Becoming so heavenly minded that we are of some earthly good.

How to Guard Your Heart

castle walls
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
-Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

The New Living Translation reads, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” The Bible instructs us to guard our hearts above all else. I would say this is one of those really important life lessons.

Last night I dug out one of my journals from 2005 and found a note in the front pocket sleeve that read:

“guard your heart – from it come the issues of life. (Life issues forth from the heart – from “the abundance of the heart…”). Let God be the One who guides it. He is jealous for you and your heart. Don’t give it away to others.”


This was written by my friend’s mom, Linda VahnDijk, during one of our discipleship meetings. What I learned about guarding my heart has helped me immensely over the last six years. I want to share with you what I’ve learned and how it has helped me.


How Do You Guard Your Heart?

I learned that I could guard my heart by deciding where I placed my affections. Our hearts have little strings attached to them which get tugged on by by different things in life. If you don’t know you have the power to guard your heart then those strings can too easily become attached to the wrong things.

One practical way to have these strings connected to God is to worship Him. When we sing songs, adore Him and enjoy His presence our hearts start to become tied to the Lord (quick side note: worship isn’t about feeling so don’t think you are a hypocrite if you worship God when you don’t feel like it. Feelings should follow your decisions, not lead them).

If your affections are in God then it becomes easier to guard your heart. Worship can be thought of as the offensive part of this while boundaries you set in life are the defensive part. Let’s talk about boundaries real quick.


Boundaries are the Walls

Boundaries are the parameters of your life. Picture a medieval city with walls surrounding it. The city is your heart and the walls are the boundaries that guard it. Walls are constructed to protect your heart from invasions by enemy forces.

Let’s take lust as an example of one of these enemy forces. Many people in the church are constantly plagued by a spirit of lust, many of which have never been taught this important lesson about guarding their heart. Even after I became a Christian I was defeated by lust for about a year until I was finally delivered. And once I was set free I learned the truth that I could, “guard my heart”.


What Do You Mean You Were “Delivered”?

Since we are talking about spiritual things it can be difficult to put my experience into words, but here I go. Before the “walls of my city were in place” I had no defense against lust. I was like the city that was plundered every time enemies came by. I just sat in ruins.

But after the Lord delivered my from this bondage (that’s a story for another time) I knew something changed inside me. The walls of my city were now in place. Now when temptation comes I have a secure place to resist the attack. In fact, it really isn’t much of a fight. I just lift up my shield of faith, like the Bible commands, and I’m able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one.

I’m grateful for the blood of Jesus and everything He did at the Cross. If it wasn’t for Him then there would be no deliverance, no shield of faith and no way to guard my heart. I hope this helps you in your journey with the Lord. And let me know what your thoughts are on the matter. I love hearing people’s insight and different perspectives so feel free to leave a comment below.

About Josh Monen

Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.


  1. Jason Fountain

    Great post! The heart is the wellspring of life – the very center of our being. I agree that guarding our heart is a conscious decision. Thanks.
    Jason Fountain recently posted..CREATING VISION

    • Joshua Monen

      Hi Jason, thank you for your comment. Any thoughts on ways we can intentionally guard our hearts?

  2. Amy

    This is good, and I agree that we need to use the weapons God gives us, but how practically speaking does this work? What changed that meant you were able to resist Satan successfully? Was it willpower, a change of perspective or attitude, a spiritual change or all of that? Can you get it from therapy or must it definitely come from God?

    • Joshua Monen

      Good questions Amy. One practical way that we can guard our hearts is through praise and worship. I believe worshiping God in spirit and in truth causes our affections to be placed in Him.

      And regarding your question, “What changed (willpower, perspective, spiritual) that meant you were able to resist Satan successfully?”

      It was not willpower for sure. Sometimes the harder I tried not to do something the more I seemed to do it. What changed was this: I was delivered from demonic strongholds by the blood of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

      God brought a couple into my life that understood how to lead me through inner healing and deliverance and it was in this context that I received deliverance and freedom. They led me through prayers where I repented and renounced my involvement and attachment to ungodly things (i.e. drug addiction, lust, pornography, etc.). Then I prayed for the Lord to cancel those demonic assignments in those areas and afterward I asked the Holy Spirit to fill those parts of my life that Satan had previously occupied.

      Of course there was more to it then that but in a nutshell that’s what happened. And that’s not to say I don’t have struggles today – it’s just that now I’m actually living in freedom and when attacks come I can submit to God and resist the devil and he really does flee from me.

      Wow. I didn’t plan to write this long of a comment (thinking I need to dedicate an entire post to this very topic). Thanks Amy!

  3. Deanna Monen

    Thank You Josh,your writing’s are touching my heart!Good writing,keep it coming.

    • Joshua Monen

      Thank you Mom. Glad you’re enjoying it. Keep reading and I’ll keep writing. 😉

  4. patricia Hanson

    I’m so proud of you Josh. God is really useing you for his have come a long way ,and your truly going up up up..I Love your inspire me so much.I Have a prayer every day that David prayed,and I sing this as a song in church PSLMS.51: 10,11,12. Keep your Heart soft to God and your Barns will be filled ha ha i mean Temple..Blessings upon you Love Nana..

    • Joshua Monen

      Hi Nana, so glad to see you here! Thank you for always encouraging me and for all of your prayers. You’ve been a great example for me over the years. I love you.

  5. Vic

    Very helpful information. What i’m doing to protect my heart is first i take supplement that will help my heart function well (Omega 3 Fish Oil Ultimate), next i eat foods with less cholesterol and fat contents. I also exercise daily.

    • Joshua Monen

      I’m glad you’re taking care of your heart Vic. It’s good to protect our heart both spiritually and physically since both realms are connected.

  6. jessica

    hi. im having a very difficult time understanding and applying this concept to my own life! since i can remember ive allowed myself to become emotionally attached to people, because i wanted to be loved and experience what it meant to share a bond not easily broken by circumstance or person but the end result has been a consistent heartbreak, heartache, and depressing disappointment. i always hear “two are better than one” but i STILL am alone. i do understand i must first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and delight myself in Him..,i simply dont know how to love God the way i could love someone i can visibly see and connect with emotionally( i want to, very badly, because after all these years ive come to know that with every disappointment he’s been the only one that’s been with me). what do i do? and before you say “pray and fast” let me re-phrase the question and say, when im feeling so unloved, depressed, unimportant, used, worthless, and emotionally drained how do i find the strength to pray to God and the faith to believe he will mend my broken heart and deliver me from every ungodly soul-tie?? please help if you can..thank you.

  7. Josh Monen

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for your comment and question. You said, “When im feeling so unloved, depressed, unimportant, used, worthless, and emotionally drained how do i find the strength to pray to God and the faith to believe he will mend my broken heart and deliver me from every ungodly soul-tie?”

    First, I want to commend you for being honest about your feelings. It can be hard to admit when we feel unloved and depressed… especially when we hear the voice that says, “What good will it do anyway? It’s not going to change anything by talking about it.”

    But that’s not true. Admitting our brokenness and our need for help is so important when it comes to getting our needs met and getting healed.

    I don’t have any cookie-cutter answers for you Jessica. But I am confident that God not only can, but is willing to meet you in your place of brokenness. I also know that me being confident about that does you little good. 😉

    Here’s something you might try. And no, it doesn’t require you to pray and fast or jump through any spiritual hoops. It may seem so simple you might brush it off but here it is…

    Play some worship music and lay on your floor. Ask God what He thinks about you. Then just lay there and listen. Don’t try to make anything happen. Just be still and listen. The only thing you’re doing is receiving. Like when someone hands you a gift and you just reach out your hands and say, “thank you.”

    I’m not saying this is going to be the answer to all your problems (who knows, it might be) but it’s something that’s worked for me. Learning to receive from the Spirit of God has really changed my life. But I know we all receive in different ways. The point is that it’s God who can restore you and establish your identity in Him. Man is not capable of doing that. And neither are you.

    I hope this helps. I don’t have all the answers but I do know what it’s like to have the Lord take me from darkness to light and I am so grateful for that.

    By the way, I would also encourage you to ask the Lord to put people in your life who will agree with who He says you are. Man cannot establish your identity in Christ but good godly friends can strengthen it and help you stay on the right track.

  8. Mike

    A short version might be ‘discipline weighs ounces and regret, tons’. Think a situation through first. We often know what to do but the promise of what it might feel like seems worth the risk. This is a critical component of enticement. Have you been in this situation before? How did it play out? Not good? What makes you think it will be different this time?

    The pleasures of sin last only for a season. Or again, short term pleasure – long term consequences. We have an enemy who knows our weaknesses and is only too willing to lead us into a snare, to entrap and imprison us. But he can’t do it without our cooperation (the enemy didn’t twist Eve’s arm). We often play a big part in our misfortunes much as we sometimes don’t like to think so. But past mistakes and pain can be valuable in assessing a present situation. It can often help us to see more clearly and avoid giving in to how a choice might make us feel good when in reality it’s a thief looking to take things away from us.
    Daily maintenance of our spiritual condition is a big step in the right direction.

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