The Oxford Dictionaries defines “protection” as a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury. It doesn’t take much effort to find some sort of protection for just about anything.
There are security systems to protect our homes from theft and fire, alarms to protect our cars, you can’t go anywhere without video cameras monitoring our every move, countless security services and systems. There are protection for our eyes, ears and every part of our body. OSHA exists to protect the worker. We literally cover children in combat gear from head to toe to protect them when they ride a bike. We have toothpaste to protect our teeth from decay and looking dingy.
Cars are now made with alarms to sound when you drift out of your lane and will brake automatically for you because we are too busy doing everything but driving. An alarm is being developed to warn us when we have a child in the backseat because we have lost all self-awareness to remember we have a child in the car.
Sunscreen to protect us from the sun. Birth control to protect us from pregnancy. We have software to protect our computers and phones. Court orders and firearms for personal protection. There is even a door bell with a camera so you can see who is coming up to your house, not matter where you are in the world. On and on, if you want protection for something chances are there is a company who can sell something to you.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Christ Jesus is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV).
For those of you old enough to remember getting pictures developed, you surely remember Eastman Kodak. One of the largest companies in the world. Provider of cameras and the film needed to take and develop all of those pictures that make us cringe when we look back at them. But what about Eastman Kodak today? It is a shell of the company it once was. With the advent of digital photography, affordable printers and technology to print your own pictures, no more taking them to the drug store and coming back in a week, the explosive growth of the internet and apps that allow you to do all kinds of photography, it’s not the same company it used to be. What happened to the people tasked with leading the company and protecting its future and its employees?
Are you protecting yourself? Not from anything that is listed above, but are you protecting your “thought” life?
“No man becomes immoral in deed without first becoming immoral in thought.” Ed Cole.
Chances are we are going to great and expensive extremes to protect everything but our “thought life.” But I challenge you today to consider and put in a plan to protect your thoughts.
“The thought is parent to the deed.” Ed Cole.
We speed through life being bombarded daily by images, words, music and other forms of temptation that attack our thoughts and lead us down that road to sin. The very road we know we shouldn’t go down, the road Jesus says is wide and leads to destruction.
Knowing what we know, have we made any changes? Are we doing anything different? Or are we insane? You know doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results? Nothing will ever change for the good with this mindset. It will only continue to lead us to repetitive sin and destruction. We must make changes.
And here is where the problems start. Changes. We hate changes. Give us comfort and routine. We don’t want to deal with the pain and agony of making a change. We might have to give up something we really enjoy, even though we know it’s sinful. We may have to stop hanging around people who we allow to lead us down the wrong road. We may have to stop listening to music we grew up with, or stop reading or viewing sites on the computer that are obviously inappropriate. Yes, we not only may have to but definitely will have to in order to protect our thoughts.
“If you don’t first think it, you won’t later do it.” Ed Cole.
1. Read the Word of God daily and begin to put it to memory. I have a huge noggin filled with an incredible amount of useless facts. I shared a couple of weeks ago how when I was growing up and still to some extent today a big baseball fan. I could name player after player, who they played for and what their batting average was and so on and so on. Knowing that Jim “Catfish” Hunter pitched for the Oakland A’s is no defense against the forces of evil that seek to affect and control my thought life.
However, knowing scripture and being able to recite it and call upon its truth is the protection that we need. I must admit, this is hard for me, but it’s something that each of us need to commit to on a daily basis.
2. Prayer. Not only daily but multiple times a day. Daniel was a great example. He prayed morning, noon and night. It kept him out of the traps set for him by his enemies and allowed God to use him in some incredible ways. Would you consider stepping into a den of lions without first praying?
Prayer keeps us in tune with God and what He is doing around us. It is not only our way to talk to Him but more importantly our way to listen to what He is saying to us. I struggle with remembering to pray during the day. I usually start my day off with prayer and end it in prayer with my bride (if you aren’t praying with your bride, I encourage and challenge you to do so for thirty days. It will change your life and marriage). When I do remember to pray during the day, it gives me a boost that is not there when I fail to go the Lord in prayer.
Just look to Jesus. How often did He pray? All of the time. He is our example.
3. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. We are never more powerful when we are completely weak in our own strength and completely submissive to His Will. The Holy Spirit will guide and protect us. The Spirit will lead us to put on the “Armor of God” and against that nothing can defeat us.
What kind of impact would be made on this world if we all sought to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be the followers of Christ for which we are called?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV).
If we all committed to reading the Word, praying and seeking the Holy Spirit our thought lives would be drastically different. Different for the better.
So, are you happy with the way things are? Struggling and dealing with the same old, comfortable sins day after day. Or are you ready to make a change and protect your thoughts before you start protecting things that will rust and decay?
Don’t be the human equivalent of Eastman Kodak, protect your thought life.
“You can endure change by pondering His permanence.” Max Lucado.
Read the Word, Pray, Seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit and run to the Cross!