BATTLE FOR THE MIND
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
I wonder whether throughout history there has always been as intense a battle for our minds as is true today. Perhaps the battle began in earnest with the printing press. Of course, there always have been distractions of one kind or another. But never before have there been televisions, computers, the internet, radios, electronic tablets, and cell phones. No doubt these are having more of an impact on people than we realize. Young people are fascinated with electronic games. The content of many of these is unacceptable to Christian people, which can cause a problem within the home.
Through His Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus has given us a commandment:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1,2)
Have you, as an American, ever tried keeping your mind on Christ throughout the day and night? If you have, you have found it is not easy. Perhaps it is more difficult for me than it is for you. My mind flits from one thing to another, usually from one worry to another. Is it like that for you?
Sometimes when my mind is not occupied, I force myself to think of one thing. Then I pray about that one thing, or give thanks for it depending on the circumstances. This is a pretty good device but you really must work at it.
At the present time, America is in a political turmoil. There are the so-called conservatives and the so-called liberals. It is very easy to become inflamed on one side or the other. It may sound unpatriotic on my part, but I do not believe God wants us to be entangled in such wrangling. If there is some good we can do, that is fine. But I think God desires that we keep our minds in the heavenlies with the Lord Jesus.
They used to say about a believer, “He is so heavenly minded he is no earthly good.” It is my observation that most believers are so earthly minded they are no heavenly good!
Involvement in politics can really bring our mind down from the heavenly and into the earthly. I do not believe God is pleased with this. Then there is the situation in the world. Sin is widespread throughout the world. So are false religions. Three of the main issues are money, power, and sexual lust. These seem to dominate world thinking at this time. Plan after plan is advanced to bring peace. But there cannot be peace and prosperity apart from righteous behavior.
In the United States, at the present time (June 27, 2012), wildfires are consuming parts of the State of Colorado. Florida has changed from drought to torrential rainfall. But I have heard no one on the television or the internet suggest that we might ask God for help. I have never heard the President call on God for help.
I guess people do not like to hear about God or Jesus. They are attempting to solve the current problems with their own wisdom and strength — more so, I think, than in time past. People are so foolish when they do not call on God for help!
Various cities in our country are bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy. I never once have read in the newspaper or heard on the television the politicians urging that we pray. Sometimes one will hear a prominent athlete give glory to God for his or her accomplishments, but this does not happen often.
I think the Spirit of God is telling us to prepare for the Divine judgment that is to befall America because of our sins. I wonder whether, at that time, people will ignore God, curse God, or pray for assistance.
We are so blind! Our country is siding with the Arab populations who are rebelling against their dictators. Don’t we realize we are helping the rebels who are overthrowing their government, who then will turn and persecute Christians?
In fact, if it comes to a decision between democracy and Christianity, numerous Americans will choose democracy. They do not realize there is a great gulf between democracy, which is people-centered, and the Kingdom of God, which is God-centered.
So, as every politician understands, the battle for the mind is of supreme importance.
The various media and entertainment institutions continually emphasize sexual lust, violence, and the amassing of money. The American people in many instances seem to be unaware that these values are changing the behavior of people, particularly of young people who act as though the world owes it to them to have endless fun. As you listen to the television and read the newspaper, notice the number of incidents in which sexual lust, including the molestation of children, violence, and stealing money, are involved. Yet the media keep on filling our minds with lust, violence, and stealing money. Then we look around like fools and say what is presented to us and our children on television and the internet has nothing to do with our behavior.
You see, the democratic principle of freedom of speech, unless it is accompanied by a number of cautions, can be a veritable monster of iniquity.
We need to obey God’s commandment issued through the Apostle Paul:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
A major portion of what comes to us through the American media is neither true, nor noble, nor right, nor pure, nor lovely, nor admirable, nor excellent, nor praiseworthy. Yet our young people are bathed continually in these presentations, and we wonder why they rebel and murder people and have children out of wedlock.
One of God’s major emphases in the Old Testament is the training up of children. God desires that they be saturated with the Bible. God should often be mentioned in the home. The children should be trained in a Christian environment, as much as possible, because the public schools with its indoctrination in current secular values will make them socially dysfunctional. Children do not learn righteous behavior by being exposed to the bad, but by being exposed to the good.
I realize there are adults who are religious tyrants and try to force the children and young people to behave according to the religious understanding of the parents. Unless children are treated with loving understanding, they will only be driven away from Christ. This has happened to many people, and they hate church to this day.
There will come a time when men’s hearts are failing them for fear. Faith and fear cannot dwell in our mind and heart at the same time. Has God spoken to us concerning relief from fear?
He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord (Psalm 112:7)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, (Psalm 91:5)
I believe I am correct in saying that there are dreadful times facing us in the United States. The only thing that could save us would be nation-wide repentance and turning away from our sins. Do you believe this actually will take place?
The sin of abortion-on-demand alone is enough to bring down the wrath of God upon us. Sexual lust and sexual perversions brought down the wrath of God upon Sodom!
We Americans are given over to entertainment that is disgraceful. It would not have been tolerated in the early days of America.
Our President and some of our other governmental leaders do not call on God, at least not publicly, and give God the Glory due His name. It is as though by our own wisdom and strength we are going to solve the financial problems, the military problems, and the immigration problems. We do not call on the Lord Jesus for help. He can fix all these problems easily and quickly, but we refuse to ask His assistance.
Our nation prides itself on religious tolerance. But we are having major forces that are seeking to establish the worship of other gods. We who have served God for many years and are used to having fellowship with Him know how true it is that there is only one God, and Jesus is His Son and has full authority over God’s creation. We may believe that it is fine and democratic that we are tolerant of other religions. But God is not democratically inclined. If you will look at the nations of the world, you will notice that those countries that have been greatly influenced by Protestant Christianity have been the most prosperous.
But we are casting aside our Christian heritage, not realizing that it is not democracy that has made America great, but the worship of the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our President has been reported as saying, in an address to a foreign country, that America is not a Christian country. Although I may be mistaken, I think he is seeking to curry favor with countries of other religions. I believe He is mistaken. The president seems to have a mindset, and I believe the influence of people with that mindset is opening the door to demons, and thus we see the gruesome crimes and the destroying of the character of people by sexual lust. There is much proud boasting at governmental levels instead of a humble crying out to God. And we all are going to suffer for it.
We absolutely must resist the efforts of the media to influence us with the values of the antichrist world spirit. We must do what we can to train up our children in Christian values, without alienating them with our religious fervor so that as soon as they are of age they flee into the arms of the world. Children can be conquered and guided successfully only by love. I know this from teaching elementary school.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)
Vanity Fair is becoming the new name of America. I am not certain that any of us can make appreciable changes in America at this time. America appears to be bent on destroying all that was created by the wearying toils of former generations.
What we can do within our own family, as much as possible, is to drive out from our thinking every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and is not obedient to Christ. No matter what America and the rest of world do, we may be able to save ourselves and our loved ones.
So let’s make every effort to bring the Lord Jesus Christ into every aspect of our lives, and teach our children to do this.
We at Mount Zion Fellowship have just had our best youth camp ever. The theme was “Tabernacling With God.” Time was spent on: waiting to hear from God; getting right with God; becoming one body in Christ with as little interpersonal friction as possible.
“Impossible,” one might exclaim. Well, it happened, the result of seed sown for 35 years. It can happen for you; but I am afraid we are fighting against a vicious enemy — the American culture — at the present time.
Yet through the Lord Jesus Christ we can be more than overcomers in spite of everything Satan can bring against us.
(“The Battle for the Mind”, 3074-1, proofed 20211030)