At a place where you know you are under attack spiritually? Here are some notes on fighting back. We are not defenseless.
Our love for each other is our witness to those outside the family of God. 1 John 3:18 states; “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. (emphasis mine) “The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. Keep in mind that one day you will be standing before God giving account of what you have done with what you know. You will be giving account of what you have done. How will you explain those times when projects, or things, the to-do list, were more important to you then people?
There is an old saying, the proof is in the pudding. Talk is cheap is another. The real is in the doing. Building relationships is top priority in God’s world. Relationship with Him, and then as commanded, with others is vital to a healthy spiritual life based upon His word. Building the relationships in love and expressing it through our gift of time and attention focused on others must take priority.
How are you showing that you care deeply about those in your world, that God is loving them through you? Is God able to love them through you?
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure.
“…we must learn how to bring our wills into submission and obedience to the will of God on a practical, daily, hour by hour basis….” Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges.
Understanding what makes up our will, what influences our will, that it is primarily responsible for our choices is necessary. Before a decision is made, thought is engaged, reason is engaged, and feelings/emotions are engaged. The statement; “I feel ….” is made. The statement; “I think…,” is made. So what is in our minds and hearts, our desires and what we listen to or watch is going to have a lot of influence on what we choose.
We then must be careful what goes into our minds and hearts. Are we filling up on the Word of God or TV? Are we listening for His voice or to the voices of our friends and relatives? Do we think on and meditate on what we read in His Word, or in the news or magazines, or on the Internet? We are surrounded by messages brought to us through many mediums. We can shut out much of it if we choose. We must consciously disregard that which we have no control over.
To combat the influence brought upon us unasked and out of our control, we need to fill up on the Voice of God heard through his messengers and the reading and study of the Word. Fill up the spaces, think on and reflect upon His message rather than that handed to us by the world-system.
Our responsibility outlined in scripture:
Romans 6:19 I speak in human [terms] because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members [as] slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness [leading] to [more] lawlessness, so now present your members [as] slaves [of] righteousness for holiness.
Prior to salvation our minds were self-centered. We based our decisions upon our desires as we felt and following the world-system mind set. We were primarily concerned with what was good for us based upon our own understanding.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Following salvation, our minds are now taking on the mind of Christ. Now we ask first, what do you want me to do? Our focus is on His mind set, not on our self-centeredness. Colossians 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
What is good for the kingdom of God takes priority.
James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded.
Our daily living then becomes purposeful, not mindless. We don’t just follow a routine but consciously set our minds to do the will of God. We purpose to do everything; brush your teeth, wash your face, etc. with our mind set on Him and the question, “What can I do for you?”
I challenge you to begin everyday and then every task with the question directed toward God, “What can I do for you?” When stirred to reach out to others ask, “What can I do for you?” Your focus will turn upward and outward, rather than inward. Opportunities will come your way, you will be blessed with doing the work of the Father for the kingdom rather than for yourself. In this we can be found faithful.