The way you discover God’s will for what you should or should not see is to be a student of God’s Word. How are you doing with that?
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The way you discover God’s will for what you should or should not see is to be a student of God’s Word. How are you doing with that? As you become intimately familiar with the Author of Scripture, it will become easier for you to understand the voice of the Holy Spirit as He directs you, from Scripture, to discern between things that are going to help you grow spiritually and those that can draw you away from God, thus weakening your faith.
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 #84 entitled “Monkey see, Monkey do” ... say what?
Consider this: we are instructed in Philippians 4:8 that our minds should be thoroughly occupied with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Since what you see has a direct impact on what you think, then it stands to reason that the things you see should also be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. By the way, I will be doing a deep dive into Philippians 4:8 in a future episode.
We are definitely living in the age of Grace, and as Christians we have been given great freedom. As a result, we may wrongly conclude that we can view whatever we choose without any serious consequences. But keep in mind that “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh” (Galatians 5:13) You and I must always be careful about what we allow our eyes to see. Be very wary about what you allow yourself to watch. King David cried out to God to help him, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things” (Psalm 119:37). Things that are worthless are those things that hold no eternal value, and they are things we should not focus our attention on.
Oh, my friend, you need to “be careful to lead a blameless life ... walk in (your) house with a blameless heart ... set before (your) eyes no vile thing.” (Psalm 101:2-3) You see, when we place vile things in front of our eyes (those things that are good for nothing, spiritually unprofitable, and can lead to our destruction), we are also exposing our minds to those things. With enough exposure, your mind will become accustomed to what you are seeing, and your thought process will be altered. This, in durn, modifies (alters) your behavior. This is precisely why God instructs us to “get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on.” (Ezekiel 20:7)
I realize that if you’ve been listening to the last few episodes, you have been hearing the same truth over and over and over again – but I make no apologies. What you see strongly impacts what you think, and what you think influences what you do. So be on guard – “above all else, guard your mind” (Proverbs 4:23)
What do you allow to be watched on the television in your home? Think about the movies you permit to be viewed. What images are you being exposed to? What about violence? What about sexual innuendoes and graphic content? What about the language. All of these things have a bearing on what you think. I had a very dear friend, a godly man, highly recommend a particular movie. He talked it up so much that my wife and I were very curious about it. I trust him, so I trusted his recommendation. We rented the movie, popped our popcorn, cuddled on the couch, and not three minutes into the movie the name of my Heavenly Father was berated and misused a half-dozen times! We immediately turned the movie off and sat at the dining room table and played a game. When I saw my friend, I asked him why he would recommend such a movie. His response: “There’s no swearing in that movie!” I assured him there was and challenged him to revisit it. Two days later he called me and apologized. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” he said. “I never heard those words the first time.”
I know what’s wrong. He had not put up a guard around his heart, he had not chosen to protect his mind months prior to that movie that he had become numb to the foul language and sexual content. King David said, “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” (Psalm 101:7) Wise words to be sure.
Now I know that some of you will argue with me about this, claiming that it’s just harmless entertainment, and that you know the difference between what’s going on in a sitcom and what’s real. But let me challenge you on that. Carefully consider the things you are allowing into your mind. Are you choosing to allow those who practice deceit and speak falsely to stand in your presence? Are you letting your eyes see things you shouldn’t, exposing your mind to things that are harmful to it? The Apostle Paul urges us “to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” (Romans 16:17)
I’m not saying you should never watch television or see another movie for as long as you live. I’m also not saying that you should never play computer games or the like. I am saying, as Paul did, that you and I should “test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
Now I want to park on the word “test” in this verse. It’s a word that means literally, to scrutinize intently with the purpose of approving it. That verb is written in the present tense, active voice, and imperative mood. In other words, you are to consider carefully that TV program, movie, website, computer game, etc. and test it (examine, analyze, and dissect it). Determine if its content glorifies God. Not just once, but constantly (present tense). You are not to rely on others to do this for you (active voice), this is your responsibility. This isn’t an option dear friend. This is God’s direct command (imperative mood). If, after intentional scrutiny it passes inspection, great. If not ... avoid it like the plague!
1 John 2:15-16 says this: “Do not love the world or anything in the world ... for everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.” Remember, the world desires for its offerings to be viewed as pleasurable. The worlds intention is to cause you to like it, enjoy it, and eventually embrace it. And Satan wants to use it to draw you away from that deep, personal relationship with your Heavenly Father – that which will help you fulfill your purpose and find real meaning to life. But EVERYTHING in the world is NOT from God. If it does not bring honor and glory to God, we should have nothing to do with it.
So, your very first test for what you allow your eyes to see should be this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) In the final analysis, anything you see that takes your love and focus away from God, from His Word, and from doing His will, doesn’t belong in your life. Period.
If you do not guard your heart, by being careful of what you allow yourself to see, the deception of the Devil will slowly creep in and warp your thinking, pulling you away from God. You need to choose from this moment forward to “drive out the inhabitants of the land,” why? “Those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble.” (Numbers 33:55)
As Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good character.” What kind of company are you inviting into your home and allowing into your mind through the things you watch? If it demeans women or belittled men, no matter how humorous or entertaining it may be, should you be watching it? If it promotes disrespect to parents or those in authority over us, is it worth viewing? If it encourages sex outside of the context of marriage, or makes fun of marital problems, should we be exposing ourselves (and our family) to it?
If you allow your eyes to see that which does not glorify God, you are allowing your mind to think on things that do not glorify God. And this can result in a life that does not glorify God. Is it worth the risk? “Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see!” Why? Because “with eyes full of adultery, (we will) never stop sinning” (2 Peter 2:14)
As we wrap up today’s episode, let me close with this challenge. If you haven’t yet made the same commitment as David did, to “set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3), then I urge you to commit to that right now. From this point forward determine that you are going to review everything you allow your eyes to see, including TV, movies, video games, books, magazines, and the Internet. Choose right now that if it does not bring glory to God, don’t look at it. Period. Make the decision today (and then stick with it) that “My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only HE will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15)
As I close this episode, I just want you to know how deeply honored I am that you have chosen to share your time with me today and listen to this episode in its entirety. Would you prayerfully and seriously consider joining us in being a vital part of this ministry. We are praying for and looking for Purity Coach Partners who will commit to supporting this ministry in two major areas.
First and foremost, in prayer. I’m talking about more than just “Dear God, please bless Steve and The Pure Man Ministry.” As important as that is, we need partners in this ministry who are praying for us daily. Praying for wisdom as we counsel, praying for protection as the enemy tries almost daily to stop us in our tracks and shut us down. Praying for the men that are entrenched and enslaved in this sin – praying for their freedom, praying for victory, praying for clarity as they study the Scripture, praying for their personal spiritual growth, and praying for their families – their wives, their children, their churches. We NEED faithful prayer partners who will commit to praying for this ministry on a regular basis. Would you consider becoming a Purity Prayer Partner?
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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.