Have you ever had a first impression about someone only to find out later how wrong you were? This happens to Christians often, but many times we fail to recognize the voice behind the assumption. The definition for vain is "baseless or worthless." The definition for imagination is "forming mental images or concepts that are not actually present to the senses." Thus in vain imaginations we allow the enemy to paint us a picture that doesn't exist. If we allow this to continue he can control our every thought, word and deed. He has managed to complete the first of His intentions to steal our minds.
The enemy proceeds with his plan of action by using our words as weapons of war. Our imagination begins to grow and we believe more of the contrived throughts that the enemy is pouring into our minds. We begin to speak the things that we are thinking to others. They listen and believe us. They then follow suite and tell their friends. And then the story that was never true in the first place, becomes a tender morsel of gossip full of deadly ear candy. The enemy has now gained control of our words and they are full of death. As we contemplate the evil thoughts planted in our minds that were brought to life through our tongue, the same serpent that tempted Eve in the garden begins to weave his final web of deceit around us. We decide we must do something about this situation. We don't like it, and we are not going to take it anymore. So our action becomes a deed. Then this baseless and worthless deed, this house of cards of vain imaginations, comes tumbling down upon us. We have believed the lie was the truth.
This entire scenario is a strategic end-time plan of the enemy. Our mind is his final battleground. It is his greatest weapon and our deadliest enemy; the deception of our minds. But, there is good news! Jesus said in John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." He also said in Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee." I Cor. 2:16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." We must learn to discern the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. I John 4:6 The best barometer I know to discern the difference between truth and error in our thought life is found in Phil:4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
If we judge our thought life by this verse, then we can be assured that
we have the mind of Christ, which is the Spirit of Truth.
Need An Extreme Make-over?
My life is so filled with sadness
My life is so filled with tears
and it's been that way for so many many years
This is just the inside of my life
It doesn't show on the outside of my life
It's kind of like an ole' barn
You repair it, put new hinges on the doors, replace the rotten windows, paint it all up - then when you walk inside. There it is the Same ole' barn. There is no sweet smell of fresh sun dried hay. No aroma of corn just brought in from the fields of harvest. No horses, mules, cows and their little calf all ready to be feed and turned out to the pasture to run and play. No field to be ploughed, no garden to be tended. Ahh it is just an empty barn with stall after stahl of great memories of younger happier days. From here inside your the same - you don't know the beauty of the repaired and repainted beauty of the outside. All you see is what you are comfortable with, yourself (the real self - the one God knows and loves) the self that he sees from the outside into the inside through the heart and into the soul where I can find comfort with God contentment with myself and tolerance of others. For those that are not tolerant, i just walk through the ole' barn, take God with me and when I emerge on the other side and feel the warm sunshine bathing me in his love. I can look back at the ole' barn and see the beautiful new sparkling barn waiting for the next visitor. Then I'm free to stroll through the pasture of his continued blessings, and he forgives me if I don't see them all because I'm truly looking through rose colored glasses. I know he is there, I know the blessings are there, bit sometimes my hopes, my dreams and my desires get between us, and even with my rose colored glasses I miss him. But he doesn't miss me he has his eye on me at all times. How about you? Are you ready for a walk with God? He has already taken the first step, all you have to do is follow! Written by Katherine D. "Kitty" Brown. 10/1/09
An Old-Fashioned Housecleaning
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. (Luke 15:8-9)
When I was young my mother and grandmother had two markers in their housekeeping year. One was Spring Cleaning and the other was what I’ll call "Spiff-up for Christmas". Both events were unvarying and Mom felt as though she would not be a good housekeeper without them. We need to have an old-fashioned housecleaning in our spiritual life every so often. We need times when we move everything in our spiritual house. It's too easy to say, "There's not any dirt under that. It's all right." Why don't we move it and see? Move everything and not only sweep but garnish the house. Don't let the enemy come around and say, "You don't have to worry, there isn't any dirt there."
My mom and grandma weren’t happy with just “sweeping” but they pulled out all the furniture and scrubbed all the walls and floors. The rugs were taken outside and beaten with ‘rugbeaters’ to remove every speck of dust. The furniture was washed with special soap to reinvigorate the wood grain. Drapes and curtains were washed and windows sparkled from cleaning with vinegar and water. Lost toys were found. Items that had slipped behind the refrigerator were exposed. And even more important, dust-bunnies and fine powdery sand hidden in corners, under beds and appliances were found and eradicated. When I was housekeeping myself, sad to say, I was not so conscientious as to do it twice a year, but at least I made an effort to do that kind of thorough cleaning once a year. My kids always complained, as I’m sure I did, when pressured into helping, “But the house isn’t dirty!” And really, it didn’t look bad, but they were always amazed at how much cleaner the house looked and smelled when we were finished.
Too many times dust-bunnies and grime build up in our spiritual houses all unbeknownst to us. Just from quick overviews, out house looks clean. We put clutter away, vacuum carpets, wash the floors and dust the furniture every week. It’s all neat and tidy, with no piles of rubble. But like the woman, we need to diligently clean our spiritual house. We need to pull out every habit and attitude and personal characteristic and examine it closely in the light of God’s Word. We need to listen closely to a man of God as he preaches the Word and check carefully under our spiritual beds and appliances. Just like the housekeeper, we will find dust-bunnies and grime, little feelings and thoughts, that have been hidden from us.
Then like the housekeeper, we must clean them up and polish the windows of our soul. When the Light of the Word shines in clearly, everything that is unlike Him will be exposed to our conscientious brooms and mops and scrub cloths.
Many times, like the poor housekeeper, we tend to keep our spiritual blinds closed and, lo, everything looks great. I know women who seldom open their blinds or drapes, as though they are hiding from the world. Their houses look ‘nice’ until bright light is shone on them. Then the hidden corners of dust and the grimy spots on the walls show up.
Let’s take the Word of God and apply the mops and scrubrags industriously to our hearts and lives. That way we will have no particle of sinful clutter or dirt hiding in our spiritual houses.