Friday, June 12, 2015

What We Let In Our Homes and Hearts

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world…”
~Titus 2:12

While we can’t escape living in the “present world” we do have one place in which we can keep holiness and God’s word and law ever present before us. Our homes. Our homes can be a haven of godliness for us, an escape from the present world of everything that is thrown at us everyday. We have a choice of what we let in our homes. We can have a filter over our eyes and hearts, a sifter of sorts that sifts out the ungodly, unrighteous and sinful things that want to seep into the cracks of our homes. The enemy will try to slither into any small opening he sees. We all have the small crevices and cracks in our homes where the spiders enter.

“Who can find a virtuous (chayil) woman? For her price is far above rubies.” ~Proverbs 31:10

We’ve all heard this verse a million times before. Many think this woman is someone we cannot live up to. Virtuous translated from hebrew is from the word “chayil.” Chayil means strength, efficiency, nobly, excellence, mighty, valiant, warrior, and worthy. It means a woman, mother and wife of strong character. One who does not give in to the cultures lies, one who stands up under the most difficult of pressures against the deceit thrown at her, and a woman willing to stand guard at the gates of her home and tell the enemy “no!” Satan wants to crawl into our homes, catch us off of our guard, and destroy a home that pursues righteousness. If he can tear down a family after God’s heart, he will. The ‘chayil’ woman is worth far more than rubies---she walks the path of righteousness and is not weak when it comes to guarding her home for Christ.

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” ~Colossians 2:8

The last place we should be held captive by the enemy in is our homes. We can be held captive by what we let in. Entertainment, radio, going to the movies, reading the latest “fad” books (even by some Christians) are holding many people captive to false ideologies. We are influenced by those who should hold no influence over us, for they themselves are influenced by the father of lies---who is himself empty deceit.  People will think we are ‘odd’ for not being held captive by the “human traditions” of our day. (entertainment and pop culture being a ‘tradition’ we have to participate in) We should be influenced by scripture, reading our Bibles and knowing the living word of God for ourselves, and then praying for wisdom and discernment over our homes. We have to stand by our gates with strength, not expecting it to make us popular. There will be pressure to give in to seemingly ‘small’ infractions against our faithfulness to God. Yet each of these small things add up to large compromise.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8

As we filter things through God’s lens, we may find there is little that is worthy of letting in. Purity is so important because through purity we can understand deeply the ways of God and live them out practically in our day to day living. If our minds and hearts are filled with to overflowing with impurity and rebellion against God, we begin to dwell on that and it begins to block our vision of God. As we weed out the mind and heart, we can see God and His ways with clear vision--- “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

As mothers, wives, women of God, we must be ‘chayil’ women. We must stand at the gates of our homes, of our hearts and minds, and take a clear stand. The stand begins with our own heart and mind. We must filter out of our lives what is impure and holds no place in the life of a woman claiming to follow God. As we grow in this area ourselves, we can carry this on to our children and our homes. We can strive to be strong in the face of a culture that wants to break us down into it’s compromise. Taking hold of the strength of God’s righteousness and his absolute truth is a far greater investment in the future for ourselves and our children.

Prayer: “Lord, build me up in your strength and take away all my fear. You do not want me to fear standing for you and following your path. Show me how to guard myself, my home and children for you. Show me your wisdom and discernment that I may be a strong warrior for your kingdom, taking a stand for righteousness in my home. Amen.”

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” ~Psalm 24:3-4

“So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.” ~Psalm 18:24

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” ~Psalm 86:11

“ I believe that far more is done for Christ's kingdom by the holy living of believers than we are all aware of. There is a reality of such living that makes men feel, and obliges them to think. It carries a weight and influence with it that nothing else can give. It makes religion beautiful, and draws men to consider it, like a lighthouse seen a far off. The day of judgement will prove that many besides husbands have been won "without the word" by a holy life (1 Peter 3:1). You may talk to persons about the doctrines of the Gospels, and few will listen, and still fewer understand. But your life is an argument that none can escape. There is a meaning about holiness that not even the unlearned can help taking in. They may not understand justification, but they can understand love.” -J.C. Ryle

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