“Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.” (Proverbs 7:25, NIV)
Does God have your heart? Or does your heart wander? Does your heart stray? The key to victory over sin is not hating sin–let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t hate sin! Sometimes the reason why it’s hard to leave sin is that we like it… sometimes we even love it. But as much as our fallen human natures love the darkness, we can overcome sin with love for God. We may at times love our sin, but we love Jesus more.
Love is stronger than fear or duty. I may give God my will to do what is right, but unless I give Him my heart, it’s short-lived. Love endures when the will falters. Love compels when fatigue sets in. Love drives on when duty fades away. That’s why worship is so vital to the Christian life! It is in and through worship that we give our hearts to God, and when He has our hearts, He has all of us. This morning I was deeply moved by this verse and the song below. My prayer for the week is that you will make this song your anthem, and in so doing will find yourself more deeply in love with our Lord than ever before.
“In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house” (Mark 3:27, NIV).
Jesus speaks these words in response to an accusation from the teachers of the law that he was using the power of Satan to drive out demons. But Jesus points out that the power of evil cannot be used for good. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Jesus is casting out demons and bringing freedom from oppression, not by the power of Satan, but by the power of God that has overcome the evil one. Jesus has come into the “strong man’s” house to plunder it. He has invaded the kingdom of Satan and is setting the captives free, healing the sick, caring for the poor and hurting, and generally wreaking havoc in Satan’s plans for evil.
These words called me to reflect on my own life. Am I a house divided? Do I ask God for redemption, but hold back areas I don’t want him to touch? Do I have “strong men” protecting things in my life I don’t want Christ to plunder? If I truly desire freedom and victory, I may need to deal with a “strong man” in my own life. My prayer for us this week is that we will tie up a “strong man” and allow the Lord to plunder our hearts, to invade our lives, and to wreak havoc in our sin. Because the thing about Jesus is, after he breaks up our sin and drives it out, he puts us back together and makes us new.
“When spending time looking at filth, it’s really hard to stay connected to truth” ~ Russell Brand. Pornography is no longer a trend, but it is an epidemic. Our culture has vilified fidelity for a quick fix of self-gratification while desensitizing the harmful effects of pornography & creating a sense of the “new normal” expression of sensuality. The Bible is clear about pornography…and other unmentionables. The Bible does not mince words either. Jesus offers victory. For some, victory is instantaneous. For others, victory will be one step at a time, one day at a time. This topic is clearly Too Hot To Handle.