Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Learning to Fight the Enemies of Good Intentions

In review of Psalm 119:112 it says, “I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what” (CEV).

Bottom Line:
I’ve set my heart on obeying your laws, no matter what.

What this means to me:
No matter what my situation is, I’ve set my heart on obeying your laws for the rest of my life.

In Psalm 119:105-112, it reminds me that God’s word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Therefore, I should commit myself to obeying your righteous regulations. Without you Lord, I suffer, therefore I ask you to help restore my life. Lord I ask you to accept my offering of praise, and to teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but no matter what, I will strive to never stop obeying your instructions. In this life, I know that the wicked have set their traps for me, but regardless I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasures; they are my hearts delight. I am determined to keep you decrees to the very end.

In order to walk safely in the woods at night I need a light to keep from tripping on things before me. In life I face a similar dark forest of evil. The bible (God's Word) helps me to see the way ahead of me so that I don't stumble as I walk. God’s Words and guidance help to reveal, the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. As I study God's word, I will be able to see my way clear enough to stay on the right path.

What I’m learning is that the reason why most people are ineffective in life, is that they’ve never learned how to fight the battle of the mind. In order for me to learn the management of my mind, I have to deliver it from destructive thoughts. This isn’t easy, because there are three enemies that strive to keep me from fulfilling all of my good intentions and life changes.

1. The first enemy is your old nature.
Paul says in Romans 7:23, “There is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (NLT). There are times where I find myself doing things that I don’t really want to do? That’s the battle in your brain between your old, sinful nature and your good intentions.

2. The second enemy is Satan.
Satan cannot force me to do anything, but he can make suggestions, and those suggestions are extremely powerful. He is constantly planting negative thoughts in my mind. He’ll use other people or he’ll use the television or he’ll just throw a thought my way.

3. The third enemy is the world’s value system.
Not many things in our society encourage self-discipline? In fact, nearly every advertisement says, “You deserve a break today. Have it your way. We do it all for you.” Scripture says in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world” (NIV).

With enemies like these, no wonder I struggle with discouragement and despair and failure!

So how do I fight this battle? Look at what 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says: “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).

I have a choice. My mind has to listen to myself. God didn’t give me just a mind; he gave me a will! The best time to win the battle with temptation is before it begins. “I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what” (Psalm 119:112 CEV).

I know in my life, Satan specifically uses my feelings of inadequacy, pride and my inclination toward procrastination (or laziness) to negatively affect my behaviors. I need to re-establish a routine of memorizing Scripture to help battle the thoughts. I need to find specific verses that speak to those areas that Satan uses in my life.