No one likes commercials. They’re an interruption, obnoxious, and generally trying to sell you things you don’t need. The only benefit might be that they allow you the opportunity to be somewhat productive and move around after sitting on the couch for awhile. While commercials compete for your hard-earned money and are usually mostly harmless, there are other things that compete for your attention and that, if left unchecked, could prove to be dangerous.
Last week we talked about how there is a very real, yet unseen enemy who affects our world and desires to steal your joy and wreck your life by any means necessary. This enemy is an enemy of everyone, though he masquerades his tactics as innocent things to lure you away from God.
Stop for a minute and think about the things that are competing for your heart. Is it social media and seeing all your friends getting married and popping out kids (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)? Is it your scrawny bank account and all the things you miss out on because the funds aren’t there (Philippians 4:12-13, Matthew 6:25-26)? Is it looking in the mirror and not being happy with the body that stares back at you (Psalm 139:1-14)?
These ideas and thoughts are dangerous because they lead you to believe that God doesn’t care about you, that He’s forgotten about you, or that He loves others more than you since they have all these things and you don’t. Satan uses thoughts like that to chip away at your faith and plant the seeds of doubt, which can cause you to do some pretty dire things to correct what you think is wrong. Ultimately this leads to very negative consequences.
God, in spite of me, has allowed me the privilege of leading and preaching to young adults here and around the country. Now, imagine how much damage sin could do if I fell back into the traps of porn or adultery. Think of how that would hurt my wife, kids, extended family and all those in our ministry. Now think about yourself - what might the consequences in your life be if you gave yourself over to your sinful desires?
I’m capable of all that and more if I’m living by my flesh. I need community to help me fully and quickly confess my sin (James 5:16), so I don’t allow the enemy to gain a foothold where he can lead me down a path of destruction (Ephesians 4:27). I need to abide daily in the Word of God (John 15:4) even when the desire to do so may not always be there.
God gives us protection from the evil one in the form of His Word and other believers, which is why biblical community is so important. And, like we talked about on Tuesday, God has given us armor and weapons to fight with (Ephesians 6:10-18). The helmet of salvation. The shield of faith. The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The sword of the Spirit. Do you know what these things are, and how to use them? Here is a great explanation.
As you look to use the tools at your disposal, you can’t fight alone. You must surround yourself with other believers – people you can turn to when you’re unsure of things and who you can confess your sins to. A primary tactic the enemy uses to keep you enslaved in a sin struggle is tricking you into keeping your sins in the dark instead of exposing them. While exposing your sin isn’t fun, exposing it reaps huge benefits for you (Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16). Your community also sees things that you don’t, and they can provide valuable insight and wisdom in your fight against sin. Lean on them.
With you in the fight,
(with help from Jordan Loa)