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Seeds of the Kingdom

Guard Your Heart

by Paul Lawrence

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23, NIV

Language is amazing. We speak with different accents and a lot of people even manage to speak more than one language. With language we can tell where someone has spent time, where they were born, and, in Britain, it’s possible to work out which village someone is from.

I myself have an unusual situation with language. My mother’s British and so is my father, and yet everyone in Britain says that I’m from Africa when I speak. The reason for this is that I spent most of my years growing up there. Mixing with people from Africa, where I was born, influenced the way I spoke and used language, and even had an effect on the way I acted, from a cultural perspective. You wouldn’t have guessed that my home culture was British.

However, an interesting thing is now happening. When I went back to Africa for a visit people said I was from Britain. I’ve spent so much time in Britain that my accent has changed, enough for people in my home country to start asking where I’m from. If you live long enough in a place it influences the way you speak.

The same thing happens in our lives when we get into the wrong places. If we start spending time in bad company it starts to corrupt our character and our walk with the Lord. The bible says ‘Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

What we feed ourselves starts to have an effect on our lives. The things we speak about are influenced by what’s in our heart. Jesus said ‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45).

So we need to guard our heart, and be careful where we spend most of our time, as it affects our heart, our relationship with the Lord, and influences the way we speak and think.

The question today is: Where are you spending most of your time, and is it starting to influence your heart? Are you starting to recognise a change in your accent and thinking? Are you straying into the wrong areas and staying there too long?

Prayer: Father, I pray that You will help me guard my heart from areas that influence me in a way that’s negative. I want to keep my heart and mind pure before You so that when I speak people know that I’m Your child and out of my mouth will flow Your words of life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Paul Lawrence is the Centre Director at Ellel Grange, UK and is married to Anne, who is the Deputy Centre Director for the Grange. He has lived in Africa for over 20 years and China for 5 years. His passion is to see the Lord do bigger and greater things in peoples lives that they cannot do on their own, not just in healings but also in the fun things of life. His belief is that nothing is ever big enough and as a team we can achieve anything if the Lord is at the centre.

 

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