Recently, I sensed God asking me to fine tune my heart about matters concerning acknowledging Him in all my ways. The dilemma begins when trying to understand if the message is just for me, my readers, or both. I may come off sounding preachy, but I know God wants me to use my personal experiences to help others. We then must individually check our spiritual pulse, and fine tune our hearts for the notes off key.
One of my all-time favorite scripture verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I love this verse because it reflects on the heart, and it offers hope knowing God will give us direction for our life. But, if you read the verse carefully there is a condition for direction from God. We must acknowledge God in all our ways. He didn’t say most of the time, or some of the time, or whenever you are good and ready. He said all.
Let me give you an example. Your children give you tickets to the Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. It is a once in a lifetime trip and the seats are so close to the stage you can see the keys of the piano rising and falling with each note played. Just one problem, there is one key off. Every time Billy plays the note, clang! Clang! Clang! It ruins the entire concert. Very disappointing.
Still perplexed? Maybe this example will help. Let’s say your Pastor is delivering the Sunday morning message and blurts out the Lord’s name in vain? Then, a moment later, he uses another bad word to make a point. How would you feel, shocked, offended, angry? Granted, 99 per cent of his sermon was right on target, and that would be an A+ in school!
As empty nesters, my husband and I have some extra time in the evenings to catch up with one another about our day while watching a show together. We have found some good and some not so good shows to watch. The not so good shows are well made, follow a great storyline, and have won many awards. In fact, the shows have come highly recommended by countless people, reviewers, and even friends and acquaintances. So, what is the problem with the shows?
Here’s the problem with most of the shows. Why do writers, directors, and producers, feel the need to include nudity and profanity to a well written show? On top of that, the slow cultural rot has infiltrated the ratings for movies and shows, and what used to be R is now PG14, or maybe, PG13.
As we watched these recommended shows and movies my heart was convicted! We would fast forward the tape, skipping the surprise skimpiness of clothes, but there was no fast forwarding through the sudden expletives. I began to imagine God sitting beside me as I watched the program. My stomach literally turned inside me, and then, twisted my heart into a knot.
We began to realize Satan will seduce you to believe it is alright to fast forward through the scenes. But can you imagine sitting in church watching the same movie and surprising the congregation? Our family decided to be more careful with what we watch and listen to. 1 Corinthians 3:16 (TPT) reminds us “Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?”
We are a work in progress. God convicted me about how I was allowing the wrong things to clutter up my mind and heart. Like a note off key, clanging around in my head, it’s really amazing I could hear the Lord speaking to me at all! If you could hear what God is saying, over the clanging of the noise, what would He be saying to you to convict your heart? Remember, the Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short…”
Could it be your music? Could it be your fashion choices? Could it be how you speak to others? Maybe you cheer when the other team’s best player is injured? Perhaps your “Devil’s Dilemma” is you have no faults and use your time fixing others? In Psalm 139:23-24 David asks the most important question, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
As we celebrate fathers this weekend, let’s honor them by placing our Heavenly Father first in our lives. When we maintain our focus on Christ, the Word clearly says that he will direct our path. When we become comfortable, or complacent in our sin, we are on Satan’s path, and that is a road which leads to destruction.