So, I’m mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (perhaps this was my first mistake). I notice that a friend of mine posted a profound story of God radically changing someone’s life, which was turned into a movie. I’m very intrigued and follow the link, which takes me to YouTube. I watch the trailer for this high-profile Hollywood movie, detailing the life of this man completely transformed by faith in Jesus. It has well-known actors and is critically acclaimed. I’m fascinated, and follow a link to an article/interview with the man the story is about. Meanwhile, the trailer finishes, and YouTube begins to auto-play a trailer for another movie. I sense that something is amiss. But, curious as to what might be related to the previous movie, I am again intrigued. The theme of the movie is similar, and has one of the same actors. Yet, the movie is extraordinarily perverted and completely non-redemptive. I can’t seem to peel my eyes away, though, because coming right after what was so good and fascinating, with the same actor, I’m confused and feeling inextricably drawn in. The gentle voice of the Holy Spirit is saying, “Turn it off”. But, I just feel I *have to* know what this thing is, and honestly, am still in disbelief at what I am seeing. . .
The trailer finishes, and I shut it all off. I’m flabbergasted, still in shock that a movie so base is mainstream, with several very well-known actors. I’m feeling serious regret, sorry for all that I have just taken in; this 2-minute assault on my mind.
Ever been there? There’s a battleground in our minds. It’s constant and it’s intense. We all face temptations, ideas, and images daily that seek to assault us, what we believe in, and what we stand for. Let me share with you what I did, and what I have learned to do in situations like this:
I went right to the Lord. “Lord, I’m sorry. I should have listened to Your Spirit. That was so wrong. I shouldn’t have watched it.” I was honest, I repented, and called wrong what was wrong. I took responsibility for my part in it.
Then, I took the thoughts and images that I had allowed into my mind and made them align with Jesus’s thoughts. I call this making my thoughts “bow the knee” to Jesus. I declared God’s love for the actors and producers of that movie. I declared His desire that the sinful things portrayed not be glorified, but His desire to destroy those things, expose their emptiness/lies and to reveal the True pleasures of knowing Him. This is the process of renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) and taking your thoughts captive and obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
As my mind continued to reel a bit, I was still in astounded that two such incredibly opposing messages were being proclaimed from Hollywood with the same strength and value. First, I thanked God for the good I had seen: that they were putting the transforming work of Jesus on display. But, just as I was confused by how both messages could come back to back with the same level of excellence and strength, I realized that just having some good messages coming out Hollywood doesn’t work… because what we end up with is major confusion! So many voices, so many messages, and all seemingly equal! So, I took my prayer beyond myself, to the war being waged in the airwaves, and the myriad of messages being shouted to our culture and this generation. I prayed that the voice of the Godly message would be loud and clear, and that the power of the other message would evaporate; that it would have no potency, no voice and no hearers. In so doing, I waged war for something way bigger than my little life. I believe God hears and answers those prayers!
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV).
Do you ever feel like the enemy is coming at you like a flood? It’s overwhelming. You feel powerless. Our curious and hungry minds are so easily fascinated and drawn away from what is good. And yet, in the midst of it, the Lord is there. He is whispering to you. Listen in and obey! But, even if you miss (or ignore) the warning whisper, the Lord is still there! The best thing you can do, is acknowledge Him and speak to Him honestly. The easiest way to bring Light into a situation is to have the simplest conversation with God in the midst of the darkness. We call it prayer. But, at the most basic level, it’s simply acknowledging Him there and talking to Him! You’ll be amazed at how a simply uttered prayer (yes, out loud is best!) can change the spiritual atmosphere instantly! I believe when you do that, you open the door for Him to come in and raise His standard against that flood tide coming at you! When HE comes it, it changes everything!
The more we learn to acknowledge Him, the more aware we will be of Him and His Truth in the face of deception. Because, as I experienced, a great deal of deception and darkness can be hidden behind things that look really nice on the outside, whether it be a good idea, a well-known name, good looks or a winning smile!
My favorite part is this: the thing that the devil meant to cause you to stumble and fall can be the thing that causes you to rise up and wage war! You’ll find yourself waging war against more than a momentary temptation, but for a revolution in the culture and a breaking down of cultural strongholds. I do believe that if we would all learn to respond to the floods that come against us this way, we would see God raise up His standard (imagine a dam) against it, nullifying the power, strength and influence of the enemy!
I hope you find these practical tips empowering and encouraging! What other proactive ways have you found to be effective in destroying the works of the enemy when he comes against you?