Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
I have said it on other occasions, but this verse today just became a 'Wow' thing to me.
I have seen it, have done it myself, not sure if anyone who ever lived hasn't said it.
"Oh I can handle it, I got this." Or, "It's not that bad."
In all our world we have access to so much that can be used for good or for bad.
We are the chief justifier of our actions. Yes, we are! Someone says this...we justify our response. Someone does this or that, we justify our response.
The thing is, it's really not supposed to be our first thing to do...justifying our response that is. It's for us to filter everything through what would God have us do. Not what should we do.
Cleanse ourselves from all defilement he writes...not just from Spiritual things but the physical things.
We live in a world where the real goal is to keep us from a real relationship with God.
That's the bottom line. We have subscription services that we feel obligated to use because we signed up for them. TV stations are increasingly switching to them in order to regain revenue lost due to people getting rid of cable TV or satellite TV. Then their aim is to get you to realistically vegetate in front of the TV. You don't realize how much you are willingly sacrificing until you stop watching it. It's long been proven that TV has been used to influence everyone from children to adults in just about every area of life.
But it's not just TV, it's movies it's even the archaic thing, as it's referred to today, as the newspaper. The media in general if you will. They have come out and admitted that it's their job to tell you what to think.
How does that make you feel? Isn't it the Word of God that's supposed to influence how you live? So if you sacrifice your time for other things, how is it supposed to influence you, teach you, help you grow in Christ, if you are not in it?
It's not about bashing all things that are not the Bible. However, just about every 'good' thing that mankind has ever had his or her hands on has been perverted to evil.
A Christian, or 'Christ follower', is to be a Disciple of Christ. To do so requires a separation from the Disciples wants and desires, to be making the wants and desires of their Master paramount in their lives.
Look at the life of Paul. He had referred to himself as one who no matter what as one who puts Christ first....and teaches us to do the same.
Things like work are inevitable. It's part of the curse upon this world due to sin. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, God cursed the ground. Mankind would toil in order to get it to produce anything he or she needs.
Satan's goal is to use whatever he can to keep our minds off of God. That's what the defilement part is. To take that which was intended for good and ruin it. Rest is necessary, but when it consumes all our time, then it's been honestly abused.
Satan comes up with ever increasingly subtle and yet powerful ways to keep people from learning about God's Word. Lest you forget, it's not about how happy you think you deserve to be, it's about people being saved in a world that is dying.
Throughout the New Testament the theme is clear. We are at War. We are in the War no matter where we are. The tricks of our enemy are devious in the extreme. The lies, the deceit. Not just from the world but deep within the Church! Read it for yourself! They were warned that evil men and impostors would arise IN the church! Jesus warned about false shepherds.
How can you perfect holiness if you are wallowing in muddy waters?
I can remember while growing up, getting ready for church. Wearing our Sunday best. Hearing about not getting dirty while we were getting ready to go.
That's a profound thought, now that I typed that. Are you really prepared for Church before you go? Have you made yourself ready, INSIDE and out BEFORE you go? Or do you just show up and what God sees is what He gets. The leftovers.
I have seen it countless times. People all tired out at church because they were up too late the night before. Various excuses from a TV show, movie, sporting event. Nothing that would benefit them in their worship of God that very morning. God gets the leftovers.
How does that fit in with holiness?
Having these promises. Really think on that. It's the holy grail of life to have God's promises!
But...if you never read your Bible how would you know what they are?
If you never spend your time with Jesus how would you know what He is really like?
If your mind is filled with all manner of things that have nothing to do with Your Savior, how does that help you live as a witness for God?
If you have been willfully and willingly immersed in more of the world than the Bible, how watered down has it made you towards God? Is He important to you at all?
Satan mimics God in all things.
The Spirit plants a seed in someone and tends to it to make it grow.
Satan plants seeds of doubt then tends to them to make them grow.
Satan wanders around seeking someone to devour. Consider that...no predatory animal ever just jumps its prey. It stalks it. It doesn't give it rest. It deceives it into a false sense of security. Then it attacks.
Satan plants seeds of bitterness, of doubt, of justification of actions.
Read the Gospels again and you will see what it means to be a Christian. What it means to be a Disciple of Christ.
Seek holiness because that's what we are to do. We are not to compromise. We are not to justify our behavior. We are not to hinder others from coming to Christ by what we do or say.
Think about your life. What consumes your time, your thoughts, your actions?
How much of what you do is for your Savior? Is learning more about Jesus more important than the things that you are doing? Or have you justified your needs and wants in place of what the Spirit had shown you what is right in God's eyes?
Be wise concerning our enemy.
Ask yourself if what you are doing is what Jesus really wants of you.
Ask yourself if you have justified your behavior towards yourself and others.
Have you justified anger?
Have you justified bitterness by not calling it that?
Have you spent time in your Bible at all other than on a Sunday?
How can you leave this world behind and follow Christ if most of your waking hours are spent doing or watching or thinking about everything but Him?
Lots to think about today...