Saturday, November 19, 2011

What entertains you?


I haven’t decided how I am going to proceed with the blog; however, today I feel compelled to preach to myself, and if anyone else can relate, please be encouraged.

Last night I went to a friend’s 45th Surprise Birthday Party which was at a bar with live music. I knew what the scene would be like before I went in, so I prayed that the Lord would give me the strength to keep my eyes and mind from wandering. Although it didn’t go great, it wasn’t too bad; I diverted my eyes and attention “OK” for the 2 hours I was there.

When I got home my wife wanted to watch a movie, which we enjoy doing, but haven’t made the time to do much lately. As we scrolled through the On-Demand New Release options I agreed to watch “Horrible Bosses”. First of all, it is rated ‘R’. Second, I didn’t read the movie description. Third, I continued watching the movie even after I realized the lewd and vulgar content. Which brings me to today’s blog post.

I know enough about the Word of God to know that we are called to fix our mind and heart on Jesus. We are also called to prepare our minds for action and hold every thought captive. When you voluntarily subject and submit yourself to vulgar, blasphemous, profane, and sexual immoral content in any form of entertainment….whether it be movies, TV, music, books, magazines, fantasy, or theatre…you are outside of God’s will for your life. He DOES NOT want us to flood our mind with anything unrighteous and if this is a habit and/or practice in our life we need to repent of it.

2Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Although we function in our daily lives in the flesh, our battle is not of flesh and blood, our battle is in the spiritual realm, where God is the only One with the power to tear down the strongholds. The mind has been referred to as the “devil’s playground”; however, Satan and his demons flee in terror at the Name of Jesus. So, if you really don’t want the devil using your mind as a playground, rebuke those thoughts in the name of Jesus and start quoting Scripture. The problem is, in our weakness, we want to entertain these things in our mind, we want “just a taste”. The desire for that “taste” becomes less and less, and weaker and weaker as we grow in Christ and abide in Him more and more; but until it is completely gone and of no effect, we need to prepare our mind for action if we sincerely want to live a life pleasing to Our King.

1Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

Just before I got saved I listened to a preacher continually in my truck and he used to say, “What does ‘all’ mean?”….”All means all that’s all, all means.” So in light of this reality, read the underlined portion of verse 15 again: be holy in all your conduct.

For us to be holy in ALL of our conduct, it is going to require a transforming of our mind. God always does what He promises; when we are born-again we are given a new heart with new desires; but there seems to still be a level of continued surrender on our part; why else would Paul say, “BE TRANSFORMED”. In other words, do you want to be transformed, or are you just saying you do….is it a wish, or a decision?

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:17-24 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

The truth is, when you have made the decision to follow Christ, you will be transformed. You will not be perfect, but when you slip up, like I did last night, you will have Godly sorrow and you will repent of it. It is not remorse from the stand point of “being caught” because there wasn’t anything to “get caught” in by the world’s standards; after all, my wife enjoyed the movie and would be confused by this post. But I felt the heavy hand of conviction and immediately knew I needed to seek forgiveness from my King. This isn’t the first time I have made this mistake, but hopefully it will be the last. That being said, repentance is turning from this behavior. If I already had plans to watch another vulgar movie tonight, that would not be repentance, that would simply be a sin-sorry-sin-sorry dance that leads to hell. Instead, because I know this is outside of God’s will, I will seek His forgiveness. It is not until I know this is sinful that I can get forgiveness, after all, why would I confess my sins to God if I didn’t think it was a sin? On the other hand, if I am convicted and broken over the fact that I sinned against my Lord, I will confess it to Him. Look what He does when I do that:

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

THAT IS POWERFUL!!! Check that out. In 22 Words we see the whole deal. First, Jesus is the ONLY ONE with the power to save or condemn. Second, Jesus is the only One with the power to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. Third, it starts with agreeing with Him that what you are confessing is sin. Fourth, once you have been brought to the knowledge of the Truth, you will confess your sins to Him and call out, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

WHAT DOES HE DO AFTER THAT? HE CLEANSES US….from what? Unrighteousness! How much unrighteousness? ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!! Thank You Jesus!!

We may never use our liberty in Christ as a license to sin; liberty is not license. Jesus made it very clear in His earthly ministry how important it is that our mind be as diligent as our heart and soul to seek, worship and love Him.

Matthew 22:36-37 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

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