Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sumthin's Gotta Hold-a-me!

The Bible quite frequently (and with good reason) uses warfare to describe the attributes of the Christian life. I am not talking about the life of someone who simply verbally claims to be a Christian. I am talking about about people who truly strive to live their lives according to the example that Jesus set for mankind. There is a difference. Please understand what I am trying to say before you get all self righteous and condescending.

Of course I know there are hypocrites in the faith. Of course I know you know who they are and take every opportunity to point them out and hold them up as examples of what modern day Christianity really is. That, my friend, is not the Christian I am talking about. There is no spiritual warfare involved with those who pretend to be one thing and really are something else altogether.

When the Bible talks about the Christian life and uses battlefield metaphors to describe it, it is talking about genuine Christ-like faith. Those who truly understand that on the one hand we are to love those around us and do our best to woo them with the good news of the gospel. Yet, on the other hand we are not to condone their sinful activities. To do this takes balance, courage, patience, humility, and the power of the Holy Spirit. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit because we have an enemy that is constantly at war with those who try to live Christ-like in this broken down sinful world.

In 2 Cor 10:4, the Bible speaks of strongholds. Strongholds in the life of a believer is a place where a weakness has developed because of unbiblical thinking patterns. Satan exploits the believer in these areas because he knows it is the quickest way to cause the believer to act in a way contrary to the example Christ set.

No one ever sinned without first thinking about it. Sometimes a person will think long and hard about it, sometimes, the reaction time is very short. No one has ever sinned without first thinking about it. I know, I said it twice because I wanted you to catch that. The area of strongholds is the mind.

Allow me to give you a bullet list of some areas of unbiblical thinking that tends to cause the believer to act contrary to the example Christ set.

I deserve to be happy - no, God wants you to have joy
I can be a part time Sunday only Christian - no, you have been bought with a price, you are not your own
There is no punishment for sin - no, God chastens his children
Christian living is something we "DO" - no, it is what we "ARE" what we do comes out of what we are.
Living a holy life is just too hard - no, I can do all things through Christ. Christ liveth in me.
If I live the life of a sold out Christian I will not have any friends - no, you will have God as a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

The biggest reason so many Christians fail to live the life Christ expects us to live is because we think in an unbiblical manner. There are so many other things I could add to that list above and I am sure you can too. My point is that true warfare that tears down strongholds is a battle that rages in the minds of believers.

Its time that true believers stop allowing themselves to be the victim and start being the conqueror God expects them to be. Our Christian lives are unfruitful and boring because we are not thinking with a biblical worldview. Reject those thoughts that oppose the centrality and supremacy of Jehovah God. Get yourself out of the middle of the universe and put God Almighty in His rightful position.

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