IT Determines Your Future – Jeremy Austill
IT Determines Your Future

I will admit, I always read the book of Proverbs a little tentatively. In general, we are prone to take advice from people who have a moral authority, who stand on the moral high ground, who have lived very well what they preach. When we come to Proverbs we must acknowledge that Solomon, though noted for his wisdom, was prone to promiscuity and idolatry. Maybe many of his proverbs were written in reflection of where he got it right and where he went wrong. I enjoy the proverbs, I contemplate the proverbs, I apply them when appropriate, but if you don’t mind I’ll spend most of my time in the company of Jesus and people like Paul.

Nonetheless, there is one proverb which has become a life verse for Michelle and me in recent years. The reason being, we have held it up to other biblical accounts and heard its whisper in the life of David, Abraham, Peter, and Paul to name a few. We have tested it in our own lives and discovered it may be the most important bit of advice we could give anyone.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)

Let’s use the life of David as a template within which we can apply this proverb.

David, left to his own devices, tending sheep in a field, cultivates a heart in pursuit of God. Disregarded by his family, uninvited to a royal anointing service, but ultimately brought to the prophet and soaked to the bone in the oil of heaven’s affirmation.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

King Saul needed a musician, a worshipper, to soothe his tormented soul. David was summoned into the courts of the king and played his heart out, unto God, in the corner.

…the good things He planned for us long ago…

David shows up on a battlefield, hears a raging giant, starts asking questions, and is accused of being prideful and attention seeking by his brothers. He shrugs off the false claim, marches into the tent of Saul, rejects poorly fitted armor, and daringly takes on the responsibility of slaying a bully. The sling whirls, the rock flies, Goliath falls. David returns to the tent, carrying the Philistine head, and continues to be promoted. Eventually he is named the commander of the armies. The women sing of his 10,000’s.

…the good things He planned for us long ago...

Saul’s insecurity replaces the raging of Goliath, he goes green with envy, he hurls accusations and spears. David is now on the run. He had been fast tracked to the palace, and suddenly is faced with a detour in the opposite direction. He was running rapidly toward a God-ordained throne, but found himself instantly diverted down a worn, lonely, scary path in the direction of wilderness.

Above all else, guard your heart…

David is presented multiple opportunities to strike a death blow to Saul, but his heart will not allow it. He is pressed on all sides by rejection and discouragement, but he maintains a song in his spirit. He pens, “surely goodness and mercy follow me, all the days of my life” while holed up in a damp, leaky cave, running for his life. He refused bitterness, he renounced vengeance, he rejected victimhood, he remembered God’s faithfulness, he resounded with worship just as he had done during the days of the shepherd’s field.

Above all else, guard your heart…

You know the story. David eventually was crowned the king of the whole of Judah and Israel. He was the jewel of God’s people. He was favored with triumph, he was bolstered with God’s covenant, and he ended up right in the middle of the good things God planned for him long ago.

…for it determines the course of your life.

Take note friend, the accusers, the haters, the adversaries…

His dad’s inferior view of him…

His brothers’ unfair accusations…

Saul’s aggressive advancement against him…

Not one person, not one human, not a family member, not even the king of a nation, could impede God’s plan for David’s life. The same is true of you. There is not a single person in your life, friend or foe, who can stop what God has planned. They have ZERO say in what God intends to do in your life.

The alteration of career trajectory…

The loneliness and rejection of the wilderness…

The impoverished, resource deprived state of those years in the desert caves…

The hiddenness from the public eye…

The silence of those who once sang and raved about his success…

Not one circumstance, not one situation, not the wilderness, the lack of resources, the lack of visibility…None of it can stop what God has set into motion for your life. It might take you down paths you didn’t anticipate, it might create some delays you weren’t expecting, it might cause some days in which you wonder how in the world you are going to get from here to there, where God’s promises await…

But your present circumstances, your seemingly deficient resources, and the relative unnoticed obscurity that seems to cloud everyone from seeing who you can be, all have ZERO authority to prevent God’s plan for your life.

There is only ONE thing that can derail God’s plan.

If you don’t guard your heart well…if you allow toxins to work their way through your soul…if you give permission to impermissible thought patterns…if you give space for bitterness, jealousy, insecurity, anger, unforgiveness, pride, greed, or anything of the sort to take root.

The only thing that can stop God’s plan for your life is you.

As long as your heart is right, you will get where He is taking you.

Guard your heart above all else, for IT determines the course of your life.

Worry less about the haters, the adversaries, the ones who fail to notice you, the ones who lack the ability to appreciate what you have to offer…

Worry less about your situation, the hindrances, the resources, the obscurity…

Guard your heart. IT will make all the difference.

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