18b “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
It is from within, out of a person's heart that evil thoughts come.. hmm. My mind immediately jumps to these words of wisdom from Proverbs 4: 23-27 (The Message):
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.
A few weeks ago I was meeting with two friends to pray and talk about where we see God working and how we feel the enemy coming against us. We were encouraging one another and talking about the victory that we have in Jesus, about how none compare to Jesus, about how there is power in just speaking his name. Then my friend said, "You know, when the enemy can't defeat us he will seek to distract us."
Since she said that it's like my eyes have been reopened to ways the enemy is trying to distract me, pull my focus, offer me an "easier route," and entice me with shallow pleasures. He can't defeat me. Because of Jesus, I fight from a place of victory not for victory. So the enemy will try to distract. He will creep in when I'm not keeping a "vigilant watch over my heart." He'll try to make me question my identity in Christ. He'll tell me I'm not enough. He'll make me busy, and then tired, and then convince me that the things that will feel best is to eat ice cream and watch Netflix and just "get a break" from the busy week. The enemy doesn't want me to find rest in the Lord. He's trying to distract me and fill me with things that will pollute my heart. Not today, satan. Not today.