Have you ever stopped to consider that the people and things around you have an impact upon what and how you think? The things you see and the things you hear have a direct influence on the things you think, which in turn strongly impacts the things you do. Your mind plays a very important role in your pursuit of purity and godliness. This is why Proverbs 4:23 commands us to “above all else, guard your heart” – protect your mind at all costs.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #82, and in this week’s episode, we talk about the importance of “Understanding the Mind” – in order to glorify God in my everyday living, He must first be glorified in my every moment thinking.
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In Bible times, the fountains and wells were watched over with extra special care. That water source was their lifeline. If something got into the well to taint the water, it could have significant impact on their lives. They cooked with that water, they drank of it, and even their flocks drank from it. Nothing was allowed to enter that well if it had the potential to be harmful. As long as the water in the well was clean and pure, life was good.
As I said in today’s opener, your mind plays a very important role in being pure and godly. To allow sinful thinking is to pollute your entire life. Have you ever stood at a wishing well or fountain and, just for the fun of it, tossed in an old, dirty penny? Think of that well as your mind. What’s being tossed into it? What are other people tossing in there? What are you allowing to enter your mind every day?
I’d like to take a few moments here in this episode and do something a bit different than normal. I’d like to read to you. What I’m going to read is a small portion of Chapter Four of my book “Are You a Super Man? How to Become God’s Man of Steel.”
Imagine that you are living in a remote village where your only source of water is a single well just on the outskirts of town. The climate is hot, dry, and unfriendly. You have no other resource for water, so you desperately need that well. The nearest neighboring village is over one hundred miles away on foot through arid, dangerous wasteland – a trek you dare not take.
Without the fresh water in your well, you and everyone in your village would surely die. Suddenly that well becomes extremely important, doesn’t it? The water it contains is now worth more than all the gold, silver and precious stones in the world combined.
In addition, imagine that just outside of your village is your arch enemy, intent on your total annihilation. The leader of that demonic army will stop at nothing to see you dead, or at the very least weak and sickly – totally unable to defend yourself, completely vulnerable to his every attack.
Rarely does he try frontal assaults, as he knows you will stand firm, holding your ground, determined to not give him even an inch. However, by using guerilla warfare he effectively wears you down. Again and again, he peppers you with ambushes, sabotage, mini-raids, petty annoyances and hit-and-run tactics.
His goal: poison the well – that precious well from which you draw life. He knows it cannot be too much poison all at once, nor too powerful, otherwise you might detect it. No, he’s just going to add a drop tonight, and then another drop in about a week or so from now. Maybe two drops the following week. Just enough to taint the water and make you sick.
Your enemy is coy, he’s subtle, and his methods are surprisingly simple. First, he walks up to you, dressed like one of your neighbors or co-workers, and engages you in idle conversation that goes nowhere, and yet seems to take your full attention. You talk about the weather, you discuss the latest movies, and you even talk about religion. As he tells you a joke that’s just a bit off-color, you don’t see him reach behind your back and drop a pellet of something evil into the well. A few moments later he abruptly ends the conversation with a friendly smile and walks away.
On another day he saunters up to you, in the form of a woman. Oh, not in an erotic way, but subtly provocative. He knows that if he were to overdo it, you’d be suspicious. So, her top reveals just a slight amount of her cleavage; you barely catch a hint of her perfume. Her eyes seem to suck you right in, and her smile makes you melt. As you blush in her presence, fumbling for the right words to say, you never notice her tip a vile of some wicked concoction into your well. You don’t hear it hiss as it hits the water.
Yet another time he comes up to you, like an old friend, familiar and yet somehow not. He begins to tell you a story. You picture in your mind’s eye the action as he describes the chase; you feel the emotion as he tells of a love lost. You cringe at some of the strong language he uses, but you dismiss it as being part of the storyline. Enthralled in the exploits of the hero and the drama surrounding the heroine, you don’t even notice that he sat, rather comfortably, on the edge of the well. As his story focuses on a bedroom scene where the actors are romantically enjoying each other’s company, he lets slip from his grasp a pale, innocent looking powder into the water.
Day after day, week after week, he approaches you in various, ingeniously crafted disguises. Some of them you’ve become familiar, even friendly with. You never suspect that anything is wrong. Yet, as you daily drink from that well, the poisoned water slowly begins to do its work.
Your body starts to weaken - imperceptible at first, but you are feeling more and more fatigued. Your vision is becoming a bit blurred. Your response time is slowing. You become lethargic, melancholy, and can’t seem to make yourself care about things that once seemed important. Your thinking at times is a bit confused and you find your attention being quickly drawn away to other things. Your priorities have changed. You’ve forgotten why you are wearing that heavy, cumbersome armor. Fighting the battle just doesn’t seem to be as important anymore.
As time progresses and you go through your daily routines, you find yourself looking forward to his visits. In fact, when you see him approaching, you lean your sword up against the side of the well and greet him with a smile. Taking your helmet off and setting it on the ground next to your breastplate, you embrace him warmly. He’s become like an old friend, a glove that fits ever so comfortably. He hands you a chocolate-chip cookie, freshly baked, laced with more of his poison. You wash it down with a huge gulp of tainted well water. His task is nearly complete. His goal almost accomplished.
Think about what I just read to you. As the story unfolded, we watched as the enemy repeatedly used skilled and proven tactics to achieve his devious goal. We know how vital that water supply is; and we understand the essential, vital importance of guarding that well at all costs. And yet, we repeatedly let our guard down.
You and I also have a well. That well contains something that directly affects our health – our spiritual health. You only have one well, and what comes out of it is what determines the quality and character of your life. We must guard that well at all costs (Proverbs 4:23). We must always and ever keep that which is in the well pure because our enemy’s mission is to taint that well and ruin our lives. You need to keep it safe, not allowing anything to enter it that would poison you.
Let me repeat this concept one more time. If your well is polluted, it WILL have a direct impact on your attitudes, your behavior, your speech – in other words, every aspect of your life. Your heart, my friend, is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Pollute the well and you pollute everything that comes out of it. So don’t taint the water. Not even the slightest bit.
In Colossians 3:17 God gives this command: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In other words, whatever you say and whatever you do wherever you are is always to glorify God. So, of necessity then, whatever you allow yourself to see and hear must also glorify God. If it doesn’t, you must choose to refuse. Choose to not see it or listen to it because it is something that is tainting your well. It is having a powerful influence on your mind – thereby impacting your attitude and action. So, again I repeat – protect your well, above all else guard your heart.
Next week’s episode will continue this discussion of understanding and protecting our mind, so be sure to come back – this will be an episode you won’t want to miss. If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com
One of those resources I referred to today in our podcast is a book I’ve written entitled “Are You a Super Man? How to Become God’s Man of Steel.” It’s available on Amazon.com, and if you’re a man looking for a 12-week men’s Bible study that you can do with your accountability partner(s) or with your men’s small group (or even by yourself) this book is a must do. “Are You a Super Man of God?” is a fun look at what it means to be God’s Man of Steel in a world that is Anti-God, Anti-Christ, and Anti-Bible. As Christian men we try to be the super man of God that others want, need, even expect us to be. We do fairly well most of the time at presenting the “spiritual man of steel” persona to those around us, yet inwardly we know we are far from being the godly man we want to be.
As a Super Man of God your strength, your ability to effectively live a life that honors and glorifies God, comes directly from the SON. The closer you are in relationship to Jesus Christ, the greater your power to resist the archenemy of your soul (the devil) and watch him flee from you (James 4:7).
Yet, truth-be-told, you also have a weakness. It’s your Kryptonite, that radioactive element of your life before Christ that your spiritual archenemy uses to his advantage. The fact is, when you play around with your Kryptonite, it weakens your will and ability to stand firm and fight the fight of faith.
In this 12-week men’s Bible study you will learn how to identify your Kryptonite, steer clear of it, draw closer to the SON, and be the man of steel God has called and equipped you to be. So, let me encourage you to go to Amazon.com today and purchase your copy of “Are You a Super Man of God?”
And if you have not yet subscribed to this Point of Purity Podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.