I have been struggling a lot in my spiritual life lately. Like I mentioned in my 2017 Resolutions post, my resolution for this year is to, in short, “Let Go, and Let God…” That can be such a struggle if the thoughts and desires that I hide away in my heart hinder me from fully embracing that resolution.
Whatever you do in life, it is driven by the desires and thoughts you have stored up in your heart. What you choose to eat, where you live, how you respond to people: all those decisions are based upon past experiences and your personal desires.
Let’s say your heart is a garden, and your thoughts and desires are the seeds that you plant in it. The easy thoughts are the weeds. They grow quick, and keep your garden full, but they aren’t doing it much good other than just sitting there looking shallow and discontent. They’re the thoughts that you deserve something, that your season in life isn’t good enough right now, that your body isn’t good enough, that your personality isn’t good enough. They’re the thoughts that you want this, that, and the other. In short, they are the sinful thoughts. They look nice at first, and you get excited over them when they begin to sprout in your garden; but eventually they become unkempt, ugly, and oh-so-hard to remove. Anyone who has done any sort of weeding in their life knows exactly what I’m talking about. That dandelion plant that has taken deep root into your soil that is a pain to pull out? You take a closer look past that bright sunny flower poking up at you, and you’ll realize it’s not the pretty thought you considered it to be before.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
If you let these thoughts sit and grow long enough, they eventually come to a climax, and spread seeds which then sprout up as more, and more sinful, shallow thoughts. It’s a vicious cycle if you don’t, literally, nip it in the bud.
Then there are the beautiful thoughts and desires, the ones that God plants in your heart to sanctify and help you grow in wisdom and maturity. They are slower to grow, like a rose bush or a tulip, but in the right conditions flourish incredibly. They are stifled and hidden, however, when we let those sinful, selfish thoughts take root and choke out the nourishment the beautiful thoughts need to grow and mature.
So, my question for you today is, what is growing in your thought garden? I have been asking myself this question often as I battle with myself, attempting to understand where I put my focus in life, and how to live out God’s will for me. By the grace of God, I have discovered and uprooted some of the desires and thoughts that were hindering me from serving my Lord fully. The liberty I found when they were cast out of my heart was incredible. You don’t realize the type of burden you carry until you lay it at the feet of the Cross (does a fish know it’s wet?).
Here’s a scripture verse that sums it all up pretty well:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
I hope that these thoughts of mine were in any way helpful and encouraging to you!
How do you guard your heart from unwanted thoughts and desires?