Show me the way: Filling the void

When I was 16, I got my first official job as a cashier at Target. I loved it. I enjoyed challenging myself to get people through the checkout line as fast as possible. I enjoyed seeing all the merchandise I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. And I enjoyed investing my paycheck back into the store to buy all those things I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. (Ahem, envy.)

About six months in my attitude changed. I disliked restocking merchandise because finding the exact shelving location of random items was nearly impossible. It was frustrating to fold and sort piles of jeans only to watch shoppers mess them up again. I did not like working the late night shift and I really disliked working holidays.

One day, during my months of indifference, I was scheduled to work in “red world,” which is Target’s term for any section marked by red signs. At the time, red world represented the mens and womens clothing area. I was working my way over each rack, rehanging and straightening clothes, disinterested and moving along quickly so I could get it over with.

I was just walking away from the wall of jeans when – bam! – it hit me. A moment of conviction that stopped me in my tracks and made me go back. Working one small section at a time, I took the jeans off the shelves and organized them according to label and size. That night, there would be no frustrated shoppers since everything was finally in its rightful place.

What was it that made me do this? A Bible verse that I learned as a kid.

Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, it is the Lord Christ you are serving.

This verse has come to my heart often and almost always at times when I don’t feel like doing something I should. It is amazing the conviction that the Word of God will bring to your heart. And it is because of this that I am desperate to bury scripture into the hearts of my kids. As a mom, I believe it is my duty to have an active part in this process.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.”

Ready for this part, moms?

Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

I don’t just believe it is my duty to teach my kids what the Bible says because of some lofty personal conviction. I believe it because God says it, commands it even. But here’s the thing, moms, you cannot help your kid hide the Word of God in their hearts if it is not in yours first. If it is not in your heart, then it won’t come up in conversation and those natural, daily conversations is the best time to instruct your kids.

But more than this is the promise of the work that God’s word accomplishes. Isaiah 55:11 says “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” I love my kids too much to rely on my own words and wisdom. It is only God’s word that produces fruit and prospers. If I want my family – me, my husband, and my kids – to produce fruit and prosper then I must help to bury God’s word in each of our hearts.

There are two verses that speak profoundly to me about this:

  1. Psalm 119:11“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
  2. Hebrews 4:12“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

It is God’s Word that does not return void. It is God’s Word that follows us everywhere we go and is in every situation, keeping us from sin. It is God’s Word that transforms hearts, revealing sin and replacing it with beauty. Not my words. Not your words. God’s Word.

I need God’s Word in my heart because without it I fail. I pray for it to take root and grow in the hearts of my daughters because I want them to be protected. I desire God’s Word to flourish in my husband’s heart because it is when he experiences God’s love that he knows fullness of life. We cannot afford to be separated from God’s Word. We must bury it deep into our hearts.

How do you saturate your heart, mind, and soul with God’s Word?

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