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Listen to me. Never let anxiety enter your hearts. ~ Jesus (Luke 12:22 TPT)

How do you guard your heart?

As I scanned through Luke 12 this morning, I was struck by how many times in this address, or this collection of addresses, Jesus gave instruction on what I would consider emotional control, or emotional intelligence.

The chapter starts with,

Don’t fear those who may want to take your life, but nothing more. (Luke 12:4 TPT)

Followed closely with,

The one you must fear is God (5)

A few paragraphs later we have,

Don’t worry about defending yourselves or be concerned about hot to answer their accusations. (11)

Next Jesus tells them,

Be alert and guard your heart from greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. (15)

Still further down the page,

Never let anxiety enter your hearts. Never worry about any of your needs, such as food or clothing (22)

And finally,

Don’t let worry enter your life. (29)

So with all that, I ask you, whose in charge of your emotions?

I know hormones and sleep and health (or lack there of) all play into your emotional state. I know there are chemical tricks your body can play on you, and sometimes the forces that would attack your peace are immense.

That’s why we must be super vigilant in the guarding of our hearts.

That’s why it’s imperative to stay in God’s word.

That’s why it’s important to stay in fellowship with folks who will stand with you and help you fight these external enemies.

I’m not saying “suck it up” and “stoic” your way though emotional valleys. There are things that are out of our control. I get that.

But we must do our part.

If you find certain activities bring you down, or draw you into lust, or greed, or anxiety, follow Solomon’s advise.

Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. - Proverbs 4:15 NASB

In the same way we must guard against the feeling of condemnation. Don’t let any outside influence (including this post) wiggle it’s way into a place of condemning you. If you are in Christ condemnation can only come from the mouth of the liar.

Today, make choices that guard your heart.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by.

Shine where you’re screwed in.

Ben

16

Condemned

In the midst of the strong words of Jesus, I want to take a minute and talk about how Jesus corrects His children. This is really important. It is really easy for us to get into a tailspin when we feel the rebuke of the Lord, and that is not His intention.

There are 2 parts to this issue.

The first thing is to distinguish Condemnation and Conviction.

The other important issue is how you deal with it.

Condemnation is vague. Perhaps it has spoken these words in your ear: “You will never get it right.” “You always hurt people.” “You call yourself a Christian?” These sound strangely like what the accuser once said to Jesus “If you are the Son of God…”

Condemnation leads nowhere but down and away from Jesus. It crushes your spirit and is not redemptive in any way. It is the voice Adam and Eve heard in the garden once they had eaten of the worlds fruit something told them they were naked – exposed – vulnerable – out from under the protection of their wonderful creator. Jesus says to them (yes, I know it was God, but anytime I see God in human form – like walking in the garden in the cool of the day, I figure it is Jesus) “who told you that you were naked?” The clear implication is that their whole cover-up was rooted not in the words of God, but another voice.

Condemnation’s voice is far different than that of conviction. It comes in the voice of the accuser. satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” and as such He is always pointing fingers.

Condemnation is the voice of hell!

Conviction on the other had is 100% redemptive.

Conviction is specific. The first indication that it is God speaking correction rather than satan speaking junk, is specificity (don’t try to say that out loud – it will get your tongue in a knot.) The Holy Spirit speaks to your heart in clear and actionable correction. If you have no idea how to fix what is wrong, after a time of prayer, seeking His face, it is probably not His voice.

Conviction is an invitation! (I wish I could some how convey what a big deal this is! Let me try just saying it again.)

Conviction is an invitation! (Let me try a different color.)

Conviction is an invitation! (Are you getting it – let me explain.) When the Holy Spirit convicts, it is a gift card to the repentance store.

Repentance is not something you can buy with your self-punishment, or with some period of time spent weeping, or feeling stupid or pathetic.

Repentance is a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25,) and the exciting part is when God gives repentance it is the doorway to freedom. If you will accept the gift of repentance (change of mind – aka renewal of your mind) you will find yourself free from the pattern of thought or action that got you into this mess in the first place (see 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.)

This is sooo big – don’t miss it!

God’s gifts are completely effective. They never fall short. If you will accept the gift of repentance and fully walk it out, you will be free.

Let me recapitulate – Conviction is an invitation to FREEDOM! (not license – freedom)

Conviction points out areas of slavery in your life, and sets you on your own Freedom Road. [Tweet This]

For a detailed description of how to walk out repentance and break through to freedom check out my post “Repentance, The Path To Comfort

One caveat - There is a condemnation that comes from God - that is the condemnation resting on every man who has not given his life to Jesus Christ. (John 3:18, 36)

I pray this helps.

Thanks for coming by.

Ben

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