PUT YOUR HEART TO THE TEST: ARE YOU REALLY WALKING IN THE LIGHT?

By: Katie Runnels

Where do you stand?  Where is your heart?  Do you see this world for what it is? Are you afraid of what others think about you? Are you really walking in the light like you might think you are?  Keep reading, and you will find out.

In the following teaching, Jesus tells us that our choices (where we spend our time and energy) determine where are heart truly is.  And where our heart is determines whether we live in the Light or in dark. Are our hearts in this world?  If so, we are living in darkness.  Or are our hearts above this world? Are our hearts consumed with The Christ.  If our hearts are with Christ, we will walk with him.  We live like him.  He is our guide.  He is our treasure.  His values are our values.

Have you taken the time to see what matters to Christ? Have you taken the time to assess your life and figure out if you are sowing seeds with earthly value or heavenly value? Do you see this earth for what it really is? PUT YOUR HEART TO THE TEST.

If your heart passes the test, and you spend your time and energy on things that matter to Christ, you are full of light.  However, if you discover that your time, money, and energy are spent on ego, fleeting material wealth, image control, and avoidance of conflict and truth (emotional laziness), I hate to break it to you, but your world is VERY DARK!!

Stay with me, though.  Do you want to be full of light?  Or do you want to be full of darkness?  My guess is that you want to be full of light.  Being  full of light or darkness depends, then, on your perception God (Jesus), yourself, money, and others.  Further, your “lightness” depends on how much value you place on each of these things. You can have right perceptions but not act on it.  This is worthless, and darkness will soon follow…

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

There is no mystery in Jesus’ first command here.  It is simple: Do NOT store up
(save) for yourselves things that are of earthly value.  I think of jewels, castles, land, money, oil, money, education, money….status, ego, money, physical beauty, fame, popularity, money…..all the things we often spend so much time and energy obtaining.  Why is money listed again and again? Money can buy beauty, fame, popularity, power, education, careers, status, and so on.

Think of how much time you worry about money….  Further, how much time do you worry about how you look–your physical appearance?  Do you care a lot about what others think about you?  Are you afraid of rejection?

This is all about your fragile image.  Your ego.  Are they a little inflated? Have you behaved in the utmost integrity and honesty in all your dealings–or have you told a half truth to spare your image?  Have you let someone else suffer because you were afraid of how you would be perceived by others?

Most of us have had this dilemma.  This is a very common temptation.  Jesus is saying here to “LET IT GO! IT IS FLEETING. IT WILL NOT LAST. IT DOES NOT MATTER.  CARE ABOUT WHAT I CARE ABOUT.”

In verses 20-21 when Jesus  says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Where where you put your time and energy is where your treasure is.  And where your treasure is…there also is your heart.

Are you spending the majority of your time and energy on protecting your earthly assets?  Are you protecting your image?  Are you caring too much about the opinions of others? So much that you are not worthy to be called a “follower of Christ.” Do you care about looking like a “good Christian” or do you care about BEING a REAL Christian? Where is your energy?  Where is your time?  WHERE IS YOUR HEART?

How many hours and how much mental and emotional energy to you spend on thinking about your physical surroundings? How much do you worry about earthly possessions and future security?

Get your heart in the right place.  These things are an illusion and a waste of your precious time and energy.  They serve no purpose in heaven.  In other words, they serve no purpose in a spiritual sense.  And we are spiritual beings. Jesus will take care of your every need.  Simply trust him. Focus on spiritual things.  Focus on what matters to Jesus.

About what does Jesus Christ care?  Where did he spend his time and energy?  He spent his time an energy on cultivating relationships, speaking the truth, and healing those where sick.  He spent his time and energy loving people.  Jesus did not give mere “lip service.” Jesus cared about the wellbeing of people.  He “walked” with them. He walked among the prostitutes, tax collectors, invalids, outcasts, and uneducated. Jesus was constantly being judged for the people with whom he spent time.

Are you getting judged because you are in the trenches with the outcasts?  Or have you taken the easy way out avoided “judgment” because of your “fear of man.”

If you put too much emphasis on the things that do not matter, then you are neglecting that which has eternal value.  If this is the case, you are living in darkness. I am sorry to break it to you!  If you are not seeing this world for what it is, then you are really not seeing at all.  And if you are blind, then you are full of darkness:

“The eye is the lamp of the body.  Your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Eyes are our ways of perceiving reality.  If our perception is jaded,  then we are living in the dark.  There is hope, though.  You can very quickly be full of light by getting your heart in the right place.  You can let go of those thoughts, efforts, worries, and entrapments of this world by seeing them all as illusions and distractions.  Then, focus you attention first and foremost on cultivating your spirit–through right thinking.  Keep this light by putting your mind daily on things that matter to God: giving to the poor, speaking kind and healing words, forgiving, and praying for those in need–or those who have cursed you.  Spend your time and energy in the Spirit, and everything else will take care of itself.

This is directly connected to our perception of earthly treasures.  If our perception is that earthly treasures are of so much value that we spend the majority of our time and energy obtaining them, then we are most definitely in the dark.  If however, our perception is clear, we will see that the things of this earth indeed are not a reality at all.  They will soon all pass away.  The reality is the all things of the Spirit.  Putting our time and energy into living a spiritual life that focuses on building relationships and meeting the needs of others is of the utmost importance.  This is clear perception. This is reality.  This is living int he light and having the Light within us.

Prayer:  Please give me your vision.  I give my heart to you.  Remind me to only think on things that have value to you, Jesus.  Amen.

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