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02 December 2012

Spiritual Warfare - December 3

Last week we were reminded that Satan is powerless without God’s permission. We also read about all the horrible things that happened to Job and I challenged you to think about your life in the light of Job. How did your faith stand up?

Satan wants to get us to sin. That’s his primary mission in life. He constantly works at our minds to get u to envy, lust, and think about ungodly stuff. When you watch television you are bombarded with sexual situations, language, adultery, lying, cheating – and it’s laughed at in a sitcom. We know that God doesn’t think any of that is funny, so why do we allow ourselves to watch? Are there shows you watch, books or magazines you read, internet sites you visit, movies you see, entertainment venues you go to, or music you listen to that makes it easy for Satan to get inside your head? Should you ask God to wean you from those shows?

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. Proverbs 15:28 (ESV)

Do you “learn” the right answers from that prime-time television show, or from the Word of God? where is your heart kept? In prayer and God’s Word, or on that internet site?

Are you worried? Anxious? Always obsessing about what’s going on in your life? Could your life improve if you increase your trust in God?

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)

Jesus had a lot to say about our actions and our words. At one point, Jesus was talking about “clean” and “unclean” food. People were obsessed with making sure that they didn’t eat the “wrong” stuff and offend God. Jesus clearly told them that food wasn’t the issue.

Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:17-20 (ESV)

Any of those sins apply to you? If they do and you are a Christian, you need to repent and turn away from them. It’s impossible to lead a sinless life, but with Christ’s help we can overcome. Our flesh causes the problems, not God.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13-15 (ESV)

It’s my own desire that causes me to sin. I could choose to stop looking at those images – or I can choose to click further into the web site. I can stop listening to filthy language – or I can make that language a part of my life. When I sin, Satan wins a skirmish. When I refrain, it’s a victory for God.

We all need to assess our lives and get rid of the garbage. We all have stuff that we do that we know isn’t godly. It’s time to face up to it, take responsibility for our actions, and turn from those sins. God promises to help us!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

Satan can’t do it without God’s approval. If you stay grounded in God’s Word, it’s easier to turn from temptation. When you sin, it’s your own fault – the devil didn’t “make” you do it, and God isn’t the one tempting you: He provides a way out.

Time to take inventory. What do you need to remove from your life, your heart, and your mouth?

See you Thursday.

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