You matter to God

You matter to God

Friday, January 11, 2013

Newness and Transformation

Proverbs 4:23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

               "Garbage in, garbage out." Whatever we allow into our heart will shape us and eventually create the kind of life we live. Whatever we sow into our lives, that we will harvest. If we put in the things of God, the seeds of the Word of God and meditate on them day and night, they will grow in our hearts and produce the growth and bear fruits that will show on how we live. On the other hand, if we allow the things of this world to dominate our thoughts, what we do and where we spend our time, who we listen to, then those things will influence us and shape us.

               Being a stay-at-home mom taught me a great lesson on how to spend my time. In my early days of being home, I would watch daytime shows while taking care of my baby. I watched entertainment and secular talk shows. But then, God worked into my heart. He made me realize that this habit is not helpful to my spiritual journey. The people I was watching were subtly influencing my thoughts and perspectives. I began to be conformed in some ways to the way of thinking of the world that are contrary to the biblical point of view. The opinions and lure of worldly perspectives surreptitiously crept into my own and influenced how I thought. So then, started the subtle conformation to this world. Romans 12:1-2 says: I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. I had to be decisive to choose what kind of things I should allow into my heart so that my life can be conformed to the perfect will of God in my life. I didn't want to miss out on what God wants for me because He only wants the best. I wanted my all to be centered on my relationship with God - body, mind, soul and strength. I wanted everything about me to be about Jesus. After all, my purpose in this world is to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and to love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27). So I intentionally and mindfully guarded the things I wanted to enter into my heart. I spent more time in my Bible reading and prayer time and chose to watch biblical teachings from Christian programs instead of secular talk shows, reading more of Christian authors instead of what the latest self-help books are in the market, listening to Christian music and Christian radio programs. These then became a habit. Psalm Chapter 1 was also a powerful mind opener for me as I consciously seek to guard my heart and to follow the ways God want me to take. Verses 1 to 3 says: Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.  2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.  3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 

              Guarding our heart means intentionally watching what we allow into it and sowing seeds that will eventually determine our way of life, our character. I remember I once read: "Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny." It all starts with what we let into our thought or heart. Whatever is in our heart will eventually come out. We have a choice to make. If we want to know Jesus more and love Him deeper, as in any relationships, we have to be intentional in doing things that will help that relationship grow. Personally, this world has nothing for me. As for me, I want to be intentional and mindful of what I will allow into my heart that will lead me into the springs of life, the destiny that God wants for me. As this new year had just begun, there's always newness and freshness in the Word of God that leads to transformation for His greater glory and honor.