I read an article from Shane Idleman that was so profound, so insightful; I had to share it with you. Idleman entitled the article, “Why Are Christian Women Watching ‘Fifty Shades Darker’?” Which is the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Both films celebrate bondage, sexual domination, and perverted sexual activity. But his article doesn’t mention the movies. Instead, he deals with how our consciences have been seared so badly that these things don’t even bother us anymore. Think about it. As Micheal Snyder points out, we “can’t get through a major awards show or a Super Bowl halftime celebration without being forced to see things that would have been absolutely unthinkable in this country just 50 years ago.”
In his article entitled, “We Live In a Society Where ‘Fifty Shades,’ Beyonce And Lady Gaga Are Considered Entertainment,” Synder points out the ugly truth that our society “is accepting perversion, sexual violence, and occult rituals as being normal.” The saddest part is that both articles plainly state that this has become acceptable within our churches! Dear Lord, what has happened to our churches?
Churches were once the beacon of Righteousness; of Holiness; of Purity but have now become desensitized to this debauchery that surrounds it. In fact, the “debauchery” has entered the churches. And we silence the Holy Spirit’s voice to fill our hearts and minds with a passion for “what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.” (Philippians 4:8)
Shane Idleman illustrated this with a story he had heard. I will warn you this story is quite graphic, but it is a perfect example of what has occurred in our churches:
Eskimos in the barren North often kill wolves by taking a razor-sharp knife and dipping it in blood. They allow the blood to freeze to the blade. Then they bury the handle of the knife in the snow with the blade exposed. As the wolf begins to lick the blade, his tongue becomes numb and desensitized due to the cold. As he continues, his tongue begins to bleed, and he licks even faster—unaware that he is consuming his own blood and slowly killing himself.
Within time, the Eskimos return and bring the dead animal home. In the same way, the enemy numbs us through compromise. Within time, we, like the wolves, don’t realize that we are dying—dying spiritually. The enemy desensitizes us until we are numb to the things of God.
He concludes the story with a famous quote:
“All the water in the world, no matter how hard it tries, can never sink a ship unless it gets inside. All the evil influence of the world, no matter how hard it tries, can never sink a Christian’s soul unless it gets inside.”
I have told you many times that the greatest battle we will ever fight begins in our minds, in our T.I.S. (Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions). Our struggle for Holy Living starts in our minds, as it says in Proverbs, “As [a man] thinks in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul wrote that the Spirit gives us desires that are the exact opposite of what our sinful nature desires and that these two forces are continually fighting against each other.
Don’t let that scare you. If there is still a fight going on in your heart, it confirms your commitment to Christ is still active.
The concern is how much moral compromise has entered the church. As Idleman states, “I have seen soft-porn images on Christian websites, questionable movie clips during PowerPoint sermons, and youth pastors talking about their favorite sexually charged TV shows or movie with the youth, all under the guise of ‘relating’ to the culture.”
Because the love of this world (gratifying the flesh) is being satisfied (instead of being crucified) many believers are, to borrow from Idleman’s story, “licking furiously at the blade of our death,” and walking away from Christ. How sad. Our Lord clearly stated that the desires of this world will choke the Word of God and make it unfruitful (see Mark 4:19).
We flippantly trade the trash the world is offering to replace the passion we once had for the purity of God’s Word. This is why we must guard what we put into our mind! As they say, “Garbage in, Garbage out.” It all adds up and affects our relationship with our Father at a very deep level.
John pointed this out in one of his letters:
“Do not love the world of sin that opposes God and His precepts, nor the things that are in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life; the pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things — do not come from the Father, but are from the world.
The world is passing away, and its lusts, the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever” (I John 2:15-17)
What music do you find entertaining? To what radio stations are your favorites? What TV shows do you watch? This is important because what you hear and what you see affects your heart (and it is impossible to separate the two!). If our desire is to know Christ more personally, we must be more watchful what media we feed ourselves. If we are going to fill our mind with the world all week and expect the Spirit of God to guide us, we are fooling ourselves.
We need to quit “playing” Christianity and start living out our faith. We should never become satisfied with simply giving “our God” His due (a few hours on Sunday), and forget His call to “Get away from unbelievers; to separate ourselves from them. And to have nothing to do with anything unclean” (II Corinthians 6:17). Is the world influencing you during the week? What are you feeding yourself? Who are your companions? Who and what is influencing you? Is your heart set on the things above or on the things of the world? Just take a look at your “likes” and posts on Facebook because they will provide insight as to where your heart is.
You are being deceived by all your compromise. James reminds us that if we listen to God’s Word but don’t put it into practice, we are fools (okay, to be fair is says we are fooling ourselves but by saying it my way seems to make a stronger point. lol), in other words, we are deluding ourselves. The power of God’s Word lies in applying it to our lives. Non-Christians are not the only ones viewing the sexually explicit and violent movies. Many Christians are just as active. By not applying purity to our lives, our faith is being diluted. Many Christians are actually addicted to porn (as well as supplying the revenue to fuel the industry).
Our carnality is destroying our relationship with Christ and our genuine fellowship with other believers. It is destroying our prayer lives as well. A carnal Christian does not pray and seek their Father’s, heart. A deep prayer life will expose façades and crush hypocrisy. Carnality destroys our spiritual power and hinders the influence of the Spirit in our lives. It compromises everything that our Father has called us to be.
Being selective with what we watch and listen to has nothing to do with legalism; it has everything to do with wisdom. We are to recognize what glorifies Christ and what clearly does not. Grace does not relieve us of our responsibilities. When Grace is guiding our decisions, we will live a higher standard. It isn’t about following a bunch of rules. Let your freedom in Christ and a relationship with Him guide you. All of us have watched questionable material and made wrong choices; so don’t live with all that guilt. But also, don’t justify your bad behavior by believing that the Holy Spirit doesn’t care what you watch or listen to because He does. We are to serve and love God with our mind, as well with our hearts. (See Rom.ans 7:25.)
Watch Shane Idleman’s sermon, “Don’t Reject the Voice of God”
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