Guarded – The Disciplines of a Guarded Heart

Dr. Craig Smee


Mark 14:10-11

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Mark 14:17-20

When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one, they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.



Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

  1. To be a spring of life, the heart needs curation.

Jeremiah 17:9

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who knows how bad it is? 

It is so powerful that it needs to be guarded, curated, checked, and managed.

Dallas Willard: The human heart, will, or spirit is the executive center of human life. The heart is where decisions and choices are made for the whole person. That is its function.

The decisions and choices of the heart define our character.

Our character forms the essence of who we are. It is shaped by our exposure to the work of the Holy Spirit, which transforms us and reflects the character of Christ. However, as we navigate the world and encounter different ideologies, our character can become vulnerable to shifting and cracking.

  1. The Heart is the control center for our spirit.

1. Beliefs in our minds sometimes translate into actions.

2. When our heart truly believes, our actions align with our beliefs.

To guard your heart means to keep Jesus as the source of your motivation. 

Keeping what He has done, what he has placed inside of you, as precious and not to be corrupted.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.

When the fruit of the spirit is selflessly manifested in our daily disciplines, we demonstrate a generous heart and that we are wholly surrendered to Jesus’s work and power.

A guarded heart allows the flow of heaven to earth!

  1. It’s about crime prevention.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

A corrupt hurt is one where the wonder of Jesus has been stolen.

The Devil shouts lies, but God whispers the truth.

What drains you?

Your defenses falter…

… when you have had enough

…when the pains of the past overwhelm with no justice

…when nothing seems to work

The alarms:

Sick of being stuck

Your talk is negative.

Habits are not holy.

Can’t break the cycle?

No matter how hard you try, you can’t win.

You have lost the vision of you…

Your defenses:

Don’t be one of these, and don’t hang out with people who are like this:

Controlling People

Critical People

Needy People

Hypocritical People“Surely you don’t mean. me….”

Proverbs 29:25

Fear of man will be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

The highest form of protection is gratitude and praise…

Humble gratitude plus genuine praise results in the highest honor.

  1. Our responsibility is to keep our hearts constantly ready for God’s Word!

Example: The Seed Parable

Vulnerability to the seed allows for the depth of the root…

The Word will…

  1. Keep your heart pure…
  2. Keep your heart peaceful…
  3. Keep your heart tender…
  4. Keep your hearts loving…


  1. To be a spring of life, the heart needs curation.
  2. The Heart is the control center for our spirit.
  3. It’s about crime prevention.
  4. Our responsibility is to keep our hearts constantly ready for God’s Word!


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