Saturday, November 08, 2008

PSALM 101, GUARDING THE HEART FROM THE WORLD

Stop for a minute and reflect on how things in the world can defile our hearts or take our hearts away from the things that are the most valuable. If the heart is not secured, we will throw away the things we love most like husbands or wives, the respect of our children, the companionship of close friends, the fellowship with God and His people in the church. When sin captures the heart, a man will turn to pornography, crime, idolatry, and the general pursuit of pleasure. The heart is the very core of the man and the "heart" of who he is. It can be misled and it can be defiled if not careful. Because of the obvious danger, let us focus special attention on the heart in order to shield and strengthen it and make it fully devoted to the Lord.

Protecting the heart is the paramount issue to us all. During times of stress and uncertainty, we may forget ourselves by doing and saying things that could damage the heart. Out of bitterness or anger we might lash out and set our heart on a course away from God. Even the heart of a follower of Christ is not immune to the corrupting forces in the world. Knowing this, to protect the heart is a matter of first importance to us all. Consider the 101st Psalm as a prescription to overcome the evil and corrupting influences in our world.
"A Psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises. 2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. 3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. 6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. 7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. 8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity." Psalm 101:1-8
In no particular order, here are some directions for us concerning our hearts.

First, have integrity in your heart.
"I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart." Psalm 101:2
Next, from David's Psalm, Guard and Shield your heart from evil.
"4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure." Psalm 101:4,5
Third, worship God with all your heart. Make it a daily prayer.
4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. - Dt. 6:4
The worship of God should be seen in outward expressions like singing and giving and in an inward expression in the meditations of the heart.

Fourth, have the Word of God in your heart.
6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." - Dt. 6:6-9
And part of this is not just knowing God's will, but doing all of His will. God's own testimony of David was this, 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.' - Acts 13:22

Last, depend on God with all your heart.
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want". - Ps 23. "O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; In your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief". Ps 143. Psalm 63:6 "On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help I sing in the shadow of your wings."
The man who daily inclines his heart to God will not fall prey to Satan's schemes. He will overcome temptations. He will not lose sight of the things that are the most valuable.
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The way God hardens a heart

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