Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Hidden Places of the Heart

A nearby campground was recently closed due to a hidden danger. Root rot, a fungus, was attacking healthy-looking fir trees. Trees that had weathered many storms were now a danger from something that most people would never see. Trees that once gave protection could now pose a threat to those who camped nearby. To keep people safe the trees would have to be cut down. The diseased trees would be eliminated, and not only those trees but also trees that were nearby because their roots were also entwined with the diseased trees.

As I read the article in the newspaper it struck me that homes today are in a very similar state. From the outside a home may look stable, but inside there could be something eating away at the heart and soul of the family. I have seen families that look "perfect" and later see a spouse walk away from the family. Not only does the immediate family feel the impact, but also families that are close to the one that has crumbled.

What causes such disease in our homes today? Is it pornography? Bitterness? Disappointment? Distractions? There are so many things that can be the start of a disease, but nothing is impossible to treat...unless, we harbor it in our hearts and cling on to the sin. The hidden places of our hearts is where the "root rot" can form and grow in secret and silence. We might fool others, or even ourselves, but we can never hide from God. In 1 Samuel 16:7b it says, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

How can a person prevent root rot from growing in his or her life?

  • Keep short accounts with God. Make a regular habit of confessing your sins and asking God to search your heart. "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
  • Have a godly person in your life that your are totally transparent with. (Men to men and women to women).
  • Stay in the Word. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

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