Wednesday, August 15, 2001
I think I've lost the same five pounds about 200 times--which would be just about enough to make six of me. Actually, I used to weigh almost 50 pounds more, and I lost it a long time ago. But, as you know if you have ever lost a chunk of yourself, the challenge is to keep it off. So I set 165 as my ceiling weight and then 160 as kind of my anchor weight. As my weight starts creeping toward 165 again--which it inevitably will, believe me, I have to reverse all engines immediately. I mean, it's just too hard to fight 20-25 extra pounds. I'd rather fight with five pounds any time...while it's still a more winable battle.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Fighting It Early."
Our word for today from the Word of God is actually a battle briefing for the spiritual warfare that every child of God is involved in. And the strategy for fighting your spiritual enemies is strangely like fighting physical fat.
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." This is pretty exciting stuff! God can give you supernatural power to destroy fortresses of sin that have been like Satan's mission control center in your life. Now, here comes the strategy for winning spiritually. When it unfolds what this stronghold thing is all about, the Bible talks not about pornography or immoral behavior or anger or bad habits, He talks about our thoughts.
Verse 5 says, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Now here is the fantastic prospect of capturing every thought and making it what Jesus wants us to think about. Now when you're fighting overweight, you have to fight it early, in those first few pounds that are taking you the wrong direction. Now, it's the same with fighting the sin that has beaten you so many times. You have to fight it early, when it's just a sinful thought that is starting to take you the wrong direction.
Your mind is a jungle. Savage animals roam across it all the time--thoughts of revenge, lust, pride, self-centeredness, thoughts of bitterness, anger, depression. And all to often we do not start fighting back until that idea--the animal--becomes an action. And that's too late. Successful spiritual warfare doesn't wait for sin to become a plan or an action or a habit. Successful spiritual warfare must be fought and won in the jungle of our mind. It's much easier to defeat it when we're just thinking about it than after we're doing it. Our alarm needs to go off as soon as that sinful thought first enters our mental jungle.
That wrong thought needs to be captured and never allowed to roam free. God's victory strategy is for you to daily capture your sinful thoughts as soon as they appear. You immediately and consciously say, "Help me, Jesus. It's this kind of garbage you died to save me from. So here's my mind--help me capture this thought and subdue it." Beating it will never be easier than when you're just thinking about it. And do what Jesus did when He was tempted--get in your enemy's face and counterattack by quoting powerful Scripture verses...preferably right out loud.
Sin is beatable - unless you wait until it's out of control. Capture it when it's a thought. Take it from this recovering "eataholic". You can stay fit if you learn to fight it when it's small.