Scripture

What I learned on a zip line in the Rockies

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Several years ago I attended a Wild at Heart Boot Camp, hosted by John Eldredge and company, in Colorado. God spoke many things to me during that weekend retreat. How could I not hear him in the grandeur of the Rockies?

During the weekend we had opportunities for moderately safe adventures, including hiking and repelling. Some men went fly flishing too, though I’m not sure there’s much danger in that. There would have been if I’d gone along. The men I went with, which included the elders of my church at the time, decided to take part in a sort of obstacle course, one that included a zip line high among the evergreen trees. It was quite a long course, so by the end you’d grown so accustomed to the harness you didn’t realize it was even there.

Well, the last leg of the course involved leaping from a ledge about 25 feet high and grasping a metal bar some six feet away from where I stood. If I missed, well, then I’d plummet to certain death. Surely it was more like 100 feet high. I did, in fact, miss the bar, but was held by my harness and lowered slowly down to earth, admittedly upside down like a turtle on its back.

I was never in danger, though it felt like it. Such is life when you trust in God. I’ve grown so accustomed to his harness that sometimes I forget it’s there and I become anxious about what I shouldn’t fear. Other times God is pushing me to jump from the ledge, which conflicts with my own understanding of the situation. But the harness is strong enough to hold me. And you.

The Wellspring of Life

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

If I don’t keep watch over my heart, it can dry up from bitterness or envy or lust or anger. The psalmists prayed introspectively, that God would shine a light into the hidden recesses of the heart. Solomon exhorts his son to be ever on guard concerning what enters the heart and what is permitted to remain there.

Andy Stanley, writer and pastor of North Point, an Atlanta-area megachurch, often speaks of this verse, how he would ask his kids every night when he tucked them in, “How’s your heart? Is everything all right in there? Are you upset with someone? …” What a wonderful discipline, to search our hearts. How much easier it would be to get rid of the weeds of sin before they’re able to firmly take root.

Jesus said that out of the heart comes all manner evil (see Mark 7:21-23). We are inherently evil, but Jesus made it possible for us to become regenerated (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet how often do we nullify the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts by pouring evil right back into it?

This is especially important for me personally, because I tend to expose myself to art and media whose aim isn’t to honor Christ. My choice of music isn’t always “positive and encouraging,” for instance. I have to be careful what I let seep into my heart.

Let us trust and let us be on guard.

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