Thursday, February 25, 2016

Be Careful What Words You Allow To Take Root In You

We must take care of what we allow to be spoken into our lives. Words are powerful things that shape us even if we think we are not allowing them to effect us. Even those without Jesus have woken up to this fact as they move to try to change the language of our youth in schools. So many suicides have happened because of the words of mean spirited people or of people who did not understand the effect of their words.

I have known many people who faced illness in the strength of the Lord. They were doing well, standing on the promises of Jesus, overcoming what wanted to destroy them, staring it down with growing faith. But then the doctor spoke his reality into their life and suddenly that reality became larger than the reality of the Kingdom and they let go of hope, giving in to the hopeless despair of this world.

One of my daughters found herself in a situation that perfectly illustrates this spiritual fact. She is a dancer and has been preparing herself for a couple of important exams. She never stands still but is always in motion, practicing and enjoying the movement of her body. She works hard at her dance and I am very proud of her grit and determination to be the best she can be.

This year is particularly difficult because she has taken on a couple of additional classes putting a greater strain on her body. She has practiced through leg and ankle pain and understands what it is to push through. But lately she started getting pain in one of her knees leading up to her exams. Then one night she was sitting down, reading, and she turned to adjust her position. She heard a loud pop and pain shot through her knee. She could not put weight on that leg without a great deal of pain.

She started wearing a knee brace and sought guidance from her dance instructors to know best how to deal with this injury. But it did not stop her from going forward. The day of her tap exam I prayed over her knee and spoke strength into her. I knew Jesus would give her what she needed. But when she got to the exam an adult who was there told my daughter, "If you were my child I would not let you do this". She spoke those discouraging words into her minutes before the exam.

My daughter took the exam and her friend told her that she could see the pain in her eyes, but my daughter did it. She did not do it because I forced her to or because I said she should. She did it because she wanted to, because she did not want all her work to go to waste. She knew who she is in the Lord; she knew her source of strength and she gave all she had to give and trusted Jesus with the rest. She rejected those discouraging words and pressed forward.

The next day my wife was at the studio with another of my daughters and that same adult was there. She spoke to my wife and lifted up my older daughter to her, telling her that she did great with the exam. Out of that difficulty my daughter's determination provoked praise from the discourager and we pray Jesus will receive all the glory for it.

This is who we are in Jesus. No words of this world have formed us. It is important that we do not allow those words to take root in us but instead we wash them away with the truth of Jesus' words and promises. If we listen to the words of this world we will be utter failures and will never complete the race. If we choose to allow God's Word to overcome everything else, we will be more than conquerors with every challenge that faces us; we will be overcomers through Jesus Christ.

Be careful what words you allow to take root in you.

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