How Important Are the Contents of Our Heart?

The text of Luke 11:24-26 reads, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” If we are not filling our hearts with the things that we ought to, in other words, if we are not filling our hearts with the things of God, we will begin to wither away and depending on how far away we have strayed we may wither away very quickly. There is work that is required to make our hearts a welcome home for God, which is what it was it was created to be. However, if we make the mistake of neglecting this work, more specifically, if we make the mistake and continue to make this mistake no matter what the reason, a deadly habit begins to develop, thus creating what will eventually become our downfall in the judgment.

Jude 3 tells us to “contend earnestly for the faith” and we also know that Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to “run with endurance the race that was set before us, looking to Jesus.” These verses imply that there is a focus that is required for us to continue to be in fellowship with God. We have been blessed with the ability to reason and to choose what we would like to do, but the reality is that there are only two choices, we can choose to focus on what is good and will lead to life or we can choose that which will lead us to death. Because of this, it is essential for us to choose to follow Christ. Colossians 3:2 calls for each of us to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Choosing to focus on God and the things He would have for us to is not just a simple word of advice but also something that we, especially as Christians, must do. Philippians 4:8 reads, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.” To ignore this admonition is to bring on the certain destruction of our own hearts.

Just how badly can a neglected heart be deteriorated? Paul gives an idea of how much one can wither away in Ephesians 4:17-19: “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Hopefully, the lesson is quite clear that there is great damage done by the simple decision to do nothing instead of striving to serve God. There is no middle ground between living righteously and living in the world. Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves, slaves, to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” To do nothing is to deteriorate. Either we choose to seek God diligently or our hearts will fall into darkness, decay — and finally death.

Oren Caskey

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