Thursday, June 25, 2015

Are You Immune From Catching Spiritual Viruses?

Face it, we all do what we can to stay healthy. I mean who loves being sick. Sure people love to call in "sick" to get the day off, but not when we really are sick. It makes us miserable, grouchy, and often times impacts plans we have to forgo because we can't physically participate in them. Who loves being sick while you're on vacation. I would wager almost everyone would say NO ONE!

So why then, are we willing to put ourselves spiritually at risk to all the viruses in the the world today. I guess some would call them temptations. Just because you are a believer doesn't mean you are spiritually immune, in fact, you are the biggest challenge and target in the unseen realm. One day we will realize exactly what we are up against and it won't be pretty. Some have been privy to what is really going on when we least expect it and others dabble in things they have no idea what they are truly doing.

As believers it is our daily responsibility to ensure we have our antibiotics, our antibacterial wash, and plenty of supplies to ward off any attacks. But even with the best intentions, we fail. Sometimes, miserably and wonder how we managed to get sick.

It will always come subtlety just like it did for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Imagine, they were perfect creatures, not like us, living in a perfect place, again not us. Yet Satan tempted them with twisting of God's Words.

When God told them they could do every single thing in Eden except for one, ANYTHING, why was the one thing they couldn't have enough to tempt them. Initially it wasn't. It wasn't until the serpent caught Eve off guard and twisted God's words in Genesis 3"1-5 in the NIV, 

"Did God really say, " you couldn't eat from any tree in the garden?"  The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Isn't it interesting that Eve, wasn't concerned that the serpent was talking to her? It didn't freak her out, instead she was focusing on the thoughts going on in her mind, questioning whether she may have heard God correctly. Isn't that like the temptations we face?

It begins in our thought life, and then moves to our words or action. We don't just blindly say or do things, our thoughts give birth to sin! That is why it is so important to guard our thoughts. Our thoughts are influenced by what we see, and what we hear so it is imperative that we remain on guard and make sure the things we think about through what we see and hear are godly. We need to stop trying to justify our actions and believe they won't have an impact in our life. It may not happen right away, but overtime, those things build up and the things we look at and hear become more and more twisted in our thoughts and before we know it, we slip and fall.

The enemy loves to work in the lives of believers of Jesus because people in the world who don't know better are already doing the work of the enemy anyway. They are feeding on the lusts of the eyes and ears, fulfilling the selfish desires of their heart, living it up as they say, for tomorrow we might die right?

Yikes, what a twisted world we truly live in! There is more to life than what we really see and hear, but we must have spiritual eyes and ears to know the truth. We must not fall into the trap or the lies of the world that would try to justify there isn't anything we can do to change things, because we can. But it must begin with us first. We are the biggest threat to the world, believers of Jesus! We need to ensure that we don't fall victim to the viruses of corruption, deceit, lies and temptations of the world, because we don't live here. Our home is in heaven.

We need to do a few things to ensure we don't fall into the traps of getting sick. So what can we do to beef up our immune systems spiritually?

1. Read the Bible every day! Even if it's just 5 minutes, crack it open and ask God to show you what you need today! The more you study the Word of God, the more you will be prepared to know the lies when the world tries to twist it.

2. Pray! It's the most powerful weapon we possess and the one we fail to use the most. If the enemy can get us to stop praying it takes the focus off of God, and puts it on us and what is happening in our life. Prayer puts us in immediate communication of God and we are spiritually transported into the very presence and throne room of God. Picture that, the next time you are praying!

3. Sing praise and worship songs to God every single day. In fact, I challenge you to spend the next 30 days incorporating at least 15 minutes or more of praise and worship music in your day. Try listening to some just before you head off to sleep. Power comes in our worship and it's the one thing angels can't do. I can imagine how they flock to churches just to watch what happens when we spend time singing them to our heavenly Father. Embark on the journey because it truly is life changing. The more you worship, the less struggle you will have in your spiritual walk. When we fall down, it will make us get back up a whole lot quicker!

4. Spend time in church! It's our spiritual booster shot! It helps get us through the time we have to spend in the world, and unites us with other believers. For those that find reasons to avoid church, get over it. It's not about YOU, it's about HIM! It's about us, standing together united in prayer, in song, and in the Word of God. It's about the sick and wounded coming to know more about our God, and trust me, there are people in church that are coming there for whatever reason, and they will be making judgments about the God we serve, based on what they see in us. What will they see in You? It's it about YOU or about Him?

We need to remember, that every single day we walk onto the battlefield not a play ground. We need to ensure we have all that we need to wage that daily war, just like a soldier or warrior would never step into a situation without his weapons, we need to ensure we have ours.

Ephesians 6:10-18 ~ "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (NIV). 

What does all the armor mean?

Belt of Truth: A dishonest Christian can't hope to understand the father of lies himself. Means integrity, a life of practical truthfulness and honesty!

Breastplate of Righteousness: practical righteous character and deeds of a believer.

Feet fitted with a readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: the gospel is the firm foundation on which believers stand and we need to defend and spread it to the world.

Shield of Faith: used to protect us from the assaults of Satan to penetrate the believer who places his trust in God.

Sword of the Spirit: Our only weapon and it is an offensive weapon, a specific word that needs to be spoken in a specific situation, therefore you must know the Bible intimately!

Pray in the Spirit: Without prayer, all the armor would be of no use. Perseverance and patience in prayer are essential. NEVER GIVE UP even if your answer doesn't come right away.

In fact in Revelation 5:8b  ~ :The twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (NIV).

Our prayers are in heaven and God has kept every single one of them. If they weren't important, why does God keep them in golden bowls? Because they are precious to Him, like incense, something the high priests were required to offer up daily to God. We are meant to pray daily! It causes a reaction in heaven and God is never too busy to hear them.

So today, have you prepared yourself spiritually to avoid catching any spiritual virus? Time to suit up and prepare for battle. Oh and by the way, we win in the end, no matter what the enemy tries to tell you! Remind him of his future next time he reminds you of your failure!

Isaiah 54:17 ~ "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me. ~ declares the LORD." (NIV).

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