Guard Your Heart

Philippians 4: 8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I have written to you previously about ingesting the output from the news media. I want to share with you a personal story today and put a finer point on this conversation.

I have been working very hard on making my heart more tender and more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In order for me to hear God’s voice more easily and thus more consistently I have to allow my heart to be open to Him. God works through my spirit to give me revelation and inspiration. So, I need to keep my spirit open and ready to receive from Him.

Yesterday I watched one of the morning news programs, which I do very infrequently, and I was shocked at what I saw. First there was the report of the shootings in France. There was a video clip of a police car approaching the two shooters and then the reporter announced that an officer had been shot and killed. The clip cut to the scene of the officer’s funeral.  It gave the impression that the shots we heard and saw as the police car approached killed one of the officers.

Then there was a story about a policeman in the US who shot a young man. The altercation was filmed by the video camera in the police officer’s car. Shockingly, the footage of the police officer shooting and killing the man was shown on this morning television show. I was appalled. I saw his pistol firing. I saw a person being killed, for real. That is more reality TV than I bargained for.  There was no warning that the clip they were about to show was graphic.

You will not be surprised to know that I turned off the TV and left the room. I noticed immediately that my insides were affected. I need to be open and sensitive to the Spirit of God but you cannot watch that kind of broadcasting and keep your spirit open. You will automatically begin to close down your sensitivity. You have to. Your own survival techniques respond to that over stimulation and begin to shut down your heart.

So here is my point. That kind of news reporting is not good for your spirit. However, I know that you wish to stay abreast of what is going on in the world. Here is my advice. First of all, print media, while sensational, is not as sensational as television video broadcast. It is still wise to guard your heart from an over indulgence in the negative news media regardless of the medium but at least print media and internet reporting do not have as great a negative impact on one’s spirit. Secondly, perhaps there are news sources that are not as sensational as the morning program I saw. I doubt there are many outlets sharing good news but perhaps you can find some that are not quite as extreme. 

We are living in different times. Never before have people’s spirits been so inundated with news media coverage. I believe strongly that this is not good for us. Just look at people who watch a lot of television news. Are they happy, successful, upbeat? There spirits are under the constant barrage of negativity. It is impossible for them to live in light, life and victory. God help them!

I will probably never turn on that morning program again but besides that I have made a decision to strictly limit the amount of that gunk I allow in my house. And I certainly do not want to poison my spirit with worldly pollution since my spirit is where God lives. I, like you, am the temple of God and I wish to guard and preserve that temple. I want to hear and be led by the voice of God and I cannot do that if I have closed the ears of my spirit because of the junk the world spews.

Look again at today’s verse. We are supposed to let our minds dwell on those things which are lovely, that which is excellent and worthy of praise. And truth? Jesus is the truth. It is he that our minds are supposed to dwell upon.

This is a life message. It is so important. Guard your heart for out of it flows all of the issues of life (Proverb 4: 23).

Deuteronomy 23: 5

Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you.

It is my opinion that Christians should not be feasting on the nightly news. Sure, it is good to know what is going on in the world but realize, it is the world’s news that is being reported, it’s even in the title of the news show. Those reporters are not reporting your news because you are not of the world. Does this sound trite? I hope not because this is a very important point. The news shows can only report the condition of the world. Our news is found in today’s scripture selection. We have been relieved of the effects of the curse and God has given us blessing instead.

Now here is the truth of this matter. You can have either report you wish. If you listen to and meditate on the world news tonight then that is what you will receive. If, however, you read God’s report and meditate on it, that is what you will receive. You will have whichever you give your attention to. You see Christians going the way of the world and it is heart breaking. It is because they are filling themselves with the world. We have 24 hour news channels that pump the airwaves full of doom and gloom and if we participate in it we will receive doom and gloom. It really is that easy. If, though, you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God and let His words penetrate your spirit then you are going to reap blessing even while 10,000 fall at your side.

Romans 10: 17 teaches us that faith comes through hearing. Whatever you put in your ears consistently is what you will have faith in. It is easy to develop fear in your heart. All you have to do is pump yourself full bad news. The reality is that even under the same circumstances some people will suffer while others succeed. We usually attribute the successful person with good luck but it isn’t luck. They daily program themselves to succeed. Computer programmers know this. They say, “Garbage in, garbage out.” They understand that the output can only be as good as the data input. So what input are you feeding to your spirit? It absolutely will determine whether you succeed or fail, whether you live in the blessing or wallow in the curse. And may I say, I have seen the truth of this personally. You can watch two people who are equally situated and in five years their conditions will be very different because one of them chose to listen to God while the other filled up on the world news. Your spirit can’t bear that immersion in the world. Don’t do it.

A person who will apply the Word of God to their lives will succeed even when the economic and environmental conditions are against them. Success isn’t in the stock market. It isn’t in your job. It is in the Lord our God who causes us to reap where we have not sown, who gives us a hundred-fold harvest in the midst of the famine. Our success is our inheritance from God so don’t let the doomsayers influence you. They aren’t talking about you. Your God, your Father loves you and turns the curse into blessing for you. Let His words fill your ears and your heart. Believe His report. You will be so glad you did.