Preparing for War

Greetings in the Name of Our Great God,

I pray the grace of God and the love of Christ has already encouraged your heart this day.

Navigating the minefield of our world while seeking to maintain a God-honoring life and retaining a biblical perspective is a daunting task to say it mildly. False teaching, emotionally appealing temptation, greed, the exaltation of man, and the ultimate pursuit of personal pleasure are just a few of the deceptive and deadly traps that inundate our lives daily. What have you done to prepare yourself against such attacks? How do you traverse this treacherous terrain without losing sight of the Truth? Parents, what are you doing to prepare your children to live, move, and have their being in a world that seeks to distract them from all that is right and all they were created for? Make no mistake, we live in a time of war, and our lives have been placed on the frontlines of the battle where the minds, hearts, and souls of men lay in the balance. Have you considered the high cost of going into this battlefield unprepared? Well, over the next few weeks I would like to help equip us so that we can walk vigilantly with biblical confidence and Christ-centered courage as we live and lead our families through a world that is satanically enslaved and sinfully saturated (Eph 2:1-3; 1 Jn 5:19).

 

As we begin let me clarify that the war we ultimately face and fight takes place primarily within the mind in how man thinks, understands, and responds to God’s Truth (Rom 8:5-8; 2 Cor 10:3-6). Thus, Scripture declares that Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers in order to keep them from understanding the truth of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4-6; 2 Thess 2:10-12). Consider how it is the suppression of truth, by way of futile thinking and a darkened heart, that leads to a life of debauchery (Rom 1:18-32). Furthermore, the Bible lucidly explains the inseparable link between the heart and the mind because out of the overflow of the heart come the evil thoughts and actions of life (Mt 15:19). Yet only God can change a heart, bringing life to that which is cold, calloused, and dead (Ezek 36:26; Jn 1:12-13, 3:3-8; Eph 2:1-4). However, God’s super natural work of awaking a heart never happens apart from God’s Truth (Rom 10:14-17). That is why He commands us to defend His Truth (1 Tim 3:16; Jude 1:3), declare His Truth (2 Tim 4:1-5), and bring His Truth to bear upon the mind in order to see unbelievers saved and believers protected and purified (Jn 8:32; Rom 10:14-17; 12:1-2; Col 1:5-6; 1 Tim 2:4; 3:16; 2 Tim 2:24-26; Titus 1:13-14). Therefore, the battle is ultimately a war for truth that rages in the mind and heart of everyone and that is why the Scriptures exhort us to take every thought captive to the Word of God (2 Cor 10:3-6; Rom 12:1-2).

 

Now, that we have a biblical understanding on the nature of the war that rages around us, we can begin to consider how to best prepare ourselves and others for standing firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph 6:10-20). For the believer, it all begins with having and maintaining the right theological and biblical perspective that controls the way you live (2 Cor 10:3-6). Some have called this a “biblical worldview” where you think and see everything around you through the lens of Scripture. I have heard it said, “outlook determines outcome,” so that the way you look or think about life will determine the way you will live life. Let me say it as succinctly as I can, “right thinking leads to right living!” This is wholeheartedly biblical and specifically what Paul meant by not being conformed to the ways of the world through being regularly recalibrated and transformed by the renewing of the mind through the study and saturation of Scripture (Rom 12:1-2). Therefore, as I write over the next few weeks I want to give you a biblical philosophy, worldview, and grid that will protect and purify your thinking and your living as Christians in a Christ-less world. Until then, I want you to know that I look forward to seeing you and worshipping with you on Sunday as we praise the Lord together and hear from His Word. We will be contemplating the power and priority of prayer, and we will consider a model prayer of Paul found in Col 1:9-14. Will you pray with me that the preaching of God’s Word will impact all of our lives so that we grow in our understanding of Christ and our desire to exalt Him in and through our lives?

Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt

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