What Are You Allowing Into Your Mind?

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Hebrews 5:11-14 (KJV)

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit.

Otherwise, how will we know what is true?

Much of what we see and hear is based on a worldly perspective that is influenced by Satan, the Father of Lies.

Deception is found even in the religious realm: cults mix lies with enough truth to make some people consider them legitimate Christian institutions.

The only way believers can guard against deception is to ground themselves in God’s Word.

The more time you spend filling your mind with the Lord’s thoughts, the more discerning you will be. However, just knowing biblical truth isn’t enough.

You must put what you learn into practice so that it becomes more than head knowledge.

The goal is to let God’s Word become such an integral part of your thinking that it guides all your decisions. Even if the situation you’re facing isn’t specifically addressed in the Bible, scriptural principles provide the needed wisdom for every choice. In addition, the Holy Spirit was given to each believer as a Helper, whose job is to guide you into all the truth (John 14:2616:13).

However, your responsibility is to put God’s Word into your mind so that He can bring it to your remembrance.

If you neglect the Word, you’ll lack discernment.

What are you allowing into your mind?

Is Scripture high in your priorities? Unless you’re careful, worldly thinking will overpower spiritual discernment.

It’s difficult to keep God’s perspective in the forefront if you spend two or three hours in front of the television and only ten minutes in the Bible.

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The Struggle Exists…

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Ephesians 6:10-13 (KJV)

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Spiritual combat is going on all the time.

It is important for believers to be aware of this conflict in order to battle sin effectively and live in a manner pleasing to God. The struggle exists in three areas.

First, we have an internal enemy.

Ever since the fall in the garden of Eden, the human heart does not naturally seek after God. But the Holy Spirit can draw us and move our thoughts toward the Lord. However, even after salvation, we have the capacity to do wrong as long as we remain in this carnal body. Scripture cites evidence of the old “flesh” patterns at work within us—patterns such as immorality, impurity, jealousy, and outbursts of anger (Gal. 5:19-20).

Next, we have an external enemy:

the ungodly beliefs, attitudes, and philosophies all around us. First John 2:15 warns: “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” As believers in Jesus, we should be salt and light to the world around us without allowing its ways to influence our thoughts or behavior.

Third, there’s an infernal enemy, and his name is Satan.

His desire is to dishonor God and to gain victory over the Lord’s kingdom. We know from Scripture that this will not happen, but the conflict will continually rage on until the final days mentioned in Revelation.

Be aware of these three enemies.

You wouldn’t sleep in the midst of a raging war, and neither should you live without awareness in the daily spiritual battle.

Today’s passage gives the specifics for standing firm in Christ: Arm yourself with God’s Word, and seek His protection and wisdom.

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Vulnerability to Stumbling…

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1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (KJV)

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Some Christians see a fellow believer fall into sin but fail to acknowledge that they, too, could stumble.

That’s dangerous.

Satan has them right where he wants them: deceived by a false sense of confidence. Three enemies are constantly at work trying to bring us down: the Devil, his world system, and our own treacherous flesh.

Even though believers have a righteous standing before God, we must each, like Paul, acknowledge an internal problem: “sin which dwells in me” (Rom. 7:20).

Satan takes full advantage of this weakness, luring us with fleshly and worldly temptations.

He stokes our pride so we’ll be blinded to our own vulnerability to stumbling.

Christians need to be continually on guard.

Since ignorance–of the nature of sin, the strategies of the Enemy, and our own areas of weakness–sets us up for failure, we cannot afford to be careless in our thinking. Anytime you find yourself excusing, redefining, or rationalizing sin, you’ve lost your sensitivity to the Lord. God’s Word must always fill our minds and direct our steps.

If you’ve drifted from the Lord, turn back to Him by acknowledging your sin and accepting full responsibility for it. 

Repentance simply means changing your mind and going in a different direction–toward God instead of away from Him.

The next step is harder.

Respond with gratitude for the Lord’s chastisement.

Every time believers fall into sin, God lovingly works to bring them back into a fellowship with Him.

His discipline may be painful, but it’s always good because it brings us to our senses and reconnects us with our Father.

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