I would think that God is the keeper of our hearts, and yet He bids us be very careful to keep our hearts:
“Keep your heart with all vigilance …” (Proverbs 4:23).
We know that no created thing is able to separate us from His love, and still we are exhorted of the necessity of tending to our hearts. What does this mean and how is it done, and what neglect of the duty moves the Lord to such urgency?
I have lain in bed many a morning, when it was too early to get up and too late to fall back asleep, and seen what havoc the devil does in the haze of dawn when the mind is as flaccid as muscle. Maybe you have, too. You lay passively for what seems like 10 minutes, only to find when you turn to your clock that an hour has passed.
And what have you done with the hour? Have you prayed? No. Well then, have you at least talked truth and divine promises to your unwieldy meditations? No. Have you put up any resistance? No. You have been a captive audience to a morbid encore of the same hellish streaming you saw the last time you were insomniac, or the last time you were driving to work alone.
It doesn’t have to be this way, nor is it supposed to be. The Lord—the Lord who bids us to repeat after Him, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”—wants us to take that bull by the horns and start talking back to the video and audio soundtrack of our moribund morning.
We’re just out of practice, that’s all. We just didn’t know you were supposed to do it. The verse was always there, of course—“Keep your heart with all vigilance”—but it was just a lovely incantation, nothing more. We lacked role models, perhaps, people to stand up and give testimony to how they had taken back their minds from Satan—had been victorious over depression or anger or covetousness by simply being more vocal than the voices of Satan.
The devil is awake and vigilant in the morning, so you and I should be, too. It feels a little funny at first because it’s new and all. But after a while, the habit is part of you, as natural as Jesus’ habit of rebuffing temptations with the Word of God.