Out of nowhere, the Nigerian Federal Government decided to give scholarships to selected students of the university. This had never been done before in the history of his stay in the university. He was shortlisted amongst 9 others from his department. Only 3 people from his department would eventually get the scholarship.
All 10 selected people wanted to know who will be among the 3 selected. In a classroom discussion, they suggested the possible criteria for selecting the 3: CGPA; State of Origin, Age, Gender, Relevance of Project topic, SSCE results, track record with scholarships… the list was endless. Samuel left the gathering as he meditated on the discussion. He realized he was not top 3 in any of the listed criteria. Sadly, he shut his heart to any possibility of receiving the scholarship.
To worsen it, 3 days later, a lecturer came to class and called the top 3 performers.
“You applied for the Federal Govt. Scholarship?” lecturer asked.
They replied affirmative.
“Please come to my office quickly...”
At that point, Samuel lost all hope. He spent his weekend feeling depressed, disappointed and sad. He shut off family and friends while he mourned the lost opportunity because of his apparent shortcomings.
A month later, when he had forgotten about the scholarship, a list of successful candidates for the scholarship was released. Samuel’s name was # 1 on the list from his department. None of the 3 top performers in class were in the list. When he asked the lecturer why they did not make it, he was told that they did not meet the criteria of the Federal Government (I wonder what their criteria were).
Recall that the purpose of the series “In this 2009, We will…” is to discuss a few things we will do this year to see the physical manifestation of what we desire. That means, it has already been given to us. We are yet to receive.
Samuel spent days worrying, crying, depressed, disappointed, and ignorant that what was his will always be his. His peace and joy were stolen (temporarily) because he had listened and meditated on things contrary to what God had promised him, even though he had past experiences to attest for the faithfulness of God.
In this 2009, We Will Guard our Hearts.
Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life [Proverbs 4:23].
The heart is your center – the very core of your being. The heart speaks about who you really are as a person. From out of the heart flows “the issues of life”, the heart “affects everything you do”.
The heart is the totality of your MIND (intellect), your EMOTIONS (feelings), and your WILL (choices).
To safeguard your heart means to protect your mind; preserve your emotions; prop up your will.
Part of guarding your heart means confession of your sins, carefully inspecting what you let in and out of your heart and mind. What you watch, where you go, who your friends are, what you listen to, what you set your affections on, and your choices not based on feeling but on truth. Weeding out roots of bitterness, unforgiveness, disobedience, lust, immorality, gossip, and so many other things that seek to ensnare your heart. Knowing the truth is what will set us free from the deceitfulness of our own hearts.
In guarding your heart, you will keep your heart from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble. You will keep your heart like it is a jewel (cherish and protect), and as a vineyard (pruned and healthy); keep a conscience void of offence; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds.
Rather than letting negative words and thoughts replace the hope you have in God, guard your heart diligently and keep your mind stayed on Him.
You may hear of how many could not make it or how many were not successful or how many did not get something similar to which you desire. Do not change your confessions. Rather dare to trust God that your story will be different. He is God who can customize blessings and create opportunities that never existed before just because of you. His criteria for blessing you are beyond the ways and understanding of man.
May the ‘peace of God, which transcends all understanding….guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ [Phil 4:7] Amen.
For further reading on what it means to guard your heart, please refer to
• Guard your heart above ALL things
• Guard your heart
• Guard your heart
For Previous posts in this series please visit
• In This 2009, We Will Pray For Others
• In this 2009, We Will Worship The Lord
• In this 2009, We Will Know God for Ourselves
Have a blessed weekend ahead.