Guard Your Heart
(Part#4 - Bare Feet Among the Thorns)
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publication
Keep [guard] your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Have you ever seen a grown man tramp on a thorn? It's really quite hilarious, although not when it happens to you or me. A man strong enough to bend steel will hunch over his foot and whine like a baby if he steps on a thorn.
"Here, let me pull it out," his wife says.
"No, no, no, don't touch it," he says as though she threatened his life.
"Well, you have to get the thorn out, silly."
"I know, I know," he says with a childish quiver in his voice, "but be careful."
One minute he is strutting with poise and dignity and the next he is crumpled over like he has been shot . . . stopped dead in his tracks.
Thorns in the heart have the same crippling affect. That is the picture Jesus drew in Matthew 13:1-23: a most worthy read.
Jesus said that two varieties of thorns can hinder our lives: worryof the world and the deceitfulness of riches.
Worry is rooted in self-deification; it is the agitation you feel when you want to be in control but it is not working. Oswald Chambers said, "Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we are, yet it is actually a much better indication of how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way."1
Worry is a thorny sin in the heart. The time is now to tear the thorns of worry out of your heart. This is not God's job, it is ours. He made you the gardener of your heart and told you to guard it.
He never promised to make life easy. He did promise, however, to go with you through this troublesome world and deliver you in the end. Worry is an indictment against God's competency to fulfill that promise. That is pure evil.
When it comes to wealth, Jesus never said wealth is wrong. It is the deceitful messages whispered by wealth that fill the heart with thorns. Wealth whispers that you are superior, you are better, you are deserving and that you are important.
Be wise about what you own. What you possess will possess you. Solomon put it this way: "There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture.2
Steadfastly guard your heart from the thorns of worry and wealth. They will keep trying to grow back. Rip them out and burn them.
Then, enriched soil will fill your heart, the kind in which Jesus can bear much fruit.3
Immanuel: God is with you!
1My Utmost for His Highest July 4
2Ecclesiastes 5:13-14 ESV
3See John 15
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