January 27, 2009

 

A Silent Intruder

Susanne Scheppmann

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

 

Devotion:

The box was out of place. I held my breath in frightened suspense. I sensed someone or something had been in my home while I was away for the weekend. My eyes darted around the family room looking for signs of intrusion. Everything appeared to be in order. However, I spied a small box of dog biscuits in the middle of the kitchen floor. The biscuits were scattered and broken into small pieces. Only the box confirmed my suspicion -- everything else seemed to be in order.

 

My husband and I decided it must have been a mouse which found its way into the house through the garage and munched on the doggie treats. There was no trace of it now and our dogs were calm and indifferent. So, we cleaned up the crumbly mess and went about the evening.

 

Much later that night we snuggled on the couch watching the “Deadliest Catch.” (It’s a full-of-testosterone reality show – a man’s version of a soap opera.) We concentrated on the drama in the high seas when suddenly we were jolted by a screeching “Meoooooow!” We jerked our heads to see a giant black cat with an arched back perching on our kitchen counter. Its yellow-green eyes stared like illuminated orbs. With another cry, the intruder darted down the hallway and out the doggy door. So . . . that was the mysterious intruder. Evidently the feline had been lurking silently about in the house all afternoon with neither the dogs’ nor our awareness.

 

Like the black cat slipped into our home unannounced, sin can slink into our hearts. Sinful thoughts slip into our mind and we ignore them, believing them to be harmless. But sin is an intruder intent on damage. Sin-filled thoughts can burgeon into sinful behaviors. Our key verse today states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” It is our responsibility to keep watch for the silent intruders in our thought life. We must analyze, for instance, what we watch and listen to each day.

Let’s block our hearts’ doors from sin, because once allowed in, it can do harm. It can also be hard to get rid of – just like that sneaky cat. Our feline friend continued to return night after night through our doggy door. Finally, we found the stray cat a home.

 

We need not, however, find sin a home. There is no room for sin in our life as Christians. Let’s block the entry and be vigilant against the silent intrusion of sin by guarding our eyes, ears and hearts in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Dear Lord, Help me guard my heart against evil. Make me aware of holes in my life where sin can sneak in and make itself comfortable. Holy Spirit, teach me to live a holy life devoted to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Confessions of an Adulterous Christian Woman: Lies that Got Me There, Truths that Brought Me Back by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz

 

Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper

 

Visit Susanne’s blog

 

Application Steps: 

Mentally walk through your day’s activities. Ask yourself if there is an activity that could easily turn into sin. Example: Could chatting with a girlfriend spin out of control into gossip? Walk through your home. Is there anything in your home you would not invite the Lord Jesus to participate in with you? Example: Are there DVDs that promote ungodly behavior?

 

Reflections: 

Do I care if my life is holy and honoring to the Lord Jesus?

 

How can I be more vigilant in guarding my heart this year?

 

When am I most vulnerable to sin sneaking into my life?

 

Power Verses:

2 Timothy 1:14,Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (NIV)

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

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