Daily Heart Check

Bible Book: Proverbs  4 : 23
Subject: Heart; Personal Examination

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe wisely observes, “The heart is the ‘master-control’ of the life; a wrong heart always produces a wrong life. To allow sin into the heart is to pollute the entire life… ‘The unexamined life is not worth living,’ said Socrates. The Lord is pondering (examining) our lives (Pr 5:21, 15:3, Je 17:10, 2Chr 16:9), and we must examine them too (cp 2Co 13:5). Live in God’s Word and He will protect your path, direct your path, and perfect your path, for the glory of Jesus Christ.”1

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

Note the duty of it. “Keep your heart. . . .”

Note the diligence of it. “. . . with all diligence. . . .”

Note the details of it. “. . . For out of it spring the issues of life.”

Dr. Charles R. Swindoll comments, “That’s right-guard it. Put a sentinel on duty. Watch it carefully. Protect it. Pay attention to it. Keep it clean. Clear away the debris. It’s there, remember, that bad stuff can easily hide out. . .”2 Matthew 15:19 reads, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Though not in this order, this verse covers, thoughts, words, and deeds. We must beware of allowing worldliness to capture our heart.  1 John 2:15-17 reads, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” On “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection,” Dr. Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) shares the following: “There are two ways in which a practical moralist may attempt to displace from the human heart its love of the world—either by a demonstration of the world's vanity, so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon simply to withdraw its regards from an object that is not worthy of it; or, by setting forth another object, even God, as more worthy of its attachment, so as that the heart shall be prevailed upon not to resign an old affection, which shall have nothing to succeed it, but to exchange an old affection for a new one.”3 Genesis 6:5 reads, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Remember the old proverb variously attributed:   

Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.

Proverbs 23:7 reads, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) shares, “A business motto said this, ‘You're not what you think you are. But what you think you are.’”4  Dr. David Jeremiah preached a sermon on this text titled, “You Are Not What You Think You Are, But What You Think, You Are!” Philippians 4:8-9 reads, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Horatio R. Palmer (1834-1907) exhorts,

“Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.”5

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 reads, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Peter 5:8 reads, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 2 Peter 1:10-11 reads, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It is spiritually beneficial for believers to have a daily heart check. For spiritual health, there are three questions you should ask each day.   

I. Are you pledging allegiance to the will of God?

Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) explains, “Jesus Christ demands more complete allegiance than any dictator who ever lived. The difference is, He has a right to it.”6

Have you ever prayed this way? Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.  Matthew 26:36-46 reads, “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, ‘Sit here while I go and pray over there.’ And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’ Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.’ And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.’”  In this situation, Jesus issued the following warning: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) explains, “There are only two kinds of people in the end, those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”7

Have you ever heard, “Can’t never could, won’t never would”?  Are you willing to do His will? Dr. F.B. Meyer (1847-1929) exhorts, “If you are not willing to be used by God, ask God to make you willing to be willing.”8 Acts 13:22 reads, “He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” Psalm 32:8-9 reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.”

If you don’t know God’s will stop. Wait on the Lord.

If you know God’s will step. Walk with the Lord.

Dr. Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995), former Chaplain of the United States Senate, explains, “To say ‘Now!’ to God is as presumptuous as saying ‘No!’ And it can be just as rebellious.

Someone has defined sin as a shortcut: robbery is a shortcut to work. Lust is a shortcut to love. One can sin simply by refusing to wait. Wanting a good thing is virtuous, demanding a good thing now is sin. God has a time for everything, a perfect schedule. He is never too soon, never too late. The when of His will is as important as the what and the how.”9

Keep pledging allegiance to the will of God!

II. Are you practicing alignment by the Word of God?

Psalm 119:11 reads, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:89 reads, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” James 1:21-27 reads, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” 3 John 1:4 reads, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” This is the way it should be in every home, church, and ministry!     John 17:17 reads, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) states, “The Word of God is either absolute or obsolete.”10  Dr. Havner further explains, “I am certain that the Bible is the Word of God. Either it is or it isn't, and either all of it is the Word of God or we never can be sure of any of it. It is either absolute or obsolete. If we have to start changing this verse, toning down that, apologizing for this and making allowances for that, we might as well give up, so we must take it as it is or leave it alone.”11

Keep practicing alignment by the Word of God!

III. Are you pursuing alliance with the ways of God?

Isaiah 55:6-9 reads, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Romans 11:33 reads, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Psalm 103:7 reads, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 5:33 reads, “You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” Psalm 25:1-5 reads, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”

Psalm 81:13 reads, “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!” Psalm 119:57-59 reads, “You are my portion, O Lord; I have said that I would keep Your words. I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; Be merciful to me according to Your word. I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Psalm 128:1 reads, “Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.” Hebrews 3:7-15 reads, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’” Dr. J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) explains, “. . . when a man’s heart is cold and unconcerned about religion,—when his hands are never employed in doing God's work,—when his feet are not familiar with God’s ways,—when his tongue is seldom or never used in prayer and praise,—when his eyes are blind to the beauty of the kingdom of heaven,—when his ears are deaf to the voice of Christ in the Gospel,—when his mind is full of the world, and has no room for spiritual things,—when these marks are to be found in a man the word of the Bible is the right word to use about him, and that word is, ‘Dead.’”12

May my heart and your heart beat in rhythm with the heart of God and become synchronized in sympathy and symphony with His ways!

Keep pursuing alliance with the ways of God!


Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) explains, “In a day when tragedy has become comedy, we play fast and loose with eternal issues. The Pearl of great price is not cheap! I have read that years ago in that part of Africa where diamonds in the rough were plentiful, a traveler chanced upon boys playing. Closer investigation revealed that they were playing marbles with diamonds. God forgive us today if we handle God’s treasures as though they were trifles and the coinage of the eternal as though it were play money. Now is no time to play marbles with diamonds!”13

Major W. Ian Thomas (1914-2007) explains, “The end product of evangelism is not just to get you out of hell and into heaven, but to get God out of heaven and into you, so that Christ living in your heart might bring God out again into the open where He can be seen. That is what brings glory to God.”14 Philippians 4:6-7 reads, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Dr. Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) writes, “My prayer is that you and I may experience the victory, purity, and energy of the Holy Spirit, who makes Jesus real to us. The Old Sarum Primer of 1558 expresses it elegantly:

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.15

Dr. A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) explains, “You can blame circumstances, but backsliding always begins in the heart.”16 Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) warns, “The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. And the same Gospel which melts some people to repentance hardens others in their sin.”17 Self-deception is a greater problem than most people realize. Jeremiah 17:9-10 reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” These verses reveal the danger of self-diagnosis, therefore, we should frequently pray in the words of the psalmist, David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). 2 Corinthians 13:5 reads, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” Hebrews 4:11-13 reads, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God and prayer to reveal the condition of our heart to us.  

Proverbs 4:23 reads, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Let this verse be a reminder to take a daily heart check.


1Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament. (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books)

2Charles R. Swindoll, The Quest for Character: Inspirational Thoughts for Becoming More Like Christ (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1993), 27-28.

3Thomas Chalmers, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection” Sermon Notes (1 John 2:15). 

4Adrian Rogers, “Guard Your Heart” Sermon Notes (Psalm 119:9-16).

5Horatio R. Palmer, “Yield Not To Temptation” (1868).

6AZ Quotes, Vance Havner Quotes, Accessed: 08/30/17 http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1016262 .

7C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster / Touchstone edition, 1996), 72.

8The Speaker’s Quotebook, comp. Roy B. Zuck (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2009), 537.

9Gary Inrig, True North: Discovering God's Way in a Changing World (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 2015), Chapter 11.

10John Blanchard, The Complete Gathered Gold, (Darlington, UK: Evangelical Press, 2006), 40. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

11The Vance Havner Quotebook: Sparkling Gems from the Most Quoted Preacher in America, comp. Dennis J. Hester (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1986), 17. Database © 2013 WORDsearch Corp.

12John Charles Ryle, Home Truths: Being Miscellaneous Addresses and Tracts (London: Wertheim Macintosh, 1960), 1:45. 

13The Vance Havner Notebook, comp. Dennis J. Hester (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989),102. Database © 2014 WORDsearch Corp.

14W. Ian Thomas, The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2006), 92.

15Stephen F. Olford, Not I, But Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), 85-86. 

16AZ Quotes, Aiden Wilson Tozer Quotes, Accessed: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/712437 .

17Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Lesson from the Almond Tree” Sermon Notes (Jeremiah 1:11-12).


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and eBook]

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Miss-Revival-Spiritual-Awakening/dp/1462735428 &  http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Biblical-Preaching-Giving-Bible/dp/1594577684 / fkirksey@bellsouth.net   / (251) 626-6210

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