In a far away city, a wise king rules his people with justice, mercy, and kindness. In the city is a well of fresh, clear water. This is the city’s only water source and everyone drinks from the same well.

One night the king’s enemies send a witch to poison the well. All who drink the poisoned water will be overcome by madness. As she slips away, she is seen by the watchman who guards the well.

The watchman reports the incident to the king. But morning has arrived, and the people of the city have already begun to drink from the well. By noon everyone in the city but the king and the watchman have turned mad.

People begin to whisper: The king is behaving strangely. Rumors spread that the king has lost his mind. “We cannot be ruled by a madman,” they say, and come together to overthrow their ruler.

As the rebellion begins the king orders a goblet of the well’s water to be brought before him. He and the watchman drink from the goblet.

When the mob reaches the palace, the rebellion ends and the people rejoice, for the king has regained his wisdom!

What a sad commentary on bowing down to external pressures!

Today we continue studying the wisdom of King Solomon:

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.   (NIV – older version)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.   (NIV – current version)

Proverbs 4:23

Even though the New International Version text has been updated, the meaning is the same. Personally, I like the previous use of the word “wellspring”. 

Your heart is the source of everything in your life. It overflows into your thoughts, words, and actions.

Any spring of water can be can be poisoned to make it toxic. Or it can be plugged to stop the flow. In either case life downstream is threatened.

EVERYTHING depends on the condition of the spring.

The same is true for your heart. If your heart is unhealthy it threatens your family, your friends, your career, your ministry—everything downstream in your life. Guarding our heart is crucial.

Sometimes our discouragement, despair and depression are actually symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion. Sometimes we simply need rest to restore our hearts.

A hat tip to Darlene for the idea of “working from our rest”, rather than “resting from our work”. 

  • It’s the difference between throwing five bucks in the gas tank and keeping the tank filled. 

  • It’s the difference between playing defense and playing offense. 

  • It’s the difference between a life that is reactive versus a life that is proactive.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Proverbs 4:23, NLT

Today, give yourself the gift of rest. Ask Jesus to take command of the things that worry and concern and poison you. And go to bed early tonight. Even thirty minutes before your typical bedtime. And let those extra bits of rest renew and restore your heart.

Trading your trouble for refreshment from the heart of Jesus?

That’s worship.

–Pastor Steve.