The Spiritual Smog Check
By Jeff Lowe
Is your vehicle (body) polluting the air? Is your tongue a fire
from hell that burns the course of nature while the whole
creation groans and travails in pain? (James 3:6, Rom 8:22). Do
you ever find yourself saying "I can't help it" "God is still
working on me" "I'm half perfect working on the other half"
"They made me say that" "Everybody else does it" "God will
forgive me"? If we are to stop these things from happening, we
need to find the source of these thoughts, find a source of
living thought, and use a spiritual 'catalytic converter' to cut
down on these emissions.
Our mouths can be a tree of knowledge of good and evil (Prov 18:21) or a tree of life (Prov 15:4). Our perfection comes to life when we don't let our words fall to the ground (James 3:2, 1Sam 3:19). This all starts in our heart or mind (Matt 12:34,35) and these thoughts become words, then actions, habits, character and eventually our destiny. Sometimes these earthly thoughts destroy our self-esteem by using our senses and environment, whispering to us what the devil says we should be instead of who God says we are (Heb 2:11). Other times we judge or compare others to ourselves implanting seeds of envy, jealousy and hatred. We are here to sow peace on earth (James 3:18,Prov 11:30,Heb 12:14).
Unfortunately, some people enjoy and entertain worldly thoughts as friendly or acceptable environments to the mind space. They don't even bother to put a 'muffler' on their words. These desires crowd out the good breath of the Spirit like a dirty air filter. Jesus spoke the same message to many people at the same time, but all didn't receive Him the same way (didn't pass the smog check) Many gathered to hear the word on his way to Jairus' house, but only one touched Him with faith to receive healing (Matt 9:21). Over 500 saw Him after he rose (1 Cor 15:6), but only 120 showed up at Pentecost. Because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), we are the only ones holding us back from miracles and peaceful living (James 4:8). God has already finished the work. It's a done deal. But will we stay in His presence to receive a multitude of blessings or check in on the world report and see what it has to say and repeat it? (Matt 12:36)
Will you be like Martha, dedicated, and seeing Jesus right after He rose (John 20:17), always attempting to be in position to receive a valuable 'word'... or maybe like Thomas, not hanging out with the 'church folk', doubting that He had risen at all (John 20:25). It really comes down to if we are looking to the eternal things above or holding on to the temporal things of the earth (2 Cor 4:18) Remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32), a very blessed woman whose seed would possess a great unseen land of giants that could not be touched by the children of Israel, but looked back where her many riches were.
The Lord has already prepared a table before you in the presence of your enemies (Ps 23:5,James 4:4). Your smog check is due now. If you don't pass you will pay (Rom 6:23). Allow God to renew your mind to have zero emissions (Rom 6:22). The least we can do is keep our words pure (James 3:2,Prov 16:3), register our name in heaven, and glorify His name on earth!
Jeff Lowe is a graduate of IMI with a bachelor's degree in theology.
He also holds an honorary doctorate in divinity from AFLI Bible College.
He has been in evangelism for 18 years and also does work as a missionary. www.jdaniellowe.com