Defense Strategy

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. Proverbs 4:18-19

I lived a decent life. I tried to do right and I didn’t understand why things aren’t going well for me. After all, the gospel promises abundant life. One filled with joy and love. So why then is my life so miserable? Beat up! A mind tattered with crazy thoughts. A roller coaster. Never feeling firmly planted. Just blowing in the wind.

I’m trying so hard … with all MY might. So why then, isn’t it working. I must suck at this Christian thing. “… They do not know what makes them stumble.”

But First … Offense

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22

I didn’t understand that my mind was continually being poisoned. Even the “positive” talk was killing me; moving me further and further away from God. Words of self-preservation. Keeping me away from the covering of the Lord. Teaching me to depend on me, myself and I. And I’ll tell you, I suck as sustaining myself.

As I mature in my faith, I’m learning that I MUST keep my heart full of his word. This isn’t something “good” Christians do. It’s something “smart” Christians do. Don’t leave open space in your mind and heart. Fill it with his word, else the world will fill it with its. And those words are death.

Why His words? “… because they are life to those who find them”.

The Defensive Play

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

For me this scripture is everything. You see, I don’t have to try and “do the right thing”. I simply guard my heart and mind. I do not act right by focusing on acting right. I act right by being careful with what words are put before me. That means the people I have around me and what they say to me. That means what I watch for entertainment. That means what I chose to read.

As my pastor put it this morning, “Shut down the voices that aren’t bringing his word”.

I didn’t understand before, the life, the abundant life that comes from his word. All I have to do is fill up on it. Miraculously, these words influence my actions.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11

It’s like downloading the instruction manual into my heart. And , “everything you do flows from it.”

The World’s Best Coach

But here’s the best part … I saved the best part for last. We are not alone in this. We are not alone. I don’t have to do all the work and guard my heart alone. The bible says,

… present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Like I said before, I suck at sustaining myself. He knows this. So he made provision that if I ask for help, he will guard my heart. If I ask. It don’t get no better than that!!

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