Christians are in training. Christ wants us to be like Him today. Let’s get busy!
1 My child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years [spiritually, for eternity] and bring you [inner] peace and prosperity.
As a minister, I see what the average person fights. Here are three areas that hinder Christians:
- Romance-includes dating, sexual activity and porn addiction;
- Gaming-overstimulation of the adrenal glands, time hog, addiction;
- Social media-judgmental attitudes, sharing beyond personal bounds, addiction.
Done correctly, all of these areas have merit. The problem comes when we get outside certain boundaries. The main boundary that is crossed is the amount of time spent, but there are other boundaries, which are listed above. The major passage that I use to combat areas in my life that threaten to get out of control is,
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- We live in a fallen world. It is sin-ridden and inhabited by demons. Our bodies are still part of this world, but our minds live in two worlds, the physical and the spiritual. We must learn to feed the spiritual one and hold tight control in areas that tend toward sin.
- Our weapons are spiritual. In fact, our best weapon is Christ Himself! His Spirit living in us lets us know when we are slipping into old habits, getting off the trail, or hanging back a little too much. He also gives us the desire and the power to break away from those habits and temptations.
- The divine power is “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The strongholds are the things that are particularly interesting to each individual. The word, “demolish,” denotes not only the breaking down of the walls of a stronghold, but of cleaning up the debris and getting rid of any evidence of it. That’s pretty thorough!
- Arguments are often the ones in our heads. Scripture helps a great deal when dealing with our own thoughts. We can also substitute phrases like, “She is my brother/sister in Christ,” which works with dating, pornography, and what is shared on social media. For gaming, the timer is our best friend. Set it and live by it. Also, it’s best to game only on certain days–and not in a row. The danger is in the desire: The more we desire it, the greater the danger. Filling our time with godly activities helps.
- “Every pretention” is referring to anything that plays “god” in our lives. Whatever it is, it is only pretending. The Lord Jesus Christ is God of our lives (Titus 2:13). Let’s give HIM the honor and praise due His name.
- The knowledge of God is what we are after. Intellectual knowledge is good, but experiential knowledge is what Christ wants. He wants us to know the Father personally and intimately.
- Here’s the best part: Taking each thought captive. When we have a tempting thought, we grab it by the neck and subject it to the rule of Christ. We don’t need to be concerned about having tempting thoughts; it’s the world we live in. Rather, let’s get really good at taking them captive to Christ. He receives glory each time we do!
As we worship Him today, let’s thank Him for the in-dwelling Holy Spirit in our lives. He is our hope, our shield, our guarantee, our proof, and our Counselor. Rejoice!
Abba, thank You for the ingenious way You turned the tables on Satan (1 Corinthians 2:8). By conquering sin on the cross and taking all sin to the grave, we now have YOU living inside us! WOW! One of my favorite verses is, “I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:23). That’s what I’m talkin’ about, Lord! Bring us to complete unity with You and with each other. Amen.