Several days ago I commented to my wife Linda that these days with her as my wife (now in our ninth year) have been the happiest and most contented and joyous of my life. I defined it as a time or period of my life, but searched my vocabulary for another word to define it. I knew there was one and asked God to bring it to my memory. He did and it was "passages". I have by my living room chair a facsimile copy of Webster's 1828 dictionary. In it a usage of passage is a quote in a poem by John Dryden, "And with his pointed dart explores the nearest passage to his heart." In Proverbs 4:23 it is written, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
We have several "passages" or periods of our lives and we are subjected in each of those times to experiences that are good and bad that impact us. They depend upon what enters our heart and our reaction and action to the influence.
In the NIV Bible it is written in Ephesians 6:16, "...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Arrows are large darts. My study of spiritual warfare has taught me that our spiritual adversary has authority to send "flaming arrows" to us for two major reasons. They are because we have unforgiven sin and we have not forgiven all others who have wronged or hurt us.
In Jeremiah 24:7 it is written, "I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord." In Ezekiel 11:19 it is written, "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." The footnote to this scripture is, "This new life can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. It is God's work, but we must recognize and turn from our sin. When we do, God will give us new motives, new guidelines, and new purpose." In I Chronicles 28:9 it is written, (in speaking to Solomon about building the temple), "...for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts." NOTHING is hidden from our Father. We may hide it from the world and even ourselves, but not from him.
In the New Bible Dictionary the heart is defined thusly: "The heart is considered the governing center for each of us, and all our attributes, physical, intellectual, and psychological. It is who we are and governs all our actions."
What enters our hearts is crucial to our well-being. When we have faith in God and what we learn in the Word of God, we can experience passages of our lives by controlling what passes to our hearts.
In Psalms 37:4 it is written, 'Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." I like that agreement.