Above All Else

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By Mary Agnes Truex Minnich

Deceit. Never before in my experience has the lure of sin proved more prevalent. Despite knowing Christ for some time now, I can still be duped by the lies that Satan whispers into my mind. The Biblical command to take every thought captive has become an urgent need in my life (2 Corinthians 10:5b). I am in desperate need to use God’s promises to combat the lies! 

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”  “Above all else.”  That’s essential.  How do we guard our hearts? By putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). 

 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).

What is the shield of faith? Both faith in Jesus and the faith of Jesus.  I like to think about Jesus standing in front of my shield of faith. I picture Him a little to the left side of me, blocking the arrows from the evil one. I especially like verse 16 that says: “In addition to all this, take up your shield of faith with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one.” 

Jesus can extinguish the flaming arrows the evil one aims at us and protect our hearts. When I don’t put on God’s armor, Satan’s flaming arrows get through to my heart. Then, I believe lies like the one that whispers that I’m not a good mother. In reality, there is no “good mother” or “bad mother.” 

I also allow deceit to shoot his arrows of guilt into my heart. I allow myself to feel guilty about things for which I’m already forgiven. Mistakes that Jesus has forgiven me by His blood. I need to learn to take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. 

Imagine how much easier life would be if we put on God’s whole armor every day. His armor would keep thoughts captive. I used to wonder why it was essential to put on the armor of God and just didn’t do it. Now I see, I need it to do this above all else. 

Yes, “above all else, guard your heart, for out of it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 3:24). Now that I think about it, not putting on my armor of God is a sin. Ephesians 6:11 commands, “Put on the whole armor of God.” Let’s remember to put on our armor of God and let our Shield of faith extinguish all of the flaming arrows from the evil one.

Mary Agnes Truex Minnich grew up in Orlando, Florida. She and her husband have been missionaries in Taiwan for over 25 years. They have 3 sons. Mary Agnes longs for the 23 million people in Taiwan to have the opportunity to hear the gospel through Bible Storying groups. She enjoys sharing her “God Breezes”, like this one, with others. She lives in Taichung, Taiwan.