These days we are very conscious about the purity of our drinking water. It is not uncommon to ask the question, “Where did this drinking water come from? What is the source?” In fact, as a young man, we never were very concerned about that when hiking in the mountains. Just yesterday, however, on a hike in the Rockies in Western Montana we took along bottles of water with a purification unit in them to purify water in the streams for drinking. A little pollutant – a small toxic source – in drinking water cause disease and even be deadly. And the tragedy is, that small toxic source of pollution often wreaks havoc for an entire village, city, or region! What ought to produce health and vitality – what ought to refresh and bring fruitfulness – instead diseases, diminishes and even brings death!
I thought of that this morning as I read the following verse of Scripture during “coffee with the Lord”…
The inspired writer of Proverbs warned, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow all the springs of life.“ (Proverbs 4:23)
It’s true… My “heart” (my attitudes – the spiritual center and wellspring of my life) not only has the power to bring life, refreshment, vitality and fruitfulness to me. When it is poisoned with toxic attitudes and cultural and spiritual pollutants it can produce spiritual, emotional, and physical disease… it can even lead to destruction and death (physically and spiritually). What is more, the toxic condition of my heart has the potential of polluting entire organizations, neighborhoods, congregations and webs of friends… Perhaps the pollution can even influence and impact cities, regions and nations!
Oh what a challenge… “Keep your heart with all vigilance!” I want a pure heart and God has the power to cleanse and purify them! But more than that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus shed for my sin and yours on the cross (1 John 1:7-9), and our personal vigilance (i.e. our attention to personal spiritual hygiene) our hearts can be kept pure! And keep this in mind: the impact of that will not only be felt personally – it has the power to influence a great many others!