What are some of the emotions you are experiencing lately that may need guarding? Tell God how your heart is feeling. Ask Him to guard those feelings and thank Him for His promise to do it.