The Captured Heart: Guarding Your Heart In a World of Compromise

The Captured Heart: Guarding Your Heart In a World of Compromise

by David Holdaway

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781907929410
Publisher: Upfront
Publication date: 06/01/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 693 KB

About the Author

David Holdaway was born and brought up in South Wales. After becoming a born again Christian he felt called to Bible College in his early 20s and studied for three years at the Elim Bible College in Surrey, UK. He married Jan, who also comes from South Wales in 1982, while they were studying together at college and they have one daughter, Deborah. David has pastored churches in England, Aberdeen in Scotland, and Wales seeing them grow significantly. In 1998 he published his first book, The Life of Jesus, and has since written more than 17 different books on subjects from ranging from finance, money and spiritual warfare, the heart, overcoming fear and worry to people who have had modern day face to face life changing encounters with Jesus. A number of David's books have been translated into different languages including Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and Indonesian with more than 600,000 in print. David has an extensive writing, speaking and teaching ministry that has taken him all over the world and he has ministered extensively in Asia in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as Africa. For more information visit his website at www.lifepublications.org.uk

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

What captures your heart will control your life and determine your destiny

I was having a quiet afternoon flicking through the hundreds of channels now available on cable television and watching nothing in particular until I came across a documentary biography called Hollywood CV.

The movie actress Cybil Shepherd was under the spotlight, which didn’t interest me too much because I had never heard of her. She was it seems, incredibly beautiful in her younger days and rose to fame on Hollywood’s big screen. As a young model she was spotted on the front cover of Glamour Magazine and cast in the starring role of the film The Last American Picture Show.

It was at this point I came into the programme and was about to switch to yet another channel when they cut to an interview with the director of that movie. Peter Bogdonovich was at the time a thirty-one-year-old, hand-some highflier in the movie industry. He said that during the production he had an affair with Shepherd, something she admitted she later regretted but he had obviously enjoyed. Then he added almost casually, ‘‘Of course my marriage and family suffered with some hearts getting broken, but we couldn’t help it, we fell in love.’’ I shouted at the screen, ‘‘Yes you could.’’ I knew what he was trying to say but he was wrong, and so are innumerable others who use ‘‘falling in love’’ to justify their actions and the break-up of countless marriages and families. But how does something that can feel so right be so wrong? ‘‘The heart is deceitful above all things’’ (Jeremiah 17:9).

You can justify anything if you really want to and are prepared to delude yourself and excuse your sin. There are Christian leaders who have left their families to set up home with someone else and have convinced themselves it’s God’s will. They commit adultery, deceive their loved ones, cheat on their spouse and say this is what God wants! We all have the capacity to fall in love with almost anyone or anything if we open our hearts to them. When we make the choice to do this in an intimate and desirous way there comes a point when emotionally we cannot help but ‘‘fall in love’’.

In the same way if you open a door of an aeroplane at 30,000 feet and step through it you can’t help but ‘‘fall’’. But don’t blame gravity – you made the choice to open the door and step out. Adultery happens in the heart before it takes place in bed. None of us should be complacent. Solomon warned, ‘‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall’’ (Proverbs 16:18). He also wrote, ‘‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life’’ (Proverbs 4:23), but when you read 1 Kings 11 you discover Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. He loved many foreign women and sought to expand the power of his empire through marital alliances, but instead of strengthening the nation he brought the judgment of God, which resulted in dividing it.

Whenever we seek to build God’s Kingdom by worldly methods it may have initial success but it will always end in pain and failure. Note how many times the heart is referred to in Solomon’s tragic decline. ‘‘King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter – Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.’... As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.’’ (1 Kings 11:1–2, 4)

Solomon opened up his heart to that which God had said ‘‘no’’. But why did he also worship their gods? Because physical adultery invariably leads to spiritual adultery. The sexual act is so powerful it creates a soul tie, a bringing together not only of the body but also of the spirit. This is why Paul warns the Corinthian church so strongly about sex outside of the marriage covenant. Every night in Corinth a thousand male and female temple prostitutes invaded the streets. It was notorious for its immorality and Paul tells them there is no such thing as a one-night stand.

Sexual union brings with it a human spirit to human spirit encounter. It is never just a physical or emotional act. Two become one. Sexual intercourse and intimacy is not simply the joining of two bodies, it is the union of two spirits. You will always leave something of yourself and take something of the other person after the encounter is over. You also join yourself in some measure to whatever they have given themselves. Solomon ended up sleeping with the women and worshiping their gods.

This book is not primarily about marriage and relationships, it’s about every issue of life. Whatever we open up our hearts to, we give the power to bless or curse us. The New Testament scholar William Barclay told of the tragic case of Robertson Nicoll, a famous editor of his day, who was born in a manse in the North East of Scotland. His father had one passion – to buy books. He was a minister and never earned more than £200 a year, but he amassed the greatest private library in Scotland amounting to 17,000 books that took over the house, the family’s finances and eventually their life. He did not even use them in his sermons, he was simply consumed to own and to read them. When he was forty he married a young woman of twenty-four, but in eight years his young wife was dead with tuberculosis. Of a family of five children only two lived to be over twenty. Barclay comments, ‘‘That cancerous growth of books filled every room and every passageway in the manse, it may have delighted the owner of the books, but it killed his wife and family.’’

With most people it’s not books but it may be fashion, music, a hobby, a sport, a career or a pastime. These are not wrong in themselves, except when they take the place in your heart that belongs to God and those precious to you. There are many sports fans more faithful to their club than to their wives and spend more time and money on their team than on their children. They may get divorced many times but they stay with one club for life. One famous football manager, Bill Shanklin who took Liverpool to great success in the 1970s summed it up when he said, ‘‘Some people say that football is a matter of life and death. I can tell you it is far more serious than that.’’

In the following chapters we are going to deal with such things as money, sex, pride, idolatry, forgiveness, righteousness, thankfulness, discouragement, betrayal and much more. The book is in two parts. The first seeks to answer the question ‘‘why’’ guarding our heart is so important. The second deals with the all-important issue of ‘‘how’’. Chapter thirteen is a practical checklist with seven tests you can take to measure who or what has captured your heart. The last chapter is about having, ‘‘A heart after God’’.

Gifting and anointing are vital but it is the heart that carries them. Many of you who read this book will know someone who once had a powerful ministry but has now backslidden and doesn’t even attend church anymore. Charisma without character creates confusion and ultimately failure and heartache. Our gifting may get us started but it is only character that will sustain us. Integrity always has been and always will be more important than image.

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