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Being tempted to let down our guard

By Dr. Billy Holland

Years ago I worked in a department of five people and one day our director was replaced with someone new. The new leader of our team brought a small radio into our office and started playing secular rock music. At first it seemed innocent but after a few days it was apparent this was a subtle spiritual weapon that was being used against me. As a young man, I listened to these songs, but when I made a vow to God to maintain a devoted relationship with Him, I knew this includes keeping a clean heart and mind. I’m not saying all the songs are sinful or wrong, but as they were seeping into my conscience, I was opening the door for negative seeds to be planted into my soul that were influencing me in the wrong direction. 

 

As an industrial shipping machinery operator, I was in and out of the office throughout the day working on the computer and slowly began to notice this music was tempting me to let down my guard. I would find myself humming these familiar melodies even when I was at home and unfortunately they were secretly producing a darkness and a heaviness in my spirit. Whether we want to admit it or not, the temptations and distractions of the world can come between us and God and in this particular case, I was being tempted by the enemy to throw my discernment aside and to give myself over to this spirit that wanted my attention. How easy it is to fall back into a state of carnality and spiritual lukewarmness. For those who have been following Christ for a while, we know when we are walking in His holiness and when we are distant. 

 

I’m not saying I have a super strong sense of discernment, but as the Lord opened my eyes about what was happening, I prayed about what I should do. In a few days, the manager was mysteriously transferred to another department and everything was quiet again. Some may say, you’re being a silly fanatic, but with all seriousness, we must be careful to guard our sensitivity. The same thing is true for Christians who sit around and watch television or play on their phone for hours each day. I read recently where the average person spends 3 hours a day on their phone. It does not have to be carnal content, but anything that distracts us from focusing on Jesus Christ and being on fire for God is most likely a coaxing from the dark side.

 

So, how disciplined do we need to be? Well, how much victory do we want? It’s no secret our spiritual adversary wants us to become comfortable walking on the outskirts of God’s presence. Why? Because we are not effective Christians if we are not listening and following the Holy Spirit. It’s called being lukewarm. Satan is downright sneaky when it comes to messing with our emotions with deceptions and lies as we can look back in our lives and see how effective he is. It’s difficult to live a sanctified life especially in our modern world but this does not mean it is impossible. Much of the time our problems are self-inflicted. We believe we can play in the dirt without getting dirty. How can anyone be entertained with perversion and violence and not feel anxious and miserable? We would have more faith and peace if we would turn away from these snare traps and invest our time with prayer, reading the Bible, and good books that stimulate and encourage the mind.

 

Sometimes even the little things can affect us in a negative way and slip in through the back door especially when we leave it unlocked. You see, we have been warned to be diligent and alert just as a soldier would be on guard duty. Brothers and sisters, I do not need to remind us this is serious. These are not war games – these land mines are real! George Lucas is quoted as saying, “Your focus determines your reality.” Ephesians chapter four gives us a clear picture of how we can help ourselves with living a sanctified lifestyle and then chapter six goes on to emphasize the importance of wearing the whole armor of God in order to protect and maintain a renewed mind and a clean heart. 

 

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is an ordained minister, Christian author, and community chaplain. To read more about the Christian life visit: billyhollandministries.com

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