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Start the New Year in the Right Place
By Joel Osteen - Jan 08, 2016

In the Old Testament, there was something called the Holy of Holies. That was the inner part of the temple where the presence of God was found. It was a restricted area, very protected. No one could go in there except the Priests and only at certain times a year. They had to take the right sacrifices and be extremely careful. They knew if everything wasn't perfectly in order, if they didn't treat it with the utmost respect and honor, they would die. It was a very serious thing, so they went to great lengths to guard it and keep the wrong things out.

In the same way, you and I have a holy of holies inside. Not a physical place but a secret place inside the heart; an inner sanctuary where you don't allow any worry, offense, bitterness, trouble or turmoil in. Your secret place should be a place of peace, rest and faith where you know God is in control. But if you make the mistake of letting the negative things in, if you are constantly dwelling on your difficulties, living worried, upset or offended, then your secret place will become contaminated.

Proverbs says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flow the issues of life." This is saying above everything, protect your secret place. If you're allowing everything in, what someone said, what didn't work out, the disappointment, the hurt, the pain, the stress, the traffic, then because your secret place is poisoned, it will impact everything about you. It will affect your attitude, relationships, joy and vision. Out of your secret place flow the issues of life. 

We all have negative things come against us. We can't get away from that. But don't bring it close to you. A ship doesn't sink because of the water around it; it sinks because of the water that gets in it.

As we enter into the new year, keep your inner life consecrated, set apart for God.

Make sure your heart and mind are in the right place so that your life can be in the right place as you move forward and embrace everything God has for you in 2016!
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