WHAT ARE WE STORING?
One Sunday morning as Michael and I were driving to church, I commented that just in the first mile, I had counted three self-storage businesses. I laughed and said that we had paid our fair share to store things, until we eventually sold what we could and then gave the rest away. In the end, the cost of the storage far exceeded the value of the items.
Storage lockers have become a 38-billion-dollar industry. A staggering one in eleven Americans pays an average of $90 per month, $1,080 per year to use self-storage. Ironically, what we think we need to keep and store, we manage to live without for a significant amount of time. And some of what we store, we forget we have, at least that was our case.
Jesus issued a command, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). However, the nature of most people is to amass things over time, which eventually land in storage. Although we find all kinds of ways to store and protect the material things, how careful are we about what we store in our hearts?
God tells us to guard the one thing that has the greatest value —our heart. “…pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to My Words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:20-23 NLT).
God's Word instructs us not to love the world or the things in the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. For all that is in the world —the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride in possessions — is not from the Father but is from the world” (I John 2:15-16 ESV). Instead, we are to set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2 ESV). We can enjoy things but when things own our hearts, then it is sin.
Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience set the stage for mankind to succumb to all kinds of temptation. “[For] the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV).
Sin entered mankind to forever affect the mind, will, emotions, and desires. It would require the sacrificial death of God’s Son to redeem us from the curse of death and separation from God. However, that old sin nature is always lurking at the door of our heart. For that reason, God urges us to guard, watch over, and protect our hearts against damage or harm.
How do we guard the heart? The only way to guard one’s heart is by knowing the truth and that truth must come from the Word of God. Unless we embrace the truths found in His Word, we will believe the world’s many lies and deceptions.
The world is growing more dangerous and hostile with even greater deceptions to come. That is why we have been warned, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8 NIV).
We see disillusionment and confusion working in the hearts of young people and Millennials, who are captivated by socialism, witchcraft, tarot cards, psychics, astrology, the paranormal and metaphysical, clairvoyance, and the telepathic. They are embracing lies, spawned by Satan and the New Atheists, who see Christians as followers of a crude and fallacy-driven religion for the weak-minded who believe in a creator that does not exist. Ironically, these young people are leaving organized, Christian religion to embrace the New Age philosophy, astrology, and the occult, which fall into the category of being religions (faith, belief, creed, sect, church, cult, worship).
Astrology and the occult have become popular and viewed as harmless fantasy, due to movies, books, and theme parks that romanticize demons, witches, vampires, and all things supernatural. This rebranding of witchcraft also misleads people into believing that it has more to do with nature and mother earth than with demons and the occult. Sadly, all those things are demon driven and capture the minds of the curious and uninformed.
The Word of God tells us that there will be those who, because of the blindness of their heart, will have their understanding darkened through ignorance, thus alienating them from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18). For people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because they reject His knowledge. Therefore, He will reject those who reject Him (Hosea 4:6).
For argument sake, if we were to rent a storage space, would we consider the location, safety, and cleanliness of the facility? Would we ask if the facility was climate controlled and regularly sprayed for bugs and pests? If the answer is “yes,” then should we not give more attention to the condition of our heart and the spiritual cost of storing "bugs and pests" (mistruths and misinformation), that influence our decisions and what we believe?
The heart has the capacity to store many things, some of which are past hurts, sins, unforgiveness, mistakes, lies, etc. These things spiritually weigh us down and exact a heavy cost to the soul, which is the mind, will, and emotions where Satan has his playground. Therefore, it is imperative that as Christians, we remove from our hearts all misinformation, mistruths, and worldly influences that exact a daily and costly price. Only then can room be made to store the things of God within our hearts.
PRAYER: FATHER, I look to You for truth, healing, and a cleansing and renewing of my heart. Reveal those hidden things that weigh heavily upon my heart and mind. Open my eyes to Your truths. Show me any mistruths and misinformation that have taken up residence in my heart. In Jesus' name, amen.