Many people would think they do not need the church. A few weeks ago I wrote about why I need my church family. The reasons I need the church reinforces the fact that we must make church a priority. I heard a preacher say this: “if your salvation is not good enough to get you to church, then it is probably not good enough to get you to heaven.” Even though the words are strong, they are filled with truth. Church is not something that should be attended out of convenience but it is something that should be attended as a matter of priority. Here is why:
‘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. ‘ Hebrews 10:23-25
- We need the Interaction: It is hard to influence without interaction. We interact with the world throughout our week, and we also need the same kind of interaction with other believers. My dad used to say that we end of smelling like the things we hang around. We need to interact with other believers because it stabilizes and strengthens us. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ‘ Proverbs 27:17 I am sorry, but you and I cannot interact with a television screen, or phone screen. We must have the interaction.
- We need the Inspiration: Verse 24 says we are to provoke one another. When I am around God’s people I always walk away inspired. I am provoked to be better. Please understand that when we go to church we are inspiring someone. Let me say this…when we don’t go we are also inspiring someone…just not to be better. God’s people are suppose to bring out the best in us. I want to be pushed, provoked, and motivated to have more faith, live closer to Christ, and to love in ways never imagined. This does not happen without the Church.
- We need the Instruction: Many of us are trying to operate of small amounts of instruction each week. No wonder we are getting our eyes beat out by Satan. We need God’s word preached to us, taught to us, and read over us. Without instruction, we will fail. We cannot improve on an instruction from God. The greatest lessons I have ever learned was sitting in church under the preaching of God’s word. When you do not make church a priority you are neglecting an opportunity to receive instruction. Let me add that it may be a piece of instruction that will never be given again.
Before you go off on the tangent about the church being corrupt, let me warn you that you are talking about God’s bride. Before you start talking about the hypocrites within the church, let me go out on a limb and say there is a touch of hypocrisy in all of us. Before you get mad about how church operates, we must all realize that the church was God’s idea. He is died for it, he designed it, and he directs it; therefore, I am believe we need to make it a priority in our lives. Otherwise, we are just making excuses.
Moving into the latter part of this series we need a quick recap in order to understand what we are about to learn. First, we learn that our battle is not in a human form but rather a spiritual form. The battle of spiritual warfare is a battle that is fought within the mind. The key to victory is when we realize the heart and mind are directly connected. We have learned that when we change the way a person thinks, we can change the way a person lives. It is at this point we need to realize that there are basically two avenues that effect a person’s thinking: the ears and the eyes. This means that what a person hears, and what a person sees has a direct influence on their minds. Yes, I am saying that the music we listen to, the shows we watch on television, and the things we allow ourselves to see on the internet have a tremendous impact on whether or not we win in the arena of spiritual warfare. Let me give you some principles that will help you win the daily battle.
- Fill Our Ears with Godly Music. Many would say that I am stretching it too far. I am telling you, music has a tremendous impact on our mental state. Think about it…music what do we see professional athletes doing before the games? Listening to music. Why? Because it helps them mentally get ready for their game. It effects their preparation. Now, we have a battle going on everyday. Based on what we learned from our previous lessons that if we lose the wrestling match then it will have fatal results. David played music to remove the evil spirit form Saul, Paul and Silas used music to loose the chains of bondage within a prison cell, and one day God’s people will walk through the throne room of Heaven singing the song of the redeemed. Music has a tremendous impact on the state of your mind. We must fill our ears with things that bring victory and not defeat. Filling our ears with Godly music will have a huge influence on our thinking. Therefore, having a big impact on how we live. ‘And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. ‘ Mark 4:24
- Guard Our Eyes from Ungodly Images. ‘I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. ‘ Psalms 101:3 It is so difficult to maintain but it is absolutely vital that we learn to guard our eyes. Let me say this, I truly believe that pornography is stealing the minds of our current generation. It is not just a sin within our churches, but I believe it one of the most dominant sins within the church today. Another, avenue of Satan attack is through our newer horror films. I have recently seen movie trailers that were so demonic that it sent chills down my spine. If you do not think that Satan is using these movies to dull our spiritually senses, then you are very naive. Our children are being influenced more by what is on a television, or Youtube than their own parents. It takes boundaries, but we must guard our eyes. If we are not careful we will allow a stronghold attach to us that will take a miracle to remove.
I want to leave you with this final verse. It think it solidifies what we need in order to win the battles of spiritual warfare. ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ‘ Philippians 4:8