Lock The Door!

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:23-27.

At the Varner prison, which is located about 70 miles southeast of Little Rock, Arkansas the death row cell doors were accidentally left unlocked. It was the second time since December that the doors were left unlocked. Thankfully, as Dina Tyler a spokesperson for the Arkansas prison system says, “They (the prisoners) sat there. They didn’t move.” However, in December when an electrical fault opened the doors there was a different result. The doors opened then were to a cellblock holding violent murderers and rapists. Many of the inmates left their cells and another inmate killed one of them. Of course, the inmate who murdered the other inmate will be charged with the murder but what are they going to do to him? Put him on death row? He is already on death row and he doesn’t care.

While I was in the first part of my training as a parole officer, we were housed inside of a minimum-security prison. In that low level of security, inmates were able to roam around very freely. We were warned to always lock our portion of the facility – to always be secure. We were warned to do this even if we were only leaving for a few moments. All of us took this very seriously and by doing so, we protected each other.

Another translation of Proverbs 4:23 puts it this way, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” We do have an enemy who is constantly seeking a way to gain entry into our lives. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil is constantly seeking a way into your life and you must constantly be on guard to prevent his entry. We must also be on guard against “worldly lusts (Titus 2:12),” and the lure of the “flesh (Romans 8:5).”

Whenever we give in to the “worldly lusts” or the “flesh” we provide an opening for the devil to attack us. It is just as if we had left the door unlocked to our heart and invited him in. A very dangerous thing to do because the heart is the “wellspring of life” and out of the heart come all the “issues of life.” If the door is left unlocked that old murderer, the devil will not set around until someone locks it up again. No, he will immediately take advantage of the opportunity at your expense and do as much damage as he can. The devil is not a gentleman or a civilized person – he is just like the murderers and rapists on death row. He does not care whether he is found out because he is already under a death sentence and he just enjoys causing as much pain as he can while he can.

Guard your heart well because there is reason to do so. Nothing is more important than your heart. Every time you make the right choice to live righteously and not sin, you have turned the key in the lock of your heart. Every time you resist the “worldly lusts” and the lures of the “flesh”, you have locked the door to your heart against the attacks of the devil. Guard your heart! Lock the door!

(The importance of guarding your heart.)

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