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Would you accept a blood transfusion from someone with AIDS?

Would you eat brownies that had just a little bit of doggie poop mixed in?

Would you want to drink water every day that was laced with a little bit of arsenic?

Would you ask someone with a nasty case of the flu to sneeze right in your face?

You could do all those things, but do you really want to?  The Bible says that everything is permissable for us but it’s not all beneficial to us.  Why is that such a hard lesson to learn?  It seems to be one of those a lot of people have to learn the hard way, after negative stuff has stained their heart and life.

I know the enemy seeks to devour all of us but lately I’ve become acutely aware of the battle raging for my daughter’s heart.   Unfortunately when we give him an inch, well you know… 

In each disrespectful or defiant word, in each choice to disobey or be involved in something in the “world”, it’s as if satan gets right in my face with cruel satisfaction.  “Ha!” he says, “There’s nothing you can do about it.”  That’s where he’s wrong.  It’s true I can’t be everywhere she is, I can’t intercept text messages or facebook chats, I can’t prevent much of what she sees or hears at school and away from home, I can’t monitor every conversation.  The truth is she needs to make her own choices.  She has to choose for herself whether or not she will guard her heart.  If I could guard it for her I would!

There IS something I can do:  I can pray.  And I am.  Boy howdy, I am.  Satan has no real power over my family.  He is tricky though.  He doesn’t force himself on anyone but slowly and subtly slithers up to bait them down his wide and seemingly inviting path.  He doesn’t even want us to know he is the one trying to influence us.  He lies, he disguises himself, whispers flattery, makes us think we’re spiritually invincible so it doesn’t matter.  He wants us to think we can watch, listen to, and participate in everything and it makes no difference.

It makes all the difference!  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  NIV In another translation it says “…for it determines the course of your life.”  NLT

Did you see the movie Batman Begins?  A power-crazed criminal who has developed an intense hallucinogenic fear toxin plans to inject it into the central hub of the city’s water supply so the entire population would be “infected”, so paralyzed by fear that he would be in control and ruin the city, watching it become overrun by crime.  Thankfully, Batman saves the day and prevents it from happening.

Our hearts are the central hub of supply to our whole bodies – physically and spiritually.  We can’t expect our hearts to remain pure, our feet to remain on the narrow path, our loyalty to remain only with Jesus, if we allow anything and everything to be injected into it.  I’ve heard so many Christians say (including my girls), “I can handle it.  It doesn’t affect me.”  That’s garbage.  Even if you have the best intentions, you can only live off of what you’ve allowed into your heart and body. It shows to everyone around you.  Jesus said, A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45

I have to admit:  when I was younger, mostly during my early college years, I made some stupid choices and watched things I shouldn’t have, entertained thoughts I should have dismissed immediately, acted selfishly as a result and did some things I know hurt God.  I’m thankful He forgave me.  I finally realized, in a loving rebuke from a good friend, that my behavior wasn’t matching my claims of being a follower of Jesus.  I wasn’t happier or better off.  As a matter of fact I was restless, felt guilty a lot of the time and far from God.  Of course, I still have to guard my heart, there are pollutants disguised as enticing pleasures all throughout life.

I pray my girls will hear and listen to His voice in their hearts and allow only good in.  I pray God will give them the strength to filter through all the filth that is all around them and in their faces every day so their hearts will remain clean and spiritually healthy.  I hope they’ll realize they can’t have it both ways – with Jesus and with the world.  Even a little bit of filth pollutes all the clear water of a pure heart.  I’m at a point as a parent when I just have to watch and see what they will choose.

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. I Corinthians 6:12  NLT

Jesus said, “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”  Matthew 5:7  The Msg

Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:21 The Msg