Recently I have been thinking about the incredible assault that we Christians are under as we live in a world that continually bombards us with the messages of the “spirit of the age”. The airwaves and the internet are saturated with messages and philosophies that defy God and His Lordship over our lives. As Christians we must be ever vigilant against these attack, the overt ones as well as the subtle ones. The Word of God is the weapon that we must use, its words of truth are our main defense against the lies of the world. In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:3-5).
The greatest battlefield in the life of the believer is the thought life. Paul exhorts us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. In Psalm 19:14, King David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Most of us have enough social graces that we can make our words acceptable when in the company of other people, but do we give much attention to reigning in our thoughts so that they are acceptable in God’s sight?
David had learned first-hand that wandering thoughts more often than not began with wandering eyes. The refusal to avert his eyes from a naked woman bathing on an adjacent roof top, stirred deep thoughts of lust that led to adulterous actions that led to murder itself. In Psalm 101, which I personally believe was a Psalm of David’s later years, he wrote, “I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes” (Psalm 101:2-3). What are worthless things? They are those things that are good for nothing, inappropriate, wicked, or unprofitable. If anyone has ever lived in an age that continually presents us with worthless things to look upon and ponder, we are that people and this is that day.
How does one fight back against the images and voices that continually pour forth those things raised up against the knowledge and will of God? As Paul exhorted us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, the Apostle Peter exhorts us to, “…prepare your minds for action…and to fix our hope completely on the grace of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:13). To the Philippians, Paul said, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, it there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
The images and the voices of the age are not going to go away, so we must war against these things in the power of the Spirit and with the Sword of the Lord, His Holy Word. We must resist filling our eyes and our minds with the world’s worthless things and make every effort to fill our minds with things that Paul calls us to think on, things that honor the Holy God whom we serve. It’s called warfare because it is a daily battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. But greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We have been given every resource with which to fight this battle, we have the shed blood of Jesus that has covered our sin, we have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and our Guide, we have a spiritual armor when put on and properly worn protects us against the flaming darts of the evil one. It is a battle we must choose to fight, it is a battle, in the power of God’s Spirit that we can win.