"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are no longer children of this dark and dying place, even as I am not.
I do not ask that you remove them out of this world,
but that you keep them safe from the evil one;
for they are no more the children of darkness than I am.
Make them holy by your truth,
for your word is truth."
A bank manager once told me she can know in real time what, on any given day, activities a customer is engaged in by the use of their debit cards. With most of us sharing our souls on social media while the government is collecting massive amounts of data from our credit cards, internet use, cell phone and medical records, the definition of our lives is rapidly falling into the hands of others who deem themselves capable and empowered to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.
The surest way to measure perception vs reality is to open your heart to the Truth.
Let's say you think you are a good money manager and generously give to help others. Is that true? How would you know it is true? In How To Manage Your Money, the late author Larry Burkett, suggests that if you really want to know what you spend your money on, look at your checkbook register. The previous six months of spending, if organized by category, is the most revealing indicator of our priorities, values and treasures...not our intentions.
But even if the facts support your claim, are you still true? The Apostle Paul admitted that even if he gave all his money to the poor but didn't have love, i.e., wasn't moved by the highest, deepest, and noblest of which God could make him capable, it meant nothing. The only thing that gives our actions true meaning is how closely they measure up to Jesus, The Word of God: the flesh & blood, observable meaning of God's Truth and Grace.
A very real and present danger is the presence in this world of the original "Identity Thief", the evil one, who relentlessly fills our minds with lies and confusion about our salvation, our birthright, our place near God's heart. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus pledged and gave the highest of which he was capable to make us merry children around His Father's throne!
But it is still our responsibility to guard our minds and hearts from the attacks. Let us make this a daily pledge: to desire not one thing we'd be ashamed of before God and His universe.That is a good place to start.
The Truth is out there ...may it be in us moving us closer and closer to our God-born potential for God-likeness!