“I have hidden your word in my heart…..”
I Might Need That Sometime….
My handbag is so filled with ‘stuff’ that when we go out, and my husband hands me the car keys as we leave the car, it’s with a look of slight trepidation in his eye, knowing that I’ll probably spend five minutes rummaging through my bag trying to find them when we get back to the car.
Why do I carry so much in my handbag? Maybe in the back of my mind I think I’ll have use for my portable charger, or a mini oxford dictionary. Or who knows when a screwdriver will come in handy?
Actually, there was that one time a few years back, when our pastor was in the middle of a sermon illustration and he said “you know those measuring tapes that automatically wind back in on themselves at the push of a button? I know it’s a long-shot but I don’t suppose anyone has one with them?” Well, guess who had one! Yep, me!
Then there was that day when someone came up to me, also at church, and said ‘I was told to ask you, because you always have stuff in your bag, do you happen to have a pair of wire cutters with you?’ And I kid you not, I had that very thing!
Until very recently if you were to ask me for some obscure thing, there was a good chance I would have it my handbag. The problem was you would have needed to be prepared for a bit of a wait because it took a while for me to find anything in there among all the clutter!
So, recently I had a good declutter. It wasn’t easy to let go of some things that I’d convinced myself I just might need and I have to keep on resisting the temptation to put things back into my bag again, but I’m enjoying the lightness of my bag so much that I don’t think I will.
While I was clearing out my bag, I had this thought:
We Store Stuff in Our Hearts
Our hearts are like handbags – we choose what to fill them with and what to carry around in them.
Our hearts can become overly cluttered with ‘stuff’ that weighs us down and obscures God’s voice. We can can gather clutter from everywhere – from the rubbish we watch on TV to the dubious stuff we read and listen to, and the things we tell ourselves: the offences and old hurts that we hold onto and tuck away in our hearts, sometimes even forgetting that they are there.
We can choose what store in our hearts.
In Psalm 119:11 the Psalmist says “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I like the way the Amplified version translates it:
“Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”
‘Hidden’ here means – to store, or to to treasure. I love that!
I Will Need That Some Day….
‘That I may not sin against you’.( Second Part of Verse 11)
We store and carry God’s Word in our hearts to live by on a daily basis and to ‘bring out and use’ when we need it. And we will definitely need it, every single day of our lives. There will be days when we need to encourage our own hearts. There will be days when we will want to encourage and build up someone else with truths from the Word of God’s. Remember how my friend came and asked me for wire cutters and I happened to have them? I wonder, had he he asked me instead, “what does God’s Word say about this particular issue I’m struggling with?”, how long it would have taken me to “find” that particular treasure in my heart? It’s bound to be in there somewhere, but would it have been obscured by clutter? Would my ‘stuff’ have been in the way?
How can we draw on the beautiful truths and promises of God’s Word if we can’t remember them; if we can’t find them in our hearts because they’re obscured by clutter?
Packing in The ‘Right Stuff’
Do you find at times that you have to wrack your brain trying to remember a verse that you know part of, but you just can’t remember where it comes from or the exact context? I often hear scripture or parts of verses quoted totally out of context in TV programs and movies – but that’s for another blog post! Many Christians walk around with little snippets of Bible verses tucked away – and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s an even better thing to really study the Word of God; to “ write it on the tablet of your heart”.( Proverbs 7:3 )
Then, when the time comes that we want to find those Truths that we know are in there somewhere, we won’t have to rake through clutter to find them.
Deuteronomy 11:18-20 tells us: “commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,”
This doesn’t sound like “Bible pick ‘n mix” does it? This is packing for life!
Taking a screenshot of a Bible verse from Social Media, no matter what that verse is and how much it ‘spoke’ to you, cannot substitute real connection with God through studying His Word for yourself .
Our God is real. His Word is living and active, and it’s where He meets us and connects with us!
Let’s Do a Clear-out
After I decluttered my handbag, I noticed that my shoulders weren’t aching anymore from lugging around that heavy bag of unnecessary stuff. My clutter hurts me and others.
God doesn’t want that for us. Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 )
Let’s make a point of eliminating clutter today. Let’s throw out all that heavy clutter that weighs us down, such as offence, distractions, old wounds, fear and doubt. Clutter such as faux truths, and quasi-religious trappings.
Let’s make room for The Truth, and carry just the necessities in our hearts; The Truths of The Word of God: What God says about you and others. God’s opinions, God’s thoughts.