Guard Your Heart – So You Don’t Get Slimed!

Proverbs 4:20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

This week, I got a very hard lesson about getting slack. My swim spa, which I saved up for and bought and used to swim in regularly got ignored this summer. I didn’t swim, and even worse, I didn’t keep up the maintenance. The result is an oily, slimy, sticky bacterial surface that has coated the inside, all the jets, the filter, and my HANDS, and no matter what I do, I CANNOT GET IT OFF. Every time I wash my hands, my hands get sticky and stick to the paper towel!

God, of course, used this as a warning about getting slack in my devotion to Him. It reminds me of Revelation where He warns the churches about forgetting their first love and becoming lukewarm toward Him, and Proverbs 4:23 which says to make sure you guard your heart, because everything you do flows from it. It doesn’t take much to get our attention on other things we think are more pressing, and in our hurry, we forget the very basics that we need, like sleep, healthy eating and exercise, or in my case, shocking the spa and cleaning the filter.

The same thing happens with our spiritual life. We get our eyes off of Him, we start hankering after things that feed our lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We neglect the very basics of reading His Word, praying and spending time alone quietly in His presence, and fellowshipping with His body so that we can encourage each other and build up each other’s faith (and be sharpened by one another as well). The result is a slimy, sticky, icky residue that covers our minds and hearts, and we become more selfish and less compassionate, more isolated and less connected, more “I got this” and less “Jesus Take The Wheel.”

There will be consequences. In that natural for me, probably at least $300 in expenses and hours of hard labor, as I have to clean the spa, refill and flush the spa, clean it again and then re-fill it. But the spiritual consequences of getting slack on relationship with God (not dos and don’ts, not rules and regulations, but simply spending time in His presence listening to Him) means we feel alone and abandoned, stressed at the thought we have to figure every problem out and find a way to fix it all by ourselves, and unloved because we won’t spend time with the One who wants to pour His love out upon us. Both sets of consequences are unnecessary and totally avoidable if we only will make Him a priority every day and do what we know we should do (instead of getting lazy and saying we’ll do it tomorrow, which never comes).

So I encourage you to spend some time alone with Him every day, before you life becomes covered in the slime of the world and the enemy, and you have to spend time cleaning up your life instead of moving forward in the great things of God. Let my lesson be a warning to everyone else!

Questions for the day:

1. What area of your basic relationship with Christ has been falling to the wayside, pushed out of the way by more “pressing and urgent” worldly things?
2. What can you do to make sure you do it every day?