You've Got Mail part 2

I don't know about you, but I get a lot of email.  I have several email accounts, one for close friends and family to use, one that I share with the world, one for work, and one that is supposed to serve as my junk email.  You know, the one you use when you enter contests online or you sign up for something and you just KNOW you will get a lot of unwanted email from them.  Most of my accounts I have imported to my computer using an aggregate email program.  This allows me to keep everything in one place rather than get lost flipping back and forth.  As an added benefit, even my accounts that aren't "junk mail" accounts have spam filters.  Still, even with my efforts to keep all the junk mail confined to a junk email address or a separate folder, the spam gets through.

Those lovely emails that tell me that I have won a million dollar lottery overseas.  They are from someone with a familiar first name asking me to click a link leading who knows where.  They tell me all about this exciting product to 'enhance' my life.  At first, they just trickle in.  One or two in my spam folder.  Not a big deal.  But the more I use an email account, the more I share my email address, the more junk mail I get.

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by all these emails.  I stop looking at the subjects when I visit my spam folder and just hit 'delete' repeatedly.  But spam filters aren't perfect.  Occasionally an email gets mislabeled and is placed in my spam folder.  If I let it go, it can get to the point that I miss an important email from a friend who is struggling in her marriage, or a reminder of an important meeting that I can't miss, or a message from a family member that wants to share the news of the blessing she received.  Before long the spam begins to overtake the important messages and that is all I see, everything else fades into the background.

Our prayer life can be like that too.  We segregate our world into neat little compartments and choose which ones we will allow God to work in.  Last week I wrote about how we can pray but not be looking for God's responses, totally ignoring what He is trying to communicate with us.  That isn't the only way we can miss it though.  Sometimes we are looking for His answer and yet it gets lost in everything else we have going on, our worldly spam.

For me this tends to be a battle of the mind.  A little thought wiggles its way into my head: doubt, fear, unworthiness - spiritual spam.  At first they are easy to identify as spam, messages that don't belong and aren't intended specifically for me.  They are messages intended to sidetrack me, to harm me, to draw me towards something I don't really need or want.  I delete them.  But when my vigilance drops, when I stop deleting them, they can easily overwhelm me and I begin to miss the real messages, God's truths.  This is why God tells us to take every thought captive.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

You see, Satan doesn't have to get you to "click" one of those messages.  He doesn't even have to get you to believe one.  He simply needs to get you to miss the important messages: you are loved by the King (John 3:16), no sin you have ever or will ever commit can change that (Romans 5:8), nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39).  If we don't take the time to filter out those 'spam' messages, we can easily end up 'deleting' one of these.  The truth gets lost in a sea of lies.

This is why we need to spend time with God, with the Truth.  It prevents our spam filter from getting confused and resetting, allowing the lies into our inbox.  We need to examine our thought-life and purge those that don't belong - immediately.  The longer we allow the distraction thoughts to linger the more tempted we are to open, examine and dwell in them.  Let them go.  When you do, you will find those important messages from God, and you will be able to focus on those.