“They’re probably not going to stop someone who really wants to break into our house.”
I followed my hubby’s gaze downward, to the pair of his large, scuffed gray and blue Nike sneakers I’d just placed at the base of the front door.
“You doubt the shoes?” I gave him my best shocked expression.
Trev gave me a long, skeptical look complete with eyebrows raised. He shook his head slightly at his shoes standing guard, then finished getting ready for bed. I did too, but my mind jogged back to the pair of shoes strategically placed at our front door.
Don’t doubt the shoes!
One of my nightly rituals is placing Trev’s well-worn shoes on guard at the front door. Despite double-locked doors, a blaring house alarm, and a 70 pound bark-happy, stranger-skeptical dog, I feel the need to place his Nikes on top of one another at the base of the door frame – a shoe guard at the entrance to our home.
Though my humoring hubby teases, I’ve learned through multiple experiences that it’s nearly impossible to breach the threshold of the front door with shoes scattered about. Cole or Chase have often come inside before me and left their flip-flops or sneakers in front of the door instead of in our large entryway shoe basket, and it takes some serious shoving, heaving, and grumbling to finally step foot inside our house.
The shoe guard works!
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
I fondly remember reading Proverbs 4:23 in my daily bible calendar a few years back, ripping the page out, and taping it to my fridge so I could read and reread the simple yet profound words written by King Solomon thousands of years ago. It’s a key life verse for me, one that bridged my Christian walk from lukewarm believer to fired-up Christ-follower, and led me into my purpose for God’s glory – my writing.
When I read Proverbs 4:23, I often picture an army surrounding my heart, weapons handy and battle gear on – guarding my heart in order to keep it safe ground for the Holy Spirit. But as I matured in my faith walk, and have hidden more of God’s word in my heart, He’s shown me that we don’t need an army to guard our hearts for Jesus.
(We don’t need a shoe guard, either.)
I believe the first and most important step in guarding our heart for Christ is keeping it humble before the Lord.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5: 6&7
Throughout scripture, the word humble is mentioned 68 times. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Oswald Chambers wrote, “Our friendship with Jesus is based on the new life He created in us, which has no resemblance or attraction to our old life but only to the life of God. It is a life that is completely humble, pure, and devoted to God.”
2 Chronicles is a clear picture of Israel’s history of the various kings ruling over Judah and their struggles with humbling their hearts before God. This was especially the case when the Lord gave them success over other nations. King Uzziah served the Lord well, until “his fame spread far and wide,” and “when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction…” (2 Chronicles 26:15 & 16). King Zedekiah “did evil in the sight of the Lord His God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet,” and “stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 36:12 & 13).
God resists the proud…
Too often, as I travel life’s road, I’ll detour at self-centered service stops to fill up on pride, losing the humbleness that keeps my heart pure and soft for Christ and allows the Holy Spirit to work. I need God’s grace each day, and I want my Savior setting out the course of my life, not my self-centered pride.
Keep your heart humble before the Lord today, and God will lead you in the right race for His glory.