POWER SCRIPTURE: “Psalm 101:3 “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.”
What are we filling our minds with in the 21st century? What do you watch or play or read or listen to on any given day? My point is not to make obvious that you may watch more tv than you should, I’m more taking an interest in what you’re watching. My belief is that life is so much about quality and not quantity (in many cases). I’m prompted to write about this fact, because over the last few months I, myself, have been battling with the adversary over the control of my mind. Allow me to explain that before I sound like a crazy person. I believe that we have to give some level of credit to the evil one, in that he is crafty (while not allowing him too much credit, as he is still the devil) and recognize that our battle ground with him is so often found within our own minds. He is a master manipulator-con artist-thief-liar-destroyer- and can plant just the right thoughts, imagery, lyrics, ideas, lusts, into our mind prompting us to inadvertently follow the path that leads to destruction. Satan runs a business of destruction, and after thousands of years I’d have to say that he’s gotten good at it.
A friend told me one time that he’d heard a quote saying the most brilliant scheme satan had devised yet was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist. When one walks in a belief that there is no satan-no hell, they have no source for so much of the “attacks” they may face in life, and thus no cause for recourse and redemption. Let me put it another way. For many the idea of a God is reasonable. Many people agree there is some omnipotent power up above them somewhere; this recognition does not necessarily mean people feel obligated to get to know that God or think there to be need of a relationship with Him. However, when one of these supposed individuals has an encounter with the dark side, or is faced with the reality that satan does in fact exist-it makes the “idea” of God so much more real, and the need for Him that much greater. If there is a dark side, there must be a light/good side, right? Reasonable thinking.
With that said, you can see why satan becoming a type of myth in our contemporary culture is to his great benefit. Without people recognizing his existence, it becomes easier for him to destroy lives without those being destroyed understanding that the God who created them, through a right relationship with Him, would give them with the power needed to beat the evil one time and again. With a recognition of the devil, comes a recognition of God. Still, satan may be crafty, but his power is limited. In need of a rescue? Your hope lies in the recognition that there is a One True God, His name is Jesus Christ and He came to save the lost; He is the one and only hero. When people share their testimonies, typically many of them will have gone through some sort of dramatically difficult and trying time in their life that led them into the open arms of the Lord. Interesting how that happens…
Now allow me to get back on track. Think back just over the past week (Mon-Mon) and ask yourself:
- What have I watched/listened to/played/read?
- Would any of it glorify God?
- Do any of the images, sounds, lyrics, ideas created, linger with me still now?
- Was I influenced to make some sort of decision after indulging in any form of media or did I leave/finish feeling emotionally charged in some way?
- How do I justify the things that I allowed in?
Do we forget that what goes in through our eyes, thus enters our soul? The biggest lie you can tell yourself is, “It’s just a movie/game/song. It isn’t real. It doesn’t matter”. WRONG. If you honestly believe that, the satan is doing his job well.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” -Matthew 6:22-23.
Wow! Listen to those words spoken out of the mouth of Jesus. What is taken in through your eyes will affect the whole manner of your body…i.e. YOU. You’ve heard the old adage, “you are what you eat”; how about, “you are what you see“. If you allow darkness, violence, evil, corruption, deceit, gossip, cursing, vanity, anger, wrath, bitterness, lust and every other “juicy” concept to be put on the television or in modern-day music conveniently disguised as “real life” pumped into your household and sold as entertainment-and put that into your heart, it will become what lies within the deepest parts of you. It will begin to invade your thought processes, your desires, your actions and your character, snaking through your being, cutting off your spirit man and crippling you into complacency. Many people have lived this way for so long that they adopt the “that’s just life” mentality and continue to allow themselves to slump further down in a haze of apathy and malaise. Then there are those still spiritually sensitive enough to recognize that something isn’t right. Finally, a very small group are those who have grown with the Lord to a point where they recognize that what we’re handed in this society isn’t what we have to take and that a daily fight against satan is inevitable and thus they are on guard. What does Paul say? Oh yes, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7). Is it coincidence that he speaks of his Christian walk as a fight he fought to the end? I think not. [Side Note to remember: satan was heaven’s big wig when it came to music. You think he hasn’t put his skills to work in this day and hour? Don’t be naive!]
So much of this is me speaking to myself. I battle daily with maintaining the spiritual upper hand in my thoughts, ideas, attitudes, desires. As I continue to go deeper into the Lord, satan comes at me most effectively through my mind, my thoughts. The evil one is relentless and we must also be relentless in return.
Part II coming soon…