Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Mona Lisa, is valued at one billion dollars, making it by far the world’s most valuable painting. Can you imagine the kind of security system and extreme protective measures the Louvre Museum in Paris uses to guard this matchless piece of art? As valuable as The Mona Lisa is, it is just a painting, and your heart is far more valuable to God and you.
The greatest desire/need of the heart is for intimacy. It is the most powerful and influential part of the human personality. That is why it is critically important for us to guard our hearts from anything that would separate us from our heavenly Father and those closest to us.
The Bible says,“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT The Apostle Paul described the importance of his intimacy with the Lord in this way, “I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.” Philippians 3:8 AMP..
Jesus’ greatest desire for you. Before he left his friends to return to heaven, Jesus told his heavenly Father about his greatest desire for his followers. Above everything else he wanted them to have the same kind of intimate relationship with the Father that he had.
I’ve discovered five extraordinary practices Jesus constantly repeated to stay close to his Father. In my book Healthy Faith: A Strategic Lifestyle Plan to Transform Your Head, Heart, and Hands, I share those practices that make it possible to guard your heart and experience God’s presence even during your most difficult circumstances.
After reading Healthy Faith, Dr. Brad Russell, Founder of FaithVillage.com and Pastor recognized the value of following those time-honored practices. “Bill Nichols writes as something of a spiritual internist, diagnosing the most common dysfunctionalities that undermine true faith, hope and love. Most importantly he recovers the ancient and time-tested Christian practices that can give believers resiliency. By addressing the most difficult questions chronic sufferers wrestle with, Healthy Faith can sustain and liberate readers to experience God’s presence even through the most unresolved challenges.”