Matthew 6:20-21 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Our first-born son literally stole our hearts. Nights that were filled with activity, dining out, meeting friends, were replaced with rattles, toys, diapers, singing him to sleep and just watching in awe, the little man that God had given us! Hours would pass by as we would lie on the floor and watch as he grasped our finger, took notice of Mom’s voice when she spoke and looked on in wonder at the new world into which he had been brought.
He had stolen our heart!
Our lives were forever changed the day we brought him home. Another son and our hearts once again grew to love him as well. Seeing our boys grow to love each other, play together and become best buddies was a sight to behold. Then, a precious daughter. There is a special bond between a Dad and a daughter. She stole my heart. She was a joy to be with, to hold and to see her grow. Another son and once again, our hearts grew with more love and our family was complete.
Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Each and every one of our children are special, unique and hold a very dear place in my heart. We interact differently, we have different things in common, but there is a bond that was formed and has grown through the years. Investments of time and tears; money and mileage, have all made up a closely knit group called ‘family’.
There are things that affect us, influence us, pull us and change us. Life events such as marriage, children, the death of a parent, grandchildren and old age all happen upon us and they leave their mark. We become influenced and quite literally changed because of those events and the people in them.
But not all are rosy, idyllic and worthy of embracing. The sudden death of an infant, a broken marriage, rebellion in the heart of a child that tears at the unity of a home. Abuse, adultery, anarchy and sin take their toll. They are like thieves in the night, pirates coming to steal, to divide and to destroy. Most often we can prepare to try and prevent these things from happening, but they often come so suddenly, they take our breath away.
The Christian’s enemy, Satan, watches and waits for the most opportune time, That time when he bursts the bubble, pulls open the curtain and exposes the secret to the world, and fires the dart that strikes through the heart. God warns us:
2 Corinthians 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
The devil is a liar. Jesus said he is the father of them.
John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
As it was in the heart of Lucifer when pride rose up and consumed him, our hearts are vulnerable as well.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Not only can my heart be ‘pirated’ from without, it can pirated from within. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life all assault our soul. But we don’t have to be taken captive. We see a world taken by lust, greed, power, pleasure and sin. Often, we look so intently that we are held captive. We see nothing rising up to overcome it. The few that do are vilified, mocked and belittled.
The ‘pirates’ laugh as they place their shackles on us crying, “Where is your God?!” The devil laughs and speaks to our hearts; “Where is God? He doesn’t really care about you. He’s not there. Why bother praying?” All lies – every one of them. But to the heart that is in bondage; weak, battered and worn, it seems as if there was such weight added to us that we cannot move… and lies seemingly become truth.
We need someone that will go to God for us.
Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
For the church to survive – SOMEONE needs to be spiritual. It is the responsibility of every born-again believer to walk with God. We do so, because our brother or sister may be in need of our help one day. We may be weak and in need of them. SOMEONE needs to be the spiritual one. But even when all else seems to fail and the brethren have forsaken us, we have a true Advocate – Jesus Christ the Righteous.
1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Are you overtaken in a fault? Stumbled? Fallen? You may have fallen, but you do not have to stay there! You can rise again. Sometimes we need the help of a spiritual brother or sister; a pastor or counselor to grab our outstretched hand and pull us to safety. But when that hand is seemingly not there, we are not without hope.
Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Dear reader, there are pirates out there lurking in the shadows waiting for that opportune moment to take you and I unawares. We must be sober; vigilant because our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Take heart:
1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
You do not have to live, exist, or just survive, you are a child of God – an Overcomer!