By Carron Lake www.thelightoftheword.org
shall observe it with [my] whole heart” (Psalms 119:34).
It is with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength that I share with you my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, a message, which I hope will be a blessing to you. But even as you read these words, it is my hope that at the end of this message, you will understand what has been shared with you. This is not an easy thing to do, because we are all different in many ways. With our own strong, or weak tendencies, though they are bad, or good, we focus our hearts, our minds, and our souls into that, which we love, which causes us to experience and understand things different one from another.
To share with you this message, which deals with our hearts, our minds and our souls, and our bodies, I believe that many could read this message and quickly connect with what is being said, while others might have a different view and may not understand at first what is being shared, because they have not experienced what is being presented. And because we experience things different one from another, I hope to share with you my experience with my neighbor, and what I have learned about our Savior--Jesus Christ and our need of Him.
Looking at our own struggles
To share this message with you, I begin with a search in my devotionals, to find words to help my neighbor, who at the time of this writing, my neighbor was struggling with an addiction to the drinking of beer, and with the nicotine addiction that comes from the smoking of cigarettes, which is known to be very addictive, and even very controlling, because of the effects they have upon the body, to get that pleasing effect, which leaves one drained of energy. Although my neighbor has complain of not getting enough sleep, to be refreshed and fully rested, the addiction to these substances lead one to repeat the desire for more, which has a negative effect upon the body. But knowing the results of these substances does not outweigh the pleasing effects that the body craves for these harmful addictions.
I would present thoughts from my devotionals with the hoped that the words read, or spoken might speak to the heart of my neighbor, to point my neighbor to The Source of our Strength, which is not of us, but is of The Holy One, Who can help us in our time of need. But although my neighbor knows that these substances are sucking the life energy out of the body, by flushing the beer out from the body through over worked kidneys, and blowing out smoke from smoke filled lungs, my neighbor would be driven to buy more beer and cigarettes, to take in as food, to fill the confused cravings of the body for these poisonous substances.
Seeing the struggle of my neighbor, to gain control of the addiction to beer, which causes one to have low will power, to overcome the controlling effects of drinking, I saw also that with every draw upon the cigarettes, my neighbor was struggling to keep the urge of the lungs from expelling the harmful contaminants that enters the lungs through smoking. To shut-down this urge of a need to cough, my neighbor would take one cigarette, one after the other, which creates that nicotine addiction that slowly poisons the system from within, by feeding that controlling urge. As much as I would desire for my neighbor not to drink, or smoke, and to kick the habit, I have learned through my study and search of my devotionals that it is not my will power that is needed to stop my neighbor from drinking, or smoking. It is not my desire to hide the cigarettes, or the beer from my neighbor, who has the ability to buy more of both drugs wherever, and whenever the controlling urge of the body cries out for more. The will power to stop drinking and smoking must come, not from my will to stop my neighbor from smoking, or from my neighbor, who has low will power to stop the urge of smoking one after the other, but the will power must come from a Stronger Source, from One, Who can overcome the addiction to the controlling effects of all the works of the adversary.
Although the blood in the body of my neighbor maybe receiving fresh air from the lungs at probably less than sixty percent of the time, the controlling effects of these addictive substances has led my neighbor to be more concern with feeding the lungs the poisonous substances from smoking, and the pleasure one might get from drinking one can of beer after the other, which must be flushed out from the body through over worked kidneys. This is the struggle that my neighbor has been having, to overcome the power of these addictive drugs, which effects the mind and the body. But my neighbor is not the only one who has been struggling with substances of this nature. As I study my devotionals, I think about all my other neighbors and family members in Christ around the world, who are struggling with things that have a controlling hold upon their lives, and are leading them to drained the energy of life that remains in them, to care less whether they should live or die?
What controlling power are you struggling with?
The verse of Scripture that this devotional is based upon is drawn from the verse that says, “Keep thyself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).
“To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education. When the character is lacking in purity, when sin has become a part of the character, it has a bewitching power that is equal to the intoxicating glass of liquor. The power of self-control and reason is overborne by practices that defile the whole being; and if these sinful practices are continued, the brain is enfeebled and diseased, and loses its balance. Such ones are a curse to themselves and to all who have any connection with them. . . .
“Bad habits are more easily formed than good habits, and the bad habits are given up with more difficulty. The natural depravity of the heart accounts for this well-known fact--that it takes far less labor to demoralize the youth, to corrupt their ideas of moral and religious character, than to engraft upon their character the enduring, pure, and uncorrupted habits of righteousness and truth. Self-indulgence, love of pleasure, enmity, pride, self-esteem, envy, jealousy, will grow spontaneously, without example and teaching. In our present fallen state all that is needed is to give up the mind and character to its natural tendencies. In the natural world, give up a field to itself and you will see it covered with briers and thorns; but if it yields precious grain or beautiful flowers, care and unremitting labor must be applied.
“Now we present before you the necessity of constant resistance to evil. All heaven is interested in men and women whom God has valued so much as to give His beloved Son to die to redeem them. No other creature that God has made is capable of such improvement, such refinement, such nobility as man. Then when men become blunted by their own debasing passions, sunken in vice, what a specimen for God to look upon! Man cannot conceive what he may be and what he may become. Through the grace of Christ he is capable of constant mental progress. Let the light of truth shine into his mind and the love of God be shed abroad in his heart and he may, through the grace Christ has died to impart to him, be a man of power--a child of earth but an heir of immortality.” (By Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, Page 195)
The Word of The LORD was speaking to me through these words. And with many such devotionals being presented in messages along this theme of keeping our hearts, mind, soul and body pure, I saw that these devotional thoughts spoke directly to the struggles that many are having. It was around this time that circumstances led me to be placed in a situation where in years past I would have yielded my mind to the controlling desires of my body. But because my mind was awake to the tempting circumstances in which I was in, I did not yield at that time to the temptation that was being urged upon my body, to respond to the circumstances of which I was presented. I say that I did not respond at that time, because I was a wake to the tempting circumstances in which I was placed. But just as a person can be tempted in their dreams, to respond to trying circumstances, many can be wide awake from their physical sleep, but are spiritually asleep to the many temptations and trying circumstances that we might find ourselves in at times. This I believe is what is meant in The Scriptures, to be watchful and awake. It means to be spiritually awake to the tempting circumstances, which Ellen G. White says it can be “…a bewitching power that is equal to the intoxicating glass of liquor.” And, “…if these sinful practices are continued, the brain is enfeebled and diseased, and loses its balance.”
Because my mind was awake to the tempting circumstances in which I was in, my mind, heart and body was on full alert, to respond not to the tempting circumstances which was being presented. The desire was not taken away from me. Yet, due to a Stronger Will Power in me, which gave to me the power to resist, I was then able by not responding to the temptation, to resist the tempting circumstances in which I was placed.
As it was noted in the devotional above, “Self-indulgence, love of pleasure, enmity, pride, self-esteem, envy, jealousy, will grow spontaneously, without example and teaching. In our present fallen state all that is needed is to give up the mind and character to its natural tendencies.” I know that if I was not awake to the tempting circumstances in which I was placed, and if I was not feeding my mind, my heart and my soul upon The Word of GOD, to purify and cleanse my soul, I know that the tempting circumstances would have open the door for me to give in, and give up my mind to the accommodating circumstances. I would still be struggling to regain control over the natural tendencies, which many of us in the world are struggle with. As The Word says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
But many of us are asleep to our condition of not yielding our hearts, our minds, our souls and our bodies to The Holy One, Who died to His Will, to save us from our natural tendencies to sin. In another devotional that deals with the theme of this Battle for Purity, I read this devotional that deals with the oneness of the heart, mind, soul and body saying “no” to the tempting circumstances to sin. The title of this devotional says, “A Firm, Decisive "No"”. The Scripture verse says, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
“There are always those of pliant, accommodating dispositions who can with difficulty pronounce the word NO squarely, who are ready to be led away from God by a stronger, determined will. These have no interior strength to rely upon, no firm principle to save them from accepting evil suggestions and forming wrong habits. . . .
“The moral dangers to which all, both old and young, are exposed are daily increasing. . . . Satan is making masterly efforts to involve married men and women and children and youth in impure practices. His temptations find acceptance in many hearts, because they have not been elevated, purified, refined, and ennobled by the sacred truth which they claim to believe. Not a few have been low and vile in thought and common in talk and deportment, so that when Satan's temptations come they have no moral power to resist them and fall an easy prey. . . .
“We have need to be alarmed if we have not the fear of God constantly before us. We have need to fear if there is any departing from the living God, for He alone is our strength and fortress, into which we may run and be safe when the enemy makes a charge upon us with his temptations.
“It is a subject of interest to every soul of us, how we shall keep our vessels unto honor in the sight of a holy God. . . . There is no safety for us when we lie down, when we rise up, when we go out, and when we come in. Satan and evil angels have conspired with evil men and evil women, and the whole energies of the powers of darkness will gather themselves together to lead astray and destroy every soul that is not garrisoned with firm principles of eternal truths. . . . The principles of righteousness must be implanted in the soul. Faith must grasp the power of Jesus Christ, else there is no safety. Licentious practices are getting to be as common as in the days before the Flood. . . . The weak moral powers of men and women in this age who claim to be commandment keepers alarm me. Everyone needs to arouse and lift up the standard of purity.” (By Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, Page 199)
As a result of these views that were being presented in my devotionals, I decided to present a Power Point Presentation to help convey the thought of what we need to be aware of, or to be awake to, and help my neighbors to comprehend what is needed to help overcome the temptations of the enemy to us all. In this devotional above, it is revealed that a person, who is pliant, or flexible, is one, who can be accommodating in a trying disposition. He, or she has not a strong power of will, to defend against the temptations, which he, or she is known to have a weakness for. A person, who knows his weakness for alcohol would not seek employment in a liquor store, because he would yield to the temptation of the enemy when he is placed in that accommodating situation, which is presented when no one appears to be around. But the same person, who has yielded his mind, heart, and body to a Stronger Will Power, not of himself, he will resist the temptation of the enemy when he is placed in a situation that can be tempting.
A person might have someone hide all the things that can be tempting to the one, who might yield to these temptations. But what would happen if that person were to be confronted with these accommodating situations? Would he, or she yield to the temptations that are presented? This is what was presented to Adam and Eve in The Garden of Eden. Some have questioned why was there the forbidden tree and his fruit in the midst of The Garden? Did GOD not know that the tree and his fruit would be tempting to Adam and Eve? Another way to comprehend the question and the answer would be to ask a similar question on why manufacturing companies put there products through so much testing situations? Is it to destroy the product, or to make the product better? Would you purchase a product from a manufacturing company that did not test its product under certain situations? Do we not hear of many recalls of failed parts in products.
With man as GOD’S creation, our perfection is incomplete without HIM and HIS Word of Life. For it is written of The Word of GOD, Who said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). We must be connected to GOD by The Power of HIS Word to resist the temptations of the adversary. Of ourselves, relying on our weakness for strength, to overcome the enemy of our souls, we will ever answer to his call every time he presents his addicting drugs of choice to our weaknesses. And as a result the world is led around like a ball and chain to the drugs of our choice.
The heart, mind and body must be in agreement to have a strong will in saying no to that temptation, which one might find himself, or herself complying in a trying situation. If the heart and the body are yielding to the accommodating dispositions, which the mind knows to be wrong, the mind is only one third the vote to the two thirds vote of the heart and body in not saying no to the accommodating disposition, which has been presented. We must have an outside Power Source, to give our minds The Power needed, to make a decisive “No” that we might not give in to that accommodating disposition, which is presented to cause us to go against our better judgment. Christ Jesus is That Power of GOD, Who gives us The Power to overcome the enemy and all his temptations to lead us to sin against GOD. For Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
He is not saying that He is The Father. However, by The Father abiding in Him, to be one with Him, He had The Presence of The Father’s Power abiding in Him, to give Him Power to over come the trying circumstances that the enemy presented to Him. That Power in Him is The Same Power of His Divine Spirit, of Himself, which He laid down to become human like us, to experience our dependence upon His Life giving Power. And to experience the trying circumstances in which we face, that He might be a helper to us by His Spirit abiding in us, to give us the help in our time of need. As He said, if we abide in Him and He abide in us, then we can bring forth much fruit: for without Him we can do nothing.
Who is your God? Why do we not give in to some sins, but are pliant and flexible in others? One temptation may not work upon one person, but it might work upon another. Our experiences are different from one individual to another. In the case of Adam and Eve, the temptation to take of the forbidden fruit may not have been a tempting situation for Adam, but Eve, whose heart was open to the temptation of the adversary, to pick of his fruit and believe his lies, she was the means of Adam’s temptation to sin, because she was one with him--bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He could not bear to separate from his wife, who had taken of the fruit, which they were forbidden to eat. For it is written that, “…Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14).
They were to be one with GOD through being obedient to HIS Word. But by yielding to his wife, who was of his flesh and blood, Adam chose to suffer with his wife Eve by separating from his oneness with GOD, and turning away from believing in GOD’S Word. Adam and his wife ran and hid themselves from The Presences of The LORD, WHO sent unto them HIS Word.
Today many are choosing the sins that are gratifying the pleasures of the flesh, and are turning away from following The Word of GOD, because they have not The Strength of The Power of GOD’S Word, to break that addiction to that controlling power over their will. And to see to it that they do not receive The Power of GOD’S Word to overcome his power over them, Satan seeks to hedge up the way that leads to the hearts of men and women that they would remain in a pliant and accommodating situation to his will. Paul wrote and said, “…seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:1-7).
Notice that the god of this world has blinded the minds of men and women, who believe not The Truth. He has done this for fear that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. As long as The Light of Truth is kept from reaching the hearts of men and women, the adversary is looked upon as the god of this world. But GOD did not make man to be a servant of the adversary in this world, to worship him. For GOD made man to have dominion over all the earth, and to be children of The Most High GOD.
When Adam severed his connection to GOD, by blaming HIM for giving the woman unto him, he was saying that she was ruling over him, or that she had a controlling effect upon him, when he took of the fruit that she gave to him to eat. And when the woman responded to what was done, she blamed the serpent--the adversary, who had a power over her, to entice her into receiving of his deceptive fruit.
In this world today, the souls of countless millions are under the enticement of some power of the enemy that has the minds of men and women under the control of his will. And these controlling powers are maintained with one main objective, and that objective is to keep the minds of men and women occupied, while the powers that affect their bodies take effect upon them, that the minds of men and women would be compliant to his will, to be a god over them.
As an example, many, who are controlled by their addictions of choice, they are being led and controlled by these drugs, to numb their minds from hearing the call of The Word of GOD. There are controlling powers like television, with hundreds of channels that present 24 hours of programming every day, which is geared to program the minds of men and women, to feed their minds the corrupting influences through sight and sound, to defile the mind, heart and soul. Then you have the games, to feed the imagination and the taste for excitement, for the young child to the adult, and every age in between. There are also the controlling powers of the mind, heart and body, to fill the desires of the flesh, for those, who feed on the intimate adult relations, and the corrupting influences of imprinting the corrupt images that are presented upon the mind and hearts of others. Using all these things and more, the adversary uses these controlling powers to keep control over the hearts of men and women in this world that they might not hear and respond to the call of The Word of GOD. Even within the social networks, elements of these controlling influences can be found to bait and entice unsuspecting users of the social networks to partake of these corrupting influences.
Satan became a god over this world when man yielded their minds to his lies and bowed down to worship him. And he sought to get Christ--The Son of GOD, to bow down and worship him when He came into this world, to save and restore man back to GOD, to become children of GOD. Satan said to Jesus, “…If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:3-10).
As Satan was subtle to Eve in tempting her to sin, he sought to be subtle with Jesus, by focusing His attention on proving that He was indeed The Son of GOD, while he the adversary was giving to Him a command to fulfill, that he might be a god over Him. But Christ Jesus knew that He is The Son of GOD. He did not need to follow a command of the adversary, to prove what He already knew. Twice the adversary sought to gain the worship of The Son of GOD by presenting a condition to prove His Son-ship to GOD. The third time, he presented the true purpose of his deceptions, when he sought to make the claim that he can give to Christ all the kingdoms of this world, if He would only bow down and worship him. The same deceptions are being presented to every man, woman, boy and girl, to worship Satan, and he will give every corrupting and benumbing desire in this world, to keep men under his control.
Bringing to Light The Power to Overcome
As it was revealed through Paul, we are called to let The Light of GOD’S Word shine through us to those, who are in the darkness of the controlling power of the enemy over their lives. Many Christians are asleep to these controlling powers. And because they are asleep, many are being used to promote the powers of the adversary, who has control over them, even in many of the social network groups. By promoting things that are corrupting in their nature, many of these presentations are designed to feed the desires of the lower nature, to receive more and more, until the hearts of many are corrupted without knowing the damage that it is doing to prevent the purity of the soul. Christ is pleading for us to have purity of heart, mind, body and soul, to be cleansed from all these degrading things, which tend to make us pliant and flexible in accommodating these corrupting things in our lives.
As a result of this lack of awareness in so many lives, I was inspired by the study of the devotionals to present a series of presentations, which deals with these issues, to help wake up my brothers and sisters to the power that has lulled so many to sleep. The series is also based on one of the devotionals, which is entitled “The Greatest Work on Earth”. At the writing of this message, my computer crashed the same night after uploading a “PDF” study that deals with the question, “Does it Matter which day we Worship GOD? But praise to GOD that he has given to me the skills and had arranged before hand, to cause me to have in my possession what would be needed to repair my computer, to continue presenting The Message of HIS Word.
When The Word of GOD speaks of gross darkness the people, this world has many, who are being primed for the time of trouble, because they are asleep to pliant and accommodating situations that will come upon men, to try their hearts to see if they will bow to the adversary by yielding to the trying circumstances, or if they will remain faithful to GOD by being True and steadfast in HIS Word.
Even at the time of writing of these words, I read words from my devotionals, which speak of Ellen White’s desire for us as a people. She wrote and said, “…I realize something of the time in which we are living. Our time of discipline on this earth, yours and mine, is very limited. . . . I never realized more decidedly than at the present time the help of the Lord in my speaking and writing. I shall stand on the field of battle until the Lord releases me. I am afraid for our people--afraid that the love of the world is robbing them of godliness and piety. I am trying to arouse them to see the danger of being decoyed by the enemy onto enchanted ground. I am trying to show them the need of cultivating faith and love at all times and under all circumstances. It is only by strong faith that a strong love for the Saviour can be kept alive in the heart. Our faith in Christ must be a pure, strong, genuine faith. There is a spurious faith, which leads only to confidence in self and to criticism of others. Such faith quenches every spark of Christlike love in the soul. God calls upon His people to be united. But our union can be genuine only as we move upward to the cross of Calvary, every day crucifying self. All efforts at union that are not founded on the softening, subduing love of Christ in the heart will most assuredly fail. . . ." (The Upward Look, Page 279)
I hope that you my brothers, my sisters will see the condition that this world is in, and awake from sleep, or put our mind, heart and body on full alert against the controlling powers of the adversary, which he has over so many people, even within the church. I also hope that you will not take what you have read lightly, or without due consideration, because lives are at stake. I also pray that if it is in your power to look at these presentations, you will do so to understand The Great Work we are called to do in co-laboring with Christ. If we don’t know what we are called to do, then we can easily be led by the adversary to work at cross purposes to GOD, and hinder the work we have been call to do. You will understand more clearly once you have received and studied the presentations from The Spirit of Prophecy. I pray that GOD will bless, as HE by HIS Word lead you to co-Labor with Him in HIS cause.
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
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