Have you ever walked into a warm room, but you still felt a chill? It wasn’t because of the temperature but because of something else you felt. Fear. Bitterness. Strife. We can feel those things in environments, can’t we? And the truth is that if we don’t learn to deal with those negative spiritual forces, we can see things go from bad to worse in our lives.
James, the brother of Jesus, spoke about that in James 3:16 when he said, “Wherever you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
If we want to have good instead of evil, blessing instead of cursing, we must keep our inner temperature healthy.
You might be thinking, “Well, that would have been helpful several decades ago, Jim. I’ve already gone too far. My marriage is already messed up. My kids already hate me. I’ve already lost all my friends.” But guess what? It’s not too late. You can still make a change. And you can start today. How do I know? A whole nation did it!
In Isaiah 54, we hear God show the nation of Israel how off their temperature had gotten. But then came a promise: “I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace,” Verses 11-13.
Notice this rebuilding wasn’t just for them. It was also for those who came after them. God wants to do the same for us. If we will allow God to rebuild our lives, He will also rebuild our legacy for those who come after us.
Here’s how we can do that. First, we must exemplify a wholehearted love for God. God gave this command to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. It reads, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Secondly, we must embrace a wholehearted devotion to God’s ways. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 continues with, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
Friend, I don’t know where you’re at today, but I do know where you can be. Every believer who practices these truths will experience God’s rebuilding and His reward! When we choose to love God and His ways above all else, we can reestablish the temperature of our environments, rebuild our lives, and leave behind a godly legacy to those we love.