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Fix your heart on this
May 30, 2011
by Rev. Keith Carlson, Evangelical Covenant Church, Dassel

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

When the United States hosted the Winter Olympics several years ago, one of the broadcast spots featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds.

Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting “Left!” and “Right!” As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skier’s words.

What a vivid picture of God’s desire for each of us. In this world, we are, in reality, blind about what course to take. We must rely solely on the word of the only One who is truly sighted – God himself. His Word gives us the direction we need to live fully devoted to Him.

It is God’s desire that we fix His word in our hearts and minds, and I would suggest three specific areas God wants us to do so:

• Love for the Lord your God. This theme is repeated in scripture very specifically several times and is known to us as a portion of Jesus’ teaching in the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

• Walk in all His ways. The early believers in Christ were known as people of “The Way” because they were following the teachings of Jesus, who said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life . . . ” (John 14:6) In our world, we, too, want to be known as individuals and families who live our lives God’s way.

• Hold fast to Him. This, very literally, means to hang on to what we believe and remain faithful to the Lord throughout our lifetime. Jesus taught us that we need to “remain” or “abide” in Him in order to have an abundant and productive life. He said: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Like the blind skiers who must listen carefully and trust the messages of their guides in order to successfully complete the course, we, too, must listen and rely on God’s Word to enable us to live faithful lives.

I believe that if we seek what God teaches us about each of these three areas in our spiritual lives, each of us, and our families, will grow to be fully devoted followers of our Lord.