by Myron Leavitt
The Bible tells us that our heart is deceitfully wicked and who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) But it also says in Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” That tells us that whatever’s going on in our hearts is going to manifest itself in our minds and our lives. That’s why it’s so important that we protect our heart at all costs.
One of the things people ask me all the time is, “How have you survived all these years?” I’ve been a Christian for 30 years. My wife and I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of people that we have known over the years who started strong in their faith, but then just fizzled out and they’re no longer serving God today. When the question is asked, how do you survive for so long?, I often think of them. How am I still here, loving and serving God?
Here’s the key: Keep your heart right.
At all costs.
People are going to hurt you. People are going to say things about you. There’s going to be confrontations and there’s going to be issues of life. But we have to come back and say, “No, I’m going to keep my heart right.”
We can all make excuses for not keeping our hearts. We can make excuses for being bitter and angry and hateful to other people. It’s very difficult to keep the heart right, but if you invest the time and energy, the reward is that your thoughts will stay right, too.
Have you ever recognized this in your own life–that your mind follows your heart?
Maybe you’re going through a rough patch with a family member and you tend to hold grudges, even though you know you’re not supposed to. When you hold this grudge, you start thinking about the next step you’ll take to retaliate and take revenge. They’ve hurt you and now you want to hurt them.
We think about it and then our minds just start rolling with all the bad things that have happened. But it’s at that point that we can stop it by saying, “You know what, I’m not going to allow that to stay in my heart. That needs to get out of me. That’s not a part of who I need to be as a Christian.”
Instead, we tend to harbor bitterness. We harbor the anger. We harbor the resentment, and then it begins to affect the way we think about people.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
First Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Who gives us what? Victory! We have the victory!
We want to get our mind on the path to victory because way too often we are living in defeat. The enemy has pulled up a chair to the table of your mind and said, “I’m gonna park right there.” And we as Christians allow it! Instead of saying, “You don’t get to sit at my table.”
I want everybody to understand how important this is. We’re living in defeat because we’re allowing the devil to sit at our table and just constantly throw ideas into our mind. Instead of saying, “You don’t belong at this table. This is an intimate table between me and my Savior and you don’t belong here because He’s already given us the victory.”
We know that we already win in the end; we have to keep that in mind all the time and not forget that foundation of our faith in our day-to-day lives.
But how does that work? When the enemy is lying to us, you have to take authority over the thoughts and exchange them with the truth from God and His word.
Let me ask you a question. Anybody else notice that the thoughts that are in your head sound exactly like you? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if when you heard a thought from God, He would say, “This is God speaking.”
Wouldn’t that be amazing? But He doesn’t do that. Instead, it’s this quiet little whisper. Why? Why is it that most of the time when we hear from God, it is a whisper?
The devil is screaming at us, “Do this! You’ll never be happy if you don’t run after money, you’ll be broke.” Or maybe, “You’ll never amount to anything in life.” Or maybe something completely different.
Meanwhile, God is whispering, “Just trust me. I got this.” It’s just a whisper. Do you know why?
Because you have to be close to hear.
When Paul tells us that we are fighting from a place of victory, that should give us a confidence that we would not normally have. If we’re fighting from a place of confidence, we know and understand that God has our back.
This is amazing. I want all of us to understand when we’re going through issues of life: God has our back. All the time.
He says, “That’s my son. That’s my daughter.”
So, what are some of the weapons that followers of Christ have available to us on the path to victory?
- The word of God. Gotta have that sword in your hand, not your back pocket or a dusty bookshelf.
- Prayer, prayer, prayer. Such a powerful weapon! If you don’t pray, start now. And it doesn’t have to be an hour-long prayer. Start out with a five-minute prayer in the morning.
- Fellowship. What does that even mean? It’s important to build friendships in the house of God so when you’re going through an issue, you can get hold of somebody and say, “Hey, can you pray for me? I’m really going through something right now. I don’t want to dump it all out on you. I just need a friend who can pray.” or, “I just need to get together with somebody who loves God and we can drink some coffee and just encourage one another.” Anybody ever need some encouragement? That’s the problem with most of the world—they don’t have any friends or all the friends they have are bad friends. That’s why it’s so important to have fellowship with your brothers and sisters in the church.
- Your testimony is the fourth weapon you have and if you look at Revelation 12:11, it tells us you overcome the enemy by the blood of Jesus. That’s our fifth weapon–the blood of Jesus. The blood that He shed on Calvary’s cross is a weapon to attack hell with. There’s one critical reason why those two things are so important. Nobody can argue with them! Nobody can argue with the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. That He died on the cross and rose again is the best-recorded event in all of history. You cannot argue with the blood of Jesus and no one can argue with your testimony, either. You know better than anybody else what God has done in your life.
Remember 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
All things become new!
Everything that I used to be, I am no longer. Because I’m a new creation in Christ.
Not that we’re perfect. Absolutely not.
We just know what path we’re on.