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Christ in Me Through Beholding

Pekka Maattanen

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Have you ever wondered why reading the bible is boring and your spiritual life does not seem to advance? Do you get discouraged because those same character defects seem to constantly arise despite even praying for victory? By beholding we become changed. What I take in through my senses can either hinder OR support Christ's work in me. Let's learn what are some healthy forms of entertainment and those that could be hindering us.

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  • August 15, 2015
    4:30 PM

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Our Father in Heaven Lord we are so privileged to know you. You are a creator you know our minds inside and out. And you know exactly what's best for them. And what I pray as we study today. That you would make it clear how we can protect our minds and we can focus squarely on Jesus. And what he's done for us and what he wants to do with us I pray in Jesus' name amen. So we're living in an age where artificial stimulation of our senses. Is at an all time high. There's. We've got tablets we've got smartphones we've got every man every manner of our tronic device that's painting. When we get a message. There's a constant bombardment of our senses. With some form or another of stimulation. And this is particularly true in the cities. Visually. If you go to Toronto you'll see. Billboards all over the place with half naked ladies. You'll see all kinds of hyper sexualized images. And you're going to see people walking around wearing. Basically underwear. And this is what you're constantly bombarded with. I work in the city right now. And I see this. And it's it's. You know it's. It's no wonder that. In Revelation we're told that Babylon is that great city and were called in Revelation aching for to come out of her. But that's not the topic of today. Even though it is related. So the other thing that I really want to focus on here and this is what's. You know those may be the more obvious. Deceptions are the more obvious things. Ways that. The devil gets at us but there are much more subtle ways that he tries to get into our minds and. You know. I have this habit of checking the news. For example. I like to check the news. Quickly check the news. You know the news is not immune to this kind of subliminal messaging. And the news websites have all kinds little like taglines little little sidebars little that all images even. That especially for men to take your attention and they lead you places where you didn't expect to go. Or you wish he would never gone. So these are these are these are things that are reality in each of our lives and we need to do something to to get away from them but I I propose. And this is what I want to get out today. Is that this sensory onslaught. While in the BE a problem. It is not that big of a problem. When we have a focus. When we have a focus. And I'll get to that a little more in detail later. But I want to cover one more thing and that's even in our workplace. You know. Multitasking. We've been told is the new norm. Right. Everybody goes to work and they're expected to juggle fifteen different things at the same time. And that's that's considered a skill right. To to be able to. You know have all these different priorities and. You're able to see hey I can do this I can do that all in this pings I can answer my email there. But how many of you think or how many of you might write that on your C.V. multitasking. Anybody. The ladies maybe. Ladies generally think they're better at multitasking than the men right is that true. That's probably true. They are a little better but. Multitasking is amidst multitasking is an absolute. It. Yeah it can work. But really poorly. So it has been shown through multiple forms of research that. Focusing on an individual task. One of the time. Is going to increase your efficiency and increase your productivity and increase your effectiveness in working on that particular topic. Just just try this thought experiment. Say you take the numbers one through twenty. Right. And you write them out in sequence. But you also have a second task which is. You want to write. I need to count my blessings more often write try writing that. Writing out. That's statement. And the number sequence. One number. And then one letter and then one number than one letter and one number one letter back and forth between this. Beef two tasks. And tell me how quickly you do it in comparison to doing them individually and in order. And that's the simple thing right. So we are people who've been designed to focus. God has created us with an incredible capacity in our mind. To focus. And do good things. But the world around us is telling us an opposite thing. It's giving us. Multiple different ways and I believe. And this is this is. I really believe this is the devil's plan because what he's doing is he's he's telling us that we can't just pay attention to one thing. There are too many other important things that we need to also pay attention to and it really diverts us from truth. So. Just this last week. And part of the reason why I really wanted to to cover this topic the way I'm covering it. My supervisor who's the but he's also a clinician. He's a clinician scientist. Cicadas he shared with me a paper written by a Nobel laureate. Chemist. By the name of Robert left quits. Robert left quits. Is the guy who discovered. G. protein coupled receptors. Now about me sound like Chinese so many of you. But basically he discovered a signaling molecule on the outside of a cell. That is triggered. To set off a whole bunch of cascade of signaling events. Inside the cell. In response to a stimulus. Incredible work he's done so he he found he got the Nobel Prize along with one of his trainings. For this work. Now. Robert leftwards wrote a an op ed in one of the. One very high impact journal called The Journal of Clinical Investigation. And he talked about in these op ed about the keys to success in research. Right. And he talked about training the next generation of Mt Ph D. students. And I happen to have an empty Peachey student training with me. So I have to work with him. And so he shared this article with me that's why I got the article and. Very interesting thing in his in the course of this short little op ed he said. There are four key success in research. There are four keys to success in reach of research OK so I'll share those with you. The first key is focus. OK first use focus. The second key is. Focus. And the third key is. You guessed it. Focus. And the fourth right focus while you're getting it. So he goes on to say and this is something very interesting. The most important thing I can do for my trainees is to teach them how to focus like a laser on their problem. But this requires constant energy on my part. So you know I'm like this too. I'm doing research and I find something new or find something that's. I think is new but it's ten general to my problem of interest. So it isn't exactly what I'm looking for or what I'm interested in necessarily. But it's interesting. So I really like. And I keep bringing this up in meetings. Oh I want to check this thing out. And I can see how frustrating it must be for a supervisor. To have to say hey look you know like this is your problem. First focus on that problem then. Yes all this other stuff as my supervisor would say it's gravy. All right it's it's it's nice extra stuff but you've got to focus like a laser on your problem. So today. I don't know about you but probably your Meijer motive is not to succeed in research. Being here. Right. So you might be wondering why am I even telling you this. But I really believe that we have a much higher calling than success in research right. Every one of us myself included we all do you. And so I want to relay one point to you today. And emphasize this point everything is going to be focused on this point if you will and that is that we need to focus. With laser like precision. On our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And on his mission. Focus focus focus focus. And why should we focus. It's going to give us peace. And his life will be lived in. We focus on him. So in order to understand why we need focus again. Or how we need of lost focus need to turn in our Bibles. To Genesis. The very beginning and. We will look in Genesis to actually beginning in chapter two. And I just want to share this because you know God doesn't give us anything. Or God didn't create anything bad to be. There's only one thing that he said. It is not good. Before sin entered the world. You know what that is for man to be alone right. So it's good to have a wife and. Incidentally it's my fifth anniversary today. So I know that. Very acutely. Praise God for that. And so it is very good to to have others around us and that's that's part of the message. Others who have a positive influence on us and help us to be more godly. But the point I want to get out is God needs good things. OK. So we're looking at Genesis chapter two verse nine and those things were for us and out of the ground. Made the Lord to grow. Every tree that is what. Pleasant to the site. And good for food. OK. So the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now. First there was one thing. It was pleasant to the eyes. So it was nice to look at very nice to look at the second thing was. It was good for food. Right. So to really beautiful things. God means for us. Now if we go further to. Probably the most famous sin right. Seems the most innocent maybe. But the most famous sin. And we look forward to Genesis Chapter three. And we take a look at what happened here. And. And with the serpent. And you all know the story so well because it's so famous. Looking at verse six. Of Genesis Chapter three. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food. She said good for food. Right. And that it was what. Pleasant to the eyes. So there were two aspects that were really getting to her initially. It looked like it seemed like it would be really good food. The second thing as it looked really attractive. Two different things. Your eyes and probably in on her imagination a little bit. And it was desired to make one wise. She took the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also under hot. Husband with her and he didn't. Now. I don't think we really understand what happened here. As clearly as we sometimes think and. Where do we go when we don't necessarily understand some of these things. We can get greater clarity sometimes to despair prophecy right. So if we take a look at this is the book Christian Temperance and Bible hygiene and. There's a statement here. About when she ate. What happened when she did what was the sensation how did. How is the go. So it says here she ate and thinking. She felt the sensation of a new and more exalted life. She bore the fruit to her husband. The serpent had said that she would not die. And she felt no ill effects from eating the fruit. No ill effects. Right. Nothing which could be interpreted to mean death. But instead. A pleasurable sensation which she imagined. Was as the angels felt her experience. Stood arrayed against the positive command of Jehovah yet Adam permitted himself to be seduced by it. So. She was told she would die. She ate it she didn't die. I mean a Seems good to me right. Just keep eating. Share it with Adam. Even it tasted good to her. But you know. We get the scene good feeling when we know that we do something we know is contrary to what God's will is sometimes don't we a good feeling. Feeling. That's good because we're not automatically struck to death right. And you know. This is the beauty big issue here because you know why. Why was the tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why not just evil. Any thoughts on that. I have a feeling in the end I mean there's a lesson in here for us I'm sure there's a lot of reasons why. But this very beginning. Problem with the tree was a combination of good with evil. It was the bringing together of the good with evil. And this is this is a problem we're facing so much. So combining good with evil. A good feeling. With doing something contrary to the expressed will of God. OK. And we often find this in the religious world if we look back to Christian Temperance and Bible hygiene. There's a check for this as well increase the assays share a minute. God express commands are transgressed. This is page forty two of Christian turban and Bible hygiene. And because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily. Therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. This is queasy ask these eleven. In the face of the most positive commands of God. Men and women will follow their own inclinations. And then dare to pray over the matter to prevail upon God to allow them to go contrary to his expressed will. What's that called presumption. Right. It's not faith that's presumption. Satan comes to the side of such persons as he did to even Eden and impresses them. They have an exercise of mind. And this they relate. As a most wonderful experience which the Lord has given them. See. She says she thought that the angels felt that. Remember from the court I just share. But true experience will be in harmony with natural and divine law. False experience arrays itself against the laws of life and precepts of Jehovah. So I really believe that. Just like Eve. We have trouble recognizing the wrong. In mixing good and evil in our lives. And I think part of that is because we've become very good at hiding. Evil in our lives. That's part of the issue. It might be. And it could also be that we just don't recognize evil a lot at all me. We've become so we don't even know what it looks like. Because we've become so numb to how it is. And. And because of that we start losing the ability to put it in its place. And and sometimes actually. During this conference we've really hit on this and I really appreciated. Sometimes we actually want it. We definitely want it. We don't. We don't have any teeth. Right as we heard today. We don't hate sin. We actually cherish it. We want it for later. So we'll show ourselves really good. Ivan is Christian is here in front of everyone else. But then a little bit later. We will will go off to Iowa trying to fight for some gratification. Because we want. Not because we you know. It's not because the devil is so insidious now we actually want it. We desire it. And. And so this is. This is really one of the big problems that we have but I'll tell you the other big problem which is. I would I would argue. Equally big. Is that we sometimes see serving God. As some kind of strenuous work. That requires generous periods of so-called rejuvenation. So we can you know work hard for God for like. You know five minutes. And then say. Gotta go watch T.V. I can go and you know my favorite movie or whatever it is I've been working so hard for God I hate you know it's like you really feel like. Now I earned it right now I can go and just relax and just let it all hang out because I've done my my duty. If you will. But I think that means that we just don't understand all the beautiful life that God wants for us. And the beautiful truth. Of being crucified with Christ. As we're covering in this whole session and. This crucifixion with Christ. Allows us to reflect his character. And this. And he God Himself gave Himself for us. I don't think we know who God is that's I think our bigger problem. What do you think. Do you know do you know how BIG got is. Do you know what he's done for you. You know how much. He sent for you. I think that's probably the bigger problem. You know a lot of us think of Jesus maybe as as a really good man who was very kind he did a lot of good things on earth he's a very noble example. He. We could look up to him. But we do not understand. And let me give you an example because I think. I don't think you guys. I think you think you understand. But I don't think you understand because I don't understand. I just want to. I think many of us don't understand because they say for example. My good friend George I don't know if George is here. Gets a phone call from Bill Gates' brain gets a phone call from Bill Gates and. He's not there to get the call. But the message comes to his to his voicemail and says Hi George I heard a lot about the ministry you're doing with the Christian group that you're running. It's really. You guys are having a positive impact you're getting people to lead. More Christ like lives and. And I really think this is a great noble cause. You know I. I'd like to I'd really like to meet with you to talk about you know ways that we could support you and. So George gets gets the message and. He's like wow this is pretty interesting. And so he calls. He called. Bill back. And what do you suppose. George says to Bill. What do you suppose he and. Let's let's just say let's just just for interest sake let's say. Bill says. Bill Gates says you know I need to go I need to meet with you Tuesday night because Wednesday I'm going to Malawi and allow We have got a meeting to help you know sick children you know. You know Bill Gates he's got the Gates Foundation. He wants to help all the sick is to get better. So I've got to go to Malawi but on Tuesday night. I'd love to meet with you. And we could talk about this. Would you. Dinners on me. Let's let's get together and talk. So you suppose George when he calls. Bill back. I think George is going to say. Be happy to meet on Tuesday night. Like let's call it. What are we going to get like one point five billion dollars or something. Seriously like this could be huge. I mean the whole the whole of Eastern. And I don't know the eastern side of all of North America would be hit. Rather than just eastern Canada. Right. Very easily with this. With all these funds can you imagine. He's not going to say you know. Actually Bill I so I had you heard of Avengers like it's two days like a cheap night. And I'm already going with my friends to see then years. And I I just can't. Like. Sorry I can't I can't make it. But I'd love to meet you another time like maybe maybe let me know you know when you're back and we could. We could chat. No he's not going to say that right because what he's focused on this very influential. Rich men who just called him and said Hey. I want to help you. I want to do. But God who is God to us. He owns. I mean I don't know if you've ever seen the heavens declare dot org. Go to this website it's fantastic. A wonderful name is Jim Berger. It's got a wonderful ministry and. You know there are whole stars that are pure diamond. That God made. Right. So he owned everything. And he has all riches and. Trust me dinner is always on him. Right. Always What do you think of before. Every time dinners on him so I don't think we really understand the God we serve if we did we would focus on it a little bit more keenly. And so I wanted to share that story. So you know God has a mission. And you think it's a worthy mission. What was his mission. SAVE THE WORLD. Right. Pretty much. Save the world save every one of us now. Can we save the world. No of course not but we have the opportunity to get involved in God's mission. Right. So I don't think there's an any more worthy cause to join. Do you know. And. And I'm really. Perplexed that. So many of us myself included I'm speaking to myself. Don't give the way to the mission that we should write. We don't recognize the beauty of it. And I think this mission or great commission if you will. The devil has planned very well. To just like with this first temptation to distract us from our focus. OK. And this is why. This is where I want to get to now and how does he do this while you mixes evil with good. He does the same old thing he's done all the time. And what I find incredible about it is first. He tense us by saying oh it's really not that bad to do this and then when we do it. He comes and tells us. You're not good enough to go back to God for forgiveness. I mean lake. Talk about convoluted thinking talk about complete reversal of ideas. So the devil is really confusing. But it works on a sea discourages us assumes we fail. He comes back to us and says do something for yourself. God won't do anything for you right now. What are some of the ways that the devil. Mixes evil and good in our lives. And I'm happy to take some examples from you guys have some here. But. Does anybody have a thought. They want to share. Not the easy and obvious ways or any subtle ways that the devil mixes good and evil in our lives. Yes. Right. So. So yes so for parents of saying hey it's health beneficial like a little bit of alcohol. Good for you great. Truth is it isn't. But yeah. There is there. There are. There's all kinds of false. Research out there. Danielle would know a lot about this. So there's a lot of false information. And that the devil uses to stray us off our path. What about good things that cause us to have bad responses. So food is good in general. Food is good in general but there are some foods that. If we eat. They cause our brain to not function correctly like too much sugar as we just learned upstairs if you were there. So the other good thing is a beautiful woman. Is there anything wrong with a beautiful woman. No she's beautiful. Excellent. Right. Nothing wrong with that. But the problem comes when we when it leads us into adulterous thoughts. Right. So these good things lead us in a direction. That's not good and it's because it's been programmed into society. And it's been programmed by the devil I believe to try to shift our thinking and dross away from the good part. And into the into the bad part. So for example. You know you have movies that have a really good moral story. Right. There's a lot of good moral movies out there. Morally good movies. But then they throw They always throw in a little bit of. You know some little bit of questionable scenes and some you know. Sure about that. This is all these little subtle things. And then you've also got. You know eating healthy food you can eat. You can eat too much healthy food right. If you really overdo it you can get to the point of intemperance. The other thing that we can do and this is a temptation maybe more real to you guys because I don't think you're struggling with necessarily eating healthy food. But maybe you feel like eating your healthy food is is really. You know making you have life eternal like you're getting through getting really really. You know you feel like OK. You know Jesus is. Jesus was good but I I'm telling you I didn't even eat. I don't even eat fish. Jeezy fish. These kinds of ideas right and wait a minute there's something wrong in your thinking. So we have to really be careful. The other thing is you know we can get addicted to some of these things like physical exercise. Yes. It's excellent. But we can use it to build ourselves up to the point where now we're so proud that we become our own idols again. Same thing with our time with friends you know. Maybe we spend a lot of time its is a good to spend time with friends. Yeah absolutely. Good influential friends. But what if what if it gets a little late at night. Right. Little Too Late at night. You're Thinking. You know it's been proven that. Later in the evening. I'm not going to go into studies about this. But it's very clear that later at night your cognitive function decreases your Saratoga and levels are low or you're you're you're you're you're supposed to be sleeping. But you're trying to stay awake. And we do this OK A lot of us do this. I'm not I'm not saying I'm you and. And we can't think clearly at night as well. Why. Because we see. We are brain isn't meant to function at night is meant to function during the day and we have artificial lights and artificial things in front of us to try and keep us stimulating keep us awake. And so what kind of decisions do we make. When our brain isn't working very bad ones have you noticed in your own life. When you have a temptation Have you noticed there's a trend that always the temptation seem to hit at night. Most of the time know. Most of the time. In the evenings as you're as you're getting you know you go supposed to go to bed. And then. Oh now you're found yourself engaging in thoughts that are not really good thoughts. Because you can't think. Well at night. So that's one thing. So there are a few things that you can use to guard the doors of your mind and. I want to share with you a couple of thoughts on this. But the most important thing. I believe. Comes back to focus. And you know. It isn't something that a lot of us. Think about when we're trying to protect our minds because we think OK I need to Sentinel myself. I need to set up barricades. I need to do. And says you know if huge in six is an excellent thing. To prey on the armor of God in order to be safe or or protected. In order to have your mind. Clear and clean. And I think I agree with that. But what is it in your armor of God that protects your head. Somebody set it. The helmet. Of salvation. A man. So there's something beautiful about what God has done for us. That helps protect our mind. So it isn't because we ourselves are saying OK I'm going to put on this helmet and it's salvation and then. That's protective. No I believe that God's salvation of us. Causes with enough a reciprocating focus on him. We turn. We recognize what he's done for us and and. We we know that hey I was crucified with Christ. I don't have to be afraid of God. I can. I can follow God. I want to be with God. I want to serve God and not that helmet. Of salvation. Gives us a protection from the world around us. I don't know if you've ever thought of that. So it's not so much. The things down thing off helmet that or that that. You know that are the problem. That's the Sarah. It's whether or not the helmet is on right. Right. So we need to be wearing the helmet of salvation which God has given us. Now. I want to tell you this. And this is where just losing my spot here a little bit so. As we said the devil brings all kinds of strange things into our minds and. One of the first ways that he gets us. Is through. Indulgence of appetite. We've heard a lot about it. Upstairs. We heard about it in the first sin. But you know we're really really suckers for that. I think even in the church were suckers for that because you know cheap food is something that's you know we all want food on. But. But I don't think that it would be such a problem. If we were wearing that helmet. Because if we ran home of salvation. It's. It's changed our focus from our personal problems. To God and his. His love for us. And what he's done for us rather than what we are trying to do for ourselves. So I want to read a couple quotations for you. Appetite and passion. The love of the world. And presumptious sins. Where the great branches of evil. Out of which every species of crime violence and corruption grew. This is in confrontation. So all of everything. Every sin. Arose from this. So should there be easy for us to say OK let's draw the line. Let's make it clear. These are not the things that I want to engage in. And so. How do we do that. What are some biblical principles for doing that. Let's turn to Philippians chapter four. And I know. I don't have that much time. But I'm going to go a little bit further if you don't mind. Because I really want to share a couple of these principles with you because I hate the. There's something that really struck me. Flip the in chapter for you all know this very famous chapter. Dealing with the mind and what we should focus on. But that's not what I want to focus on right now. As yet. Flippin chapter four. And starting with verse six. Well let's start with verse four. So we get a little more context. Rejoice in the Lord. Always. And again I say rejoice why should we rejoice. He's our Savior. He's done so much for us. Let your moderation be known and to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And what and the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds to Christ Jesus. So the Peace of God and I mean let me Obs What it to you this way. This tax I don't know what what is it that's protecting your mind in this text. Anybody see it there. The Peace of God. The Peace of God will keep your hearts and minds. Through Christ Jesus. OK so it's the Peace of God The Protect. So how does peace protect. That seems kind of ridiculous right. Some was attacking you all of a piece. You know the pure white flag. I guess it does protect you read it should at least of their following the rules of engagement. But how does how does peace. Protect you in the context of our protecting our minds. Well let's take another look at another text. Isaiah twenty six. And verse three. Many of you may know this text. Idea. Twenty six. As in twenty six. And then verse three. It says that I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is what. Stayed on the. Because he trusted with Indy. OK. So putting these text a gathering. Let's see if we can figure this out. How can you have the perfect peace of God. So don't focus on God right. Focus on stage. Your mind on God. Focus on him. OK. It's interesting you know when you're a sale the temptation. How often are you tempted when you're praying. You have tempted will you bring maybe you're tempted to fall asleep when you bring. How often are you tempted. When you're doing policy. How often are you tempted when you're serving God. When you're doing good for others. And just illustrating to you that if your focus is on God. The things of earth become strangely damn right. It really does happen. It's a reality that God has put this in place for us. You know. When he made in in the Garden of Eden when he made good things for us to look at. And good things for us to eat. He provided good things for us to focus on those are the things. Let's not get distracted when we recognize the beauty of what God has done his salvation. In Galatians two twenty as we know is the to theme of this text when we've experienced this. Being crucified with Christ. Nevertheless what. I live but not I but. Christ lives in me. Right. And the life that I now live. I live by faith in the Son of Man or Son of God gave Himself for me. So he he. This is. This is no longer a life that is my own I want to live it for him. Entirely completely My focus is all on him. I don't want this other stuff. And that's when sin. Changes. You no longer see sin as a desirable thing you no longer see sin as like. All this thing is you know like I really would like to do that sort of. It becomes distractions it's really you see it as a distraction. Because right now I don't think we see sins as distractions necessarily. We see sins as. As things that you know they're there and then you know when we might all my tempted maybe always I'm tempted on maybe I'll take some you know all the stuff we get confused. But if we recognize it as a as a distraction just like here's an illustration say you've got to everyone's watching the screen up front here. And. And then somebody you know really big walks in from the screen. You know in a standing in front of screen everyone wants to see what are you going to say get out of the way. Right get down in front. So that's how you see sin. That's how you're going to see sin. When you when you're going to see it as an impediment to your view of God. You will be able to see God you're going to say Look at that sin I do year. I don't want it. And that's what. Hating sin. Right having any MITI against sin. Not liking sin and. Your attitude changes you no longer want it. It's it's it's a it's a distraction and. So what will happen is you're going to seek to lay it aside right Hebrews twelve to twelve once. You're going to seek to flirt with for me the former last second Timothy two twenty two. You're going to seek to be holy. Even as your Father in Heaven is holy the vet has one thousand two first Peter. One sixteen. And Matthew. You just read today. Right. Where Jesus Himself said it. And you're going to desire the sincere milk of God's Word first Peter to to these are all things that you will want. You will your taste for good is going to him to increase as you recognize that helmet of salvation that you're wearing. And what is it that you walk with if you go back to fusion. The being shot with the what the shoot the preparation of peace. Right. With this. So you're walking with peace. You want to share peace you're going out on a mission of peace. And that's your goal is to go out and stare this beautiful message which has given you peace peace of mind. Right. As you no longer care about all those things. But I'll tell you what. Even though all these things like I'm sharing with you you're seeing sin is a distraction you no longer want to engage in and you. You've turned away from it you. You don't want it but what. What's going to happen nevertheless there was always going to be assault on your in your brain. You know. The devil is is is throwing at you things and you know what comes before. The helmet. There was a shield race. Shield of faith right. You know. Don't hit me with with an arrow in the head. But you still wear your helmet right make sure you have that on. But that shield can really protect you from from these fiery darts. So you really faith is obviously key because how are we to how are we to know that were crucified with Christ. How can we have that piece. Knowing that he's paid the penalty for us. We have to have faith. So critical. Right. So what I want to tell you and this is what. And what really is insidious about the devil is. As I said there's always going to be this distraction that's going to be forged thrown at you and your personal peace or your garden of Eden. Experience if you will is going to be under siege constantly by a serpent. And the serpent is trying to mingle. Evil with good. But don't be fooled. Don't get sidetracked Don't be distracted. Keep your guard. Always remember that giving an inch to a snake. Lets him all the way in the door. And it doesn't need a whole lot of space to get in. So guard that door meticulously learn to set your boundaries. Far from danger. Why would you flirt with a poisonous snake. We all wield the I mean I think the lesson is clear you don't you know I had a friend who was from Australia came out camping with us. And you know in Ontario we don't have a lot of poisonous snakes. We have only one. But that one is. It's a massive saga rattlesnake it's. And it is present up north where we were where we were camping. But the minute this girl saw snake. This lady saw snakes as a physician actually she was freaked out because I'll tell you in Australia the snakes are poisonous. Most of them are many of them and you gotta be really be careful. Right so as soon as she saw a snake she knew what to do. Get out of there right away. Response was I don't want thing to do with this amazing least. We did actually see a rattlesnake with her. But you know she knew how to how to treat it right and be careful. And this is how we have to be with the devil we can't we can't turn. We can't we can't say OK. You know it's OK if you come and just be in the side door there. Just hang out in that corner you know just hold your ground here we go out soon. Got to about one fence pretty good. And so we really need to guard meticulously this door because you know letting the snake in think about it later at night maybe this goes back to my analogy to darker it gets out easy is it for the snake to get around and get you right. You can't see you can't even see where you is going to bed. Go to bed. Your mind will be refreshed in the morning you'll have the ability to think more clearly and you'll be able to face and discern the temptations that God that that you're going to be faced with. You will be faced with these temptations. Even if you're focused on Jesus. But I'm telling you if you're not focused on Jesus. You're not wearing a helmet. Right. Because you don't really understand what he's done for you don't understand the salvation of God. So you need to understand that. So what are some practical ways because you know I've gone through so a couple of. You know examples here what are some practical ways to guard your mind because you know you'll still sell me well. There are certain activities that are still sort of social like I think they're kosher. So how do I discern what's good and what's bad. What's a good activity. So this is a good thought experiment I like to make you do so if. If you would feel comfortable doing. What you're doing with Jesus. Right here with me. And we're doing this right. Ask yourself that question when you're doing something. Is it is it OK that you're here watching me or or not. Simple litmus test. What about this. What about this one is is the activity or doing is it. Furthering or floundering the cause of Christ. So are you. Are you needlessly using your time and energy in something that's completely useless to completing finishing the work. Or are you doing. Something that is just directly in line with what Jesus one writes. Are you are you focused on him. Or are you are you getting caught off track. The other thing to ask yourself. And this is what I think if Eve had asked herself this she would have known very clearly the answer but you know she tried to ask herself but is this entirely good. Is everything about this scenario good. Obviously she was going against the will of God. That wasn't good. So there was good and evil. And in our case it's always the same. There's going to be there could be a little bit of good and a lot of people want to could be a lot of evil little bit of good. And what sometimes happens. This is another flip side of the story is. Sometimes the devil mixes a lot of evil. With a little bit of good and then we throw the good away. That's another story. So we sometimes get confused and. The devil works really hard to try to get us off track. So I want to I want. I want to challenge you all and. And this is. I have another text for you Mr challenge is that the truth should not just be known by you the truth should sink to fly. Isn't that the prayer that Jesus had for a. Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth. So Jesus wants us to be cleansed by his truth. And he wants us to completely sold out to him. And one hundred percent focused like a laser on him. So I want to share with you. Another text. And I have. I don't know if I have much time. Little time. I said I was going to go over time so I'm going to follow through on my promise. So. You know we've looked at the Philippians and. We've looked at an earlier part of Philippians. But before I get to that. I want to to share with you a text from Proverbs fourteen. There's a couple attacks actually. You don't even have to go there because you all know this text. There's it's mentioned twice in proverb so that must mean you know when the Bible says something more than once it's emphasized. At says there's a way that seems right to a man you can finish it for me than the and he needs to death right. So things may seem right. This is exactly what happened. This was easy experience. It seemed right. The fruit. Even was exhilarating and tasted good it had a nice feel to it. She thought she was eating like an angel. But no ultimately the. The result. His death. So how is it that you can maybe you fallen before. Right. We've all fallen. Not saying maybe. We've all fallen. Every one of us. So what about the blow your mind now. Isn't it tainted. That team did for good. And you change it. Well we know that God. And we heard about this even up stairs. We know that science has proven actually that your mind can be regenerated. In reality. Physically. The way you think can change your brain chemistry not only your brain chemistry but your brain. Your physical structure of your brain. So as a man thinketh in his heart so is human right so this is another problem so the way we think actually physically changes. Who we are and your mind is the center of who you are your frontal lobe right. Very powerful place for making decisions making clear judgments. And it starts to deteriorate and function as you get later into the night I keep bringing this up over and over again but I think it's a very specific avenue that. The devil tries to reach is through is getting us up to late at night. Right. Now what is it that we can do. To renew our minds well. We can be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Right. But I would argue. And that's very true it's a miracle. God does this for us it's he he changes the way we think. But he does it by giving us what that how the helmet of salvation and. He does it also by having us meditate on. On certain things. And if we look in Philippians chapter for you all know these things. But maybe you haven't thought of them. Necessarily in this light. So going back to Philippines for. Somebody could probably were cited for me because you guys all know this text so well. Whatsoever things are true. Good good. Right. OK I'll say it aloud for you because I hear you guys are mumbling it and it's great. I love to hear it. But I'll say it clearly for you. So if it says. Finally Brother and this is after what this text where we talked about keeping your height. The hearts and minds to Christ Jesus right. What is it the peace of God that keeps us. So that promise of salvation the truth that God has given us peace he is he's he's given us this gospel message of peace that somebody came to us thankfully and walked with with their peaceful shoes. Into our home and said Look God has done something for you need to know. And so we've been transformed we understand the peace. And it's that piece that's protecting our minds. Now. How do we continue when that finally brother and whatsoever things are true. Whatsoever things are honest what sort of things are just what sort of things up your lovely whatsoever things are good report if there be any virtues there be any praise. Think. On these things. Now. These are all. Yes they're all specific things. But these are all attributes of the character of God. Right. These are all attributes of Jesus. So again if we're focusing on him. If we're focusing. You know what happens with amazing is that it crowds out all the other things right and we see those other things as distractions. So knowing. God's character. Focusing on his glory focusing on his beautiful kissing on his almighty power. Can and will crowd out the evil. It will in time it does. He who has promised to complete this work right. In us. He will complete it. He truly will complete it. So how does this happen. Well some people. Have done studies on this actually there's a group at Andrews University I don't know if you've some milieu with their work a sociology chair they're doing McBride. He's done some studies looking at risky behavior in youth. Right. Lot of people. The worry is that young people engage in all kinds of risky behavior. So what do you do to protect these young people from risky behaviour. What they found is one of the most protective things. For high risk youth it's not it's not to like give them more rules. Not to prevent them from going here doing not what. What they found is. If they engage the youth in some kind of meaningful service activity. Right. Useful stuff. If you engage. Use in meaningful service activity. It chops their odds ratios for committing all kinds of heinous. Risky behaviour down. Highly significantly. Why. Because they're doing God's will right. They're doing his work they're engaged in the work. They're allowing. And not only does that give them a sense of self-worth because how were how much worth. Do we have in the eyes of God. Infinite worth. Because what an infinite Being came down and took upon himself. Our sinful nature. Died for us. That's infinite value. Incredible. Infinite value. And I again I don't think we understand it. But none of us understand it but we can hope that we understand it just a little bit. That's all it takes right. So. To close I really want to emphasize again. That you need to focus focus on the light above. You know last couple weeks ago I was out in camping again I love camping. You might have noticed and. We were we were out in a kind of a swampy area. On Georgian Bay and there was a. There were a couple water lilies it. In an area so we kind of drove the boat towards these water lilies and wanted to pick one from from my wife my my my son wanted to pick one for my way. So we went there. And I noticed when we got to these water lilies you know they're beautiful flowers I don't know if you've ever seen a water lily they're absolutely incredibly beautiful. And they're they're they're there and I noticed that there were a few. Because the water was clear enough. There were a few water lilies. That had made it to the top yet. They were caught on their way though. And they were on them really straight past. On their way. And they they refused to get involved in the muck around them right. They were just going up to the light. Right and they weren't yet open. They had their little bald there and they were coming up there coming up and. And you know this is this is. This is really an object lesson for us that we need to be looking up looking up focusing on Jesus. As we focus on him. All this other stuff we don't. We really don't want. It's. It's a distraction. We treat it as a distraction. And as we're looking to him. We go higher and higher and finally. You know the path of the just right. Gets brighter and brighter and brighter. Until the perfect day. So ultimately reach the. Please open up. What a beautiful thing. It's amazing. And God wants that for us for each and every one of us. So this last quote I want to share with you from one character and person personality page two thirty eight. If Christ is abiding in the heart. He will be in all our faults. Our deepest thoughts will be of him. His love His purity. He will fill all the chambers of the mind. All of the chambers of the mind. You know they've shown that specific neurons. Can correspond as spit and especially the. The synapses between them right. Correspond to specific memories. So if you see a picture of X. allegedly that one neuron lights up. Corresponding to that celebrity. Very interesting. So there. Your mind is actually physically. Containing. Everything that you've ever seen. It's there. And there's a corresponding neuron. You know. I don't think you understand the complexity of mind there's over one hundred billion or of cells in the mind. Right. So the mind is is sucking up. Everything from all around in your use all these different things are coming in your mind and it's affecting you. But this says here he will feel. All the chambers of the mind. Right. Our affections will centre about Jesus. All our hopes and expectations will be associated with him to live the life we now live by faith in the Son of God. Looking forward to and loving his appearing will be the sole highest joy. He will be the crown of our rejoicing. So my. My prayer for you and my call to you really is that that you join me in saying that. I want to focus. With laser like precision. Focus on Jesus Christ. He's done so much for me. Why would I. How can I turn away. How can I. It just doesn't make sense to turn away. I I need to look at him. Because of what he's done. And because of his plan for me and. And he will only raise you up to a higher place. It's true. He will. And eventually you'll blue me open up and we'll all be together and have any man. So I'm pretty that's my perfect you and. If you if you all have that same desire to be like that Lily going up to God. Opening up. And seeing. And and and really reaching your full potential because you refuse to get mired in the muck. And your roots are going down into the pure sand below. You're not getting into the muck. I'm asking you all the stand with me as we pray. And dedicate ourselves to focusing on Jesus Christ. Our Father in Heaven Lord we are. But dust. And we know that everything that is valuable in us is because of the bout you put in knots. You've made us who we are you created us. You created our minds you know them. You know everything about us. You understand the best for us. And I just pray that. As each one is standing here that you will work in their lives to continue to guide and lead them to be true reflections of your in your your perfect character of love. So that the world will also see and understand their value in your eyes. So I pray now that. As we as we close here that you will in a special way impress with your Holy Spirit. The need to constantly guard or minds and to focus. On you so that you understand the distractions that com And Wolf. Will draw lines that are far away from God. From those distractions getting into the parade in us or that will. Will make will make. We won't make provision for the flesh. But will rather set barriers so that we can truly always focus only on you to pray all these things. Trusting that you will answer them. Jesus the man. This media was brought to you by audio proves a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon. Lead to visit. W W W dot. Audio verse. Dot org.

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