21 Aug The Daily Battle Within Us
Awhile back, I was having a hard time using my laptop because it was lagging a lot. I tried deleting off all kinds of files in different folders but it always says there is not enough disk space. Until I went to a brethren, who helped me locate a hidden folder that has like 200 over GB of old video files I was editing. Deleted that, and my laptop was functioning as good as new.
Now much like my gadget here filled with files that should be in the trash and emptied, many times, our hearts and minds can be like that too.
A large part of us like to go by our feels, the vibe, and even for those who have heard God’s word for awhile now, we can still go a lot by our feelings in our daily lives. But we often fail to see that our feelings are the result of our limited, incomplete and subjective judgment. Like the saying goes, our greatest battle is the one within. And when the enemy takes hold of our hearts and minds, we can get easily manipulated. So when an information comes in and causes us some confusion, or a phrase that someone says stirs up doubts, or a tough situation makes us feel helpless, we have to wrestle with our hearts and minds. We need to pay careful attention to our emotions and thinking system, lest it be accumulating untruths, doubts, worldly desires over time until we let it become a hidden folder within us, not dealt with but causing us lots of spiritual lag and dysfunctions.
So firstly, contrary to popular mantras, do not follow your heart. Why? Because we live in a world of deception and our own hearts are deceitful. So you see how close and intense the battle is? There is an external and internal factor to consider. And as 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is near. Be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” Yes, we may have known God by His word, but when tiredness hit us or we get an impact from our circumstances, our hearts and minds can often absorb the wrong signals such that we start to compromise, harden our hearts on certain areas or just derail from God’s leading. This is similar to 1 Chronicles 21:1 when King David was doing well but “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” Here, David insisted on counting how many fighting men he had, which was against God’s instructions. Now, brothers and sisters, do we not only count the blessings of grace upon us but also take into account other things of ourselves? Like our achievements, labour, how much harder we are working than others, how much more burdens we are bearing than others, how we are not valued in comparison to others and such? When we, like David, start to dwell and look into our personal account and see how much or how little we have against God’s instructions, we will find our faith being affected and we will also in a way, belittling God’s sovereignty. When a thought or emotion comes to us, we have to give ourselves time to mull over it deeper as we test and affirm whether it is based or in line with God’s truth and the Holy Spirit’s assurance. Do not be too quick to approve the things of our heart and mind. Even if we are someone that has good general knowledge or is proficient in some particular areas, but we cannot deny that many times, we can be subjective to things. Thus, the key to true wisdom in a child of God is humility. A humble person will not take time to seek and run through their mindset and emotions with God before deciding on anything. As said in Proverbs 15:22, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” These counsel and advisers must come from the basis of where God’s Word is the guiding principle.
And with that, we thus have to “install” blessed content within our hearts and minds. Just like a programme that I downloaded to help me manage my files and folders better, we too have to have a blessed guide installed in us, so that we can easily identify “corrupted or trash” items that is taking up our spiritual disk space. In Proverbs 15:14 it says, “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” And Psalm 101:3 says, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.” With so many information easily accessible now, why do people still know so much but understand so little? It is because of the influx and influence of so many unhealthy content. For example, the fake news, fear mongering kind of information, baseless articles and such. All these can be the breeding ground of discontentment, lack, comparison, greed, lust and so much more. Thus, the antidote is really to stop feeding ourselves with sources of folly but with the right knowledge of God’s truth.
Now brothers and sisters, this is an ongoing battle, the one within us. Therefore, we must never stop seeking the knowledge that helps our hearts and minds discern what is God centered and what is not. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” The world tells men to chase after all kinds of success, but the bible tells us to pursue wisdom. Not just one based on knowing many things, but one coupled with humility. Humility that is receptive and willing to follow God’s convictions and instructions to submit to Him, rely on Him, affirm Him and treat His word and promises with full confidence and anticipation. This is true wisdom and insight that can draw us out from the deep waters of our hearts and minds. With this, we no longer just look at things around us or problems at the angle of our old perspective, but we see things with God’s perspective and from the platform of His truth. When we keep doing so, our hearts and minds will be edified and strengthened in trust, growing in Christ’s likeness. Just like how Christ, no matter what He faced, he can have the steadfast faith to continue walking towards the cross.
May we rely on God’s word and every wisdom to challenge our feelings and thoughts in all things. We have a God that is wiser, stronger and more protective than any enemies we battle before us. Let us surrender all to the Lord. God bless.