Jul 21, 2016

GUARDening Your Heart

We are living in perilous times. All around the world members of the human race are plotting and carrying out new ways to afflict harm on innocent people. Daily we read about news stories of mass shootings and suicide bombers destroying people and those connected to them.  

Even as I write this I realize that tomorrow there will be new situations, new crisis, new shootings, and violence that will fill our air ways. So on one hand, it doesn’t matter when you are reading this; the same will apply to today’s news.

The more I read or listen, the more my flesh wants to react like we did in the seventies by raging out or protesting or some other form of verbal or physical outrage to combat that which should NOT be taking place in our world. 

And yet, the Bible has always been clear that there would be days like these:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Even though it is what the Bible says, it isn’t enough to calm my flesh from rising up. After all, I must do something! I find myself wanting to get on a soap box...

Yesterday, I found myself in this state of mind after two weeks of police officers being shot in two different cities, and a two year old killed in the cross fire from rival gangs, and protests over another man shot by police after a random traffic stop…

I found myself starting to be led by my flesh until I stopped and listened to what the Holy Spirit was saying. I found myself once again asking that there must be something that I could do...

The answer came deep in my heart; “Guard your heart” and “Don’t let a root of bitterness spring up”.

I recognized this as the voice of God because my mind recalled two passages of scripture:

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)

I realized that what I was being called to do was not react in my flesh but to guard the garden of my heart so that none of these sorrowful stories would cause me to react in the flesh; which rarely ends up doing any good.

And I was being called to pray:

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

Those two things would do more to help those who are grieving and wanting justice. That would be more fruitful than the alternatives.

So, what is growing in the garden of your life?

What takes up the most amount of space?

What occupies your time and attention?

What has gained prime place as your priority?

What is the chief outgrowth and production in your life? *worthless weeds or eternal fruit?

All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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