I learned a lot this morning in Sunday Morning chapel here at Word of Life Bible Institute. The message was brought to us by Mr. Mark Strout. He spoke on Ephesians 4:17-24, and challenged us with the idea that what we think about is what we are. He said that our thoughts are SO closely tied to our actions that God considers them equally important and equally responsible (Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 5:28). "The overflow of your heart comes out of your mouth."
With this in mind, are you a pillar or puppet? Are you known as being stable, like a pillar? Or are you a puppet, which does exactly as it's told? Mr. Strout challenged us to be a pillar. The only way you can be transformed is if your mind is ALSO transformed. God does this by first transforming our mind (Romans 12:2), which brings me to his first point:
1. The only way to think/reason correctly is to think/reason according to the Word of God - John 8:31-32
God wants to transform our thinking with truth, Satan wants to conform our thinking with error.
So, how does Satan attack us? - Ephesians 6:16
If the fiery darts talked about in Ephesians were real fiery darts, the Bible would tell us to pick up our shield of iron, or leather, or a shield made of something that will put the fire out. That tells me something about Satan's darts, AND it's also another reminder of how powerful God is. If we are to take up our shield of faith, that means faith can put out the darts of the devil.
Way back in medieval times, archers would stick small wads of burning tar onto the end of their arrows, and then shoot them over the castle wall. They were hoping that it would land on a flammable substance such as hay or a thatch roof, and destruction on the inside. Satan does the same thing to us.
So how do those darts get 'inside our walls' (aka in our mind)?
I. Through your eyes
- What you look at what you think about - 1 John 2:16; Psalms 101:3
II. Through your ears
- What you listen to determines how you think - Proverbs 1:5
Now, this doesn't only apply to music, but listening to other people too. If you listen to ungodly council, take ungodly advice, or hang around lots of swearing or complaining, that is affecting you.
But it also DOES apply to music. Satan is using music to mass-influence people's minds.
Why does music matter so much? Music affects 1) Your emotions. If you don't believe me try watching a movie with no music. And 2) music imprints ideas on your mind, and then plays them back, and back, and back, and back. Can you recite more error from the worldly music than truth of God's Word? Col. 3:16. Not necessarily Scripture, but there are plenty of Christian artists who write songs that are pure Scripture (Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Third Day) all three of those artists have music that is pure Scripture. Fill your mind with that!
III. Music affects our spirits - Satan may be able to suggest ideas/implant ideas in our minds as well as God - 2 Corinthians 11:3; Acts 5:3; Nehemiah 2:12.
So Satan is able to use music for his will as well as God using it for His will.
Manage what occupies your mind.
I. Deliberately fill your mind with truth.
a. Listen to the Bible
b. Display Bible verses where you will see them and get familiar with them.
II. Deliberately reject thoughts that contradict truth.
You know what these are. You have them every day (I'm right along with ya!)
III. Deliberately fix your mind on Truth - Phillipians 4:8
Another good way to phrase this is "Think about Truth on purpose. Meditate on it. Chew on it."
So, let me ask you again; are you a pillar or a puppet? Are you a devoted Christ-follower? Or a 'Claim to be' Christian that isn't any different than the world except for the big JESUS sticker across his/her forehead? Be PILLARS! Be mature in Christ!
I want to thank Mr. Mark Strout for sharing this message this morning! It's a good reminder to stand strong and know what you believe.