Someone once said that the ‘brain’ is a machine of repetition. When something, whether true or false, is presented to the mind and is repeated over and over again, it will believe it as truth. Here is one thing Adolf Hitler said which is worth quoting: tell a lie and repeat it over and over again, and people will believe it as truth. This is how today’s people’s social behavior, dressing styles, and general mannerism have been altered through what they continuously see on TV or the Internet. When a wrong thing or idea keeps getting the attention of a mind, it will reach a time when the sense of judgement will get numbed and will begin to tolerate wrong things. In that state of ‘numbness’, the mind is dead – it has become carnal!
When as a believer your mind becomes carnal, you will lose interest in spiritual things; you will lose the “joy of salvation” (Psa. 51:12). When the joy of the Lord vanishes, the strength to overcome sin also diminishes for “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh.8:10). Some who find themselves in this condition, but with a little ‘hangover’ of spirituality, often try to engage in the so-called spiritual warfare of loud prayers, casting out this and that imaginary demon. There have been many times when someone would come for counselling or write an email saying “Brother, I need God to deliver me from wrong thoughts of lust. I have been praying but the problem seems not to be leaving me”. Well, surely if the problem came by your deliberate will to expose your mind, over a period of time, to wrong influences, then it will have to leave you by your deliberate will to subject your mind, over a period of time (i.e. continuously), to the Word of God. Trying to do all the carnal charismatic ‘acrobatics’ to cast away some ‘wrong thoughts’ will only exhaust your flesh but yield zero results because “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Redeeming the Time
The late beloved brother and apostle of the Lord, John Mark Louse of Uganda, in his sermon during his visit to Zambia, remarked in his sermon that in this world Satan has so much robbed our time through various cares of life that a believer is now required to redeem the time in order to spend it wisely in prayer and fellowship. In speaking about John 10:10 – “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” – brother John Mark admonished about the one thing that is often stolen, Time, and the need to redeem it if we are to live fruitful Christian lives.
Surely, time has been stolen through various cares and pleasures of life. With the advent of social media many people can’t discipline themselves even with things like concentration with work at their offices or academic studies; the smart phone has become something that someone wants to touch every now and then at anytime and anywhere. What is not immediately seen is how much productive time is lost through such an addiction. Now, how much loss will it be to lose time both for physical and spiritual matters? If one is not careful, this obsession can eventually be so intense that even before one has their daily spiritual devotion in the morning when they wake up, the first thing they would look at are chat or post updates on Facebook or Twitter . At this point it can be said that a person can no longer exercise self-restraint; he or she has become enslaved to a habit. And, when this happens, one cannot be faithful. Faithfulness has much to do with self-restraint in order to live and abide by what is right, and in this case we are talking about God’s Word.
The faithfulness and devoutness of the early church
The early church, as described in the book of Acts, was full of sincere believers whose earnest desire was for spiritual things, not the cares of this life. In Acts 2:44-47 there are five good things that characterized the early church:
- They had genuine love and compassion for one another.
- Theirs was a desire for spiritual things, not the carnal things and riches of this world.
- They were devout, being in prayer every day.
- They were united in heart and purpose.
- The believers had integrity and virtuous lives which put them in favor with people.
It is important to know that the fruitfulness of the early church wasn’t haphazard; it was as a result of the faithfulness of the believers as much as it was a result of God’s grace. As in the words of apostle Paul to Timothy, the Lord will use us according to our faithfulness to him – “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Tim.1:12). May it be our prayer that our fellowships (churches) become virtuous, living faithful to the goal of our faith; “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb.10:23-25). Amen.