Renewing the Mind (continued…)
I love the way the Message puts Psalm 119:11,
“I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.”
It goes along with 1 Corinthians 10:13,
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
When Paul mentions temptation or tempted, another word for that would be testing or tested. So there is no temptation or testing that will catch us by surprise when we are saturating in the Word of God. There are verses specifically designed to combat different temptations. If we struggle with depression, we have Psalm 42. If we struggle with materialism and greed, we have 1 Timothy 6. If we have a tendency toward words that do not glorify God or an angry spirit, we have Ephesians 4. If lust is coming in on you then learn the first part of Ephesians 5.
The Bible is an offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit. Why is it that we have a tendency to turn to it after we are in the midst of the battle? Don’t get me wrong, we need to turn to it before, during, and after every battle because spiritual warfare is constant.
Jesus, when being tempted in Matthew 4, would quote Old Testament texts that He’d memorized. He was premeditated in working on a good offense by striking down every temptation Satan flung at Him when He was in the thick of things. We can do the same. Determine your weakest links, search out the verses to combat those struggles, then put them to memory. You will be armed and dangerous.
Let me put it another way. In order to carry a handgun around you have to have a concealed carried license that proves you have been trained and are responsible to carry a weapon. When you became a child of God you received your concealed carry license to carry around the Word of God in your heart. It’s a dangerous weapon against the enemy of our soul and he knows it. He is going to do all that he can to have you fall to sin and keep you from the Bible. How about reversing the tables on him? Read and memorize the Bible and it will keep you from sin.
I pray that you will saturate in the Word of God today. Take a verse or a passage of Scripture and place it where you will run across it often. This Sunday will be my last sermon in the series, “Embracing Exile.” Come and learn what it is to be more than survivors.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene