Monday, August 9, 2010

Above ALL

Isn’t it amazing how whatever you are around influences your thoughts and actions without your realizing it? Let me give you an everyday, simple example in hopes of illustrating a much bigger point. My children and my husband, yes, I said my husband, are fans of a certain cartoon series that apparently is pretty popular in the world of kids and tweens. Not sure where the husband fits in to that age group, but he likes it just as much. It would surprise many of you, especially those who know only his “serious side”, to know that there are times when I go through the living room and him snicker and even laugh loudly at times as a result of the actions of a duckbilled platypus dressed in a hat. It seems that this show is on every time our TV is turned on, and I am on the verge of going “radical”, as I have been known to do with other shows, and ban it from being watched in our home. It’s like it has them in a trance and they are reeled in like fish to bait.

I acknowledge that I have never actually sat down and watched an episode of said cartoon series, and that fact itself is what surprises me when I realize how much this show has affected my thoughts and actions. I can be in the middle of my work day and not have heard one blip from or about this animation for the entire day, and I will hear the little jingle playing in my head at random. My coworker who sits next to me probably thinks I have totally flipped my lid when she overhears the tune and lyrics “Doofenshmirtz Evil, Incorporated” rolling off my lips. Lucky for me, she has a son in the same age group as my girls, so she can at least identify. If it isn’t the jingle playing in my head, it’s the voice of the character “Candace” tormenting my brain. She is the older sister of the main characters and snitching on her brothers is apparently the entire purpose of her existence. For some reason hearing a tattle-tale makes me feel quite a home!

Did you notice I know an awful lot about that show to not have ever sat down and watched it?

The same holds true with us in relation to things that influence our hearts and lives. God instructs us in His word several times to be on guard, one of those times is in Proverbs 4. It tells us in beginning in verse 20 to pay attention, to listen to His instruction, to keep them in our hearts because they bring life to us, but in verse 23 it goes on to say, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Above ALL else. Above all – above everything we guard, our heart is to be guarded above everything else. Why is that? I believe we can see an answer to that question in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” No wonder we need to guard our hearts, they can be polluted so easily by what we are around. If I am around an influence long enough, even if I wasn’t of the same opinion at the beginning of the exposure, given enough contact, it will eventually pollute my heart, and my heart will become deceived before I recognize it has happened.

I didn’t set out to learn all about the cartoon series, but with it playing in the background as I type even now, I bet tomorrow I will be able to tell you something about the episode even though I wasn’t interested in it at all. This is but a simple example of a greater issue, my heart is where I make a home for my Lord, so I must ABOVE ALL be very careful and selective about what I allow to influence it, to prevent it from becoming sick and deceived.

Father, I bow my knee confessing to You that my heart is not always clean, it is easily deceived and ask You to cleanse my heart from any deceit that I have allowed to pollute it. I pray that my discernment would become sharper for things that would influence my heart negatively and ask You for strength and courage to remove myself from those situations in the very moment I sense Your Spirit speaking to me. Give me your wisdom about what I allow to speak into me, for what is spoken into me is what I will eventually speak into others and I only want to speak You into them. Nothing else. May my heart be a carrier of your life and your love to those I come across. I pray that people I associate with, people I meet, people I merely cross paths with will feel your presence after our encounter. To You be all glory.

By the way, the episode was about Paris being the city of love - I got that and I wasn’t even listening, it was just background noise. Interesting huh?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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