“FIX your thoughts on what is … PURE …” (Philippians 4:8 NLT, emphasis mine)
For many years, my husband and I kept a stock tank for our horses to drink water out of; I have no idea how big it was, or how much water it held – it was round, fiberglass, and BIG. During the winter, we would drop a ‘tank heater’ into it, to prevent the water from freezing – it is not unusual for winter temperatures to reach 20 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) in our area.
When we first put the stock tank in, I had bought a dozen or so baby goldfish from our local Pet Store, and threw them in; past experience had shown me that the fish help keep the sides of the tank clean. And as we were constantly adding fresh water to replace what the horses were drinking, we only needed to clean the tank about once a year – a suitable arrangement.
The fish grew. And GREW. When we replaced the stock tank with an automatic watering system for the horses, I did not want to get rid of the fish. My wonderful husband moved the stock tank to the back yard, dug a BIG hole, and made a fish pond out of it for me. Little did I know the work I was getting myself into. There was no way to keep this tank clean short of installing a complete water-purifying, filtration system, an investment I was not willing to make. I was seriously considering eliminating the fish pond …
A few years ago, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was of a major concern to us living in the United States, as are many other environmental issues on the board today. ‘Pure’ water and ‘pure’ air are two critical issues for ALL of mankind. But what of our MINDS; the Word of God tells us that “as a man THINKS, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). If our minds are polluted, then it stands to reason that the rest of the person will be as well. What, then, is the ‘filtration system’ that will clean up the whole man?
“Wherewithal shall a young man KEEP his way pure? By taking heed thereto according to THY WORD. With my whole heart have I sought Thee; O let me not err from Thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:9-10 JPS, emphasis mine)
Purity is no longer IN style; it is no longer popular. One only has to turn on satellite or cable TV, listen momentarily to a satellite radio talk show, or even surf the internet, and it is easy enough to find evidence to verify this statement. We, as children of a HOLY God, must pick and choose what we entertain in our minds. Just as I CHOSE to drain my fish pond of all the debris and filth that had accumulated over the winter, etc, and re-fill it with fresh, clean, pure (as much as it is possible) water. And I CHOSE to watch over it to make sure that it stayed clean …
“External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is PURE and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to KEEP oneself unspotted and UNCONTAMINATED from the world.” (James 1:27 Amp, emphasis mine)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)
“FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY”
©2011 Merete Marx