Guard Your Heart

  • Pete Johnson
Knight in armor with a shied and sword

The National Archives building (NAB) located in Washington D.C. protects the United States’ most foundational, and some would say our country’s most important documents. The U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, also known as the Charters of Freedom. These documents could be the most closely guarded pieces of paper in the world. 

The cornerstone for the NAB building was laid in 1933 by President Herbert Hoover. Thirty years later, in December of 1952, the NAB received the Charters of Freedom for safekeeping and preservation. The occasion was presided over by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson and was attended by over 100 national civic, patriotic, religious, veteran, educational, business, and labor groups.
President Harry S. Truman who was the featured speaker stated: 

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are now assembled in one place for display and safekeeping. . . . We are engaged here today in a symbolic act. We are enshrining these documents for future ages. . . . This magnificent hall has been constructed to exhibit them, and the vault beneath, that we have built to protect them, is as safe from destruction as anything that the wit of modern man can devise. All this is an honorable effort, based upon reverence for the great past, and our generation can take just pride in it.”

Today the NAB is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day. During normal operating hours, visitors can view these documents which are now enclosed behind bulletproof glass and under constant guard. When the NAB closes or whenever a threat arises, at the push of a button, these documents can be lowered into a 50-ton steel vault that is waterproof, fireproof and at the time it was built, atomic bomb proof. 

Millions of dollars have been spent to safeguard these historical documents because of their important role in our Nation’s pursuit of freedom. 

But is there anything else so valuable that it should call for the kind of safekeeping and preserving that the NAB affords these documents? 

God’s word talks about guarding things, especially our hearts. 

Our heart, not the organ that pumps blood but rather the seat of our emotions, controls our thoughts, our actions, and attitudes; it controls our lives. It is to be guarded at all costs! We can’t enclose it in a vault, like the Charters of Freedom, but we guard our hearts with God’s all-powerful Word. 

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11 

Christian, what is stored up in your heart? What is safeguarding your heart? What is preserving your heart? 

Are you allowing your heart to be filled by the news, Netflix, unholy desires, economic, political or social agendas, hatred, unrest, disdain, and fear, instead of God’s Word? 

Too often Christians fail to plan on how to keep their hearts protected, not from “anything that the wit of modern man can devise”, but rather from the sin, wickedness, and the Devil. 

The way of your heart is such that if you do not guard it correctly if you do not tend to it properly, it will deceive you. 

“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23 

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
 Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
 Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.
Proverbs 4:23–27


How carefully are you guarding yours?