By John Miltenberger
It seems ironic to me that we have spent millions of dollars to intercept and recover messages from outer space, yet we do not have a clue about the origins of the messages we receive every day, almost every minute of every day, in our heads. It really must be entertaining to the source! We rankle at the media for their ongoing, brazen attempts at brainwashing us under the thin guise of “news”, but we glibly listen to the chatter in our heads without any attempt at discernment.
I’ve heard preachers talk about the “voices” we hear in our heads, and at first I was amused and skeptical, but they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the issue. The ongoing, never ending attempt at controlling us, comes at all of us as voices in our heads, and we are blind and deaf to the attack. It is an attack and nothing less.
Doubt me? Think about it. Have you ever thought of doing something you liked to do, while knowing that “technically” it was a sin? The voices would give you justification by saying something like this, “Well, God knows you ‘are but dust’…” Or, “He is quick to forgive, and all you have to do is ask Him to forgive you. He knows you are weak..” Or, “Well He knows I didn’t mean it.” Ever heard stuff like that? Bet you have. Allow me to introduce you to the hidden war going on twenty-four hours a day in your head.
We all sin by omission and by ignorance, and I’m not talking about that. Those sins fall under the purview of the Holy Spirit; He’s in charge of those revelations. I’m talking about the little (or big), but mostly little sins we justify. It is not legalism for me to say when we justify sinning, we are taking the name and sacrifice, the very blood of Jesus and our covenant with Him, in vain.
Yes, there is forgiveness, thank you God! But the danger is found in the changes that occur secretly within us as we knowingly choose against God, and for ourselves. It incrementally hardens us against Him, and over time we could indeed find ourselves on the outside of the covenant, looking in. It is serious business disguised as harmless, forgivable little choices, and we all make them, don’t we?
Believe me, I’m not excluding myself to any degree! This battle is common to all who have chosen to follow Jesus. When Peter denied even knowing Jesus, immediately preceding the denial and during it, it probably made perfect sense to him. It was only after the fact that the truth came crashing in on him, and he realized he was guilty and had been duped.
I’ve always thought that Peter would not have denied Jesus if he could have a do-over. The battle and condemnation in his head afterwards must have put D-Day to shame! But after being restored by the risen Christ, he never did it again. I don’t envy the way Peter died, but it is what he chose over ever again denying Christ. I think he learned the lesson…and paid the ultimate price to receive the diploma of his choice.
I’m not an overly brave person, and I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll never be tested. If I excel at anything, I excel at being average. I am the wallpaper, and the one with no real discernable skills. I can’t sing and I’d make a fool of myself, drunk or sober, attempting to dance (I’ve tried it both ways, and I’m telling the truth!). I am not musical to any degree; all I can do with music is enjoy it. I can do basic home repairs as long as I don’t electrocute myself in the process, or fall off the ladder I’m using. I’ve searched high and low to find something exceptional about myself, and I can find only this:
I can choose to love and follow Jesus, and with His aid, I can love Him better than He’s ever been loved. And the war in my head always gets a lot louder and a lot more insistent with that declaration.
This is serious business. Being a Christian is not for the cowardly, the weaklings or the Easter and Christmas, sort-of-committed. There is no “test drive”.
This is serious business, and if you can’t or won’t commit to being serious about it, you should probably forget it. No one is sort of pregnant, and just like that, no one is sort of a Christian. You can’t have it both ways, and you aren’t authorized to make or change the rules of engagement.
We can, and will win this hidden war, if we consistently, and persistently choose to fight it. We can leave this earth winners; we don’t have to comply with the enemy.
We have a choice, and it comes to us new every day…so does His mercy.
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