“The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits” James Clear
The culture of our world does not line up with the culture of God’s Kingdom. Years ago, I heard Ed Cole speak and this thought: “whatever is in the culture of the world will be in the Church in ten years.”
Conforming the thoughts in our heart to the thoughts of our culture is a dangerous game. Satan plots to turn us against each other. But the struggle in life is not against flesh and blood. We know that, right? But the subtleness of the devil requires patrolling our thought-life so that our word-life lines us in the right direction. We know we are to stand against the wiles of the devil but sometimes that slips our thinking and our words run afoul! The word “wiles” in Ephesians 6:11 means “methods”! What are the methods of the devil? Glad you asked. According to Dr. David Jeremiah there are three major methods:
DECEPTION DIVISIVENESS DESTRUCTION
Satan stands against all people, lost and saved. He is an equal-opportunity deceiver, divider and destructor. His desire is that we compromise, blend in and distract ourselves with casual carnality.
What preventive measures can we take?
- Grow your personal relationship with Jesus through the Word and the Holy Spirit.
- Create habits to help you practice strategies for a healthy heart. When your heart is healthy your words will be too. Guard your heart. Study the following scriptures to counter Satan’s methods.
Philippians 4:5-9 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything…but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4:29-5:1 Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Also consider: Ephesians 5:15-16 Philippians 2:1-16 Colossians 4:6
Obviously, we are to be light in a dark world as we work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12-14). We talk differently. We walk differently. Why? Because we are different. Bottom line is we must learn to trust in the Lord with all our heart…and not lean on our own or our culture’s understanding. (Proverbs 3:4-5)
Everything begins in the heart. Habits are strategies. Invest in your heart. Take inventory of the words coming out of your mouth. Don’t make it legalistic. Make it relational with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NIV)