The Point of Purity Podcast

Episode 88 - Think Before You Act

August 18, 2022 Steve Etner Season 2 Episode 88
The Point of Purity Podcast
Episode 88 - Think Before You Act
Show Notes Transcript

When you question God’s Word, you then begin to doubt whether it is really absolute truth. You begin to focus your attention upon King Me and all the perceived “rights” that are being denied you. You are now viewing God’s standards as burdensome and unloving. From there, it’s a simple step into thinking about all the pleasures sin can afford – and you allow yourself to think about those things apart from the absolute truth of God’s Word. The results of such thinking are disastrous!
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When you question God’s Word, you then begin to doubt whether it is really absolute truth. You begin to focus your attention upon King Me and all the perceived “rights” that are being denied you. You are now viewing God’s standards as burdensome and unloving. From there, it’s a simple step into thinking about all the pleasures sin can afford – and you allow yourself to think about those things apart from the absolute truth of God’s Word. The results of such thinking are disastrous!

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 88, and in this episode, we continue our deep dive into Satan’s strategy with Eve in the Garden and discover how he’s still using the same MO today on you and me. Today’s episode is entitled “Think Before You Act!”


When you allow your mind to begin lingering on the pleasures of your sinful temptations – and you consider those temptations separate from what God says in Scripture, at that point it’s a very short step off a very deep chasm toward outright disobedience to your Heavenly Father. All the Devil has to do is get you to choose to think about life APART from the Word of God. This is precisely why, here in The Pure Man Ministry, I am constantly pressing the point of how vital it is that we consider everything in life in light of God’s Word. What does God say? How does God view this? What does God want me to do here, at this moment, in this situation? What must I think, say, and do right now that will bring my Heavenly Father, my Creator, my Savior ALL the honor and glory. In short, God’s Word must always be our guide in every aspect of life.

Now, just in case you zoned out there and didn’t hear what I said, let me repeat: We MUST be in God’s Word daily! We must, as Colossians 3:17 says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” It is fundamentally imperative that we continuously saturate our mind with God’s truth. Why? Because (1 John 2:21) “No lie comes from the truth.” You and I face the same choice daily that Eve did – God’s truth or Satan’s lie? Listen my friend, when you choose to dilute and change God’s truth, it is much easier for you to then choose to reject God’s truth in favor of Satan’s attractive lie. And that’s when you will choose to sin.

I’m sure you already know this but let me remind you that Satan is not your friend. As much as he tries to convince you otherwise, he doesn’t care about your pleasure or enjoyment. He doesn’t want you to be happy. He wants your destruction. Jesus told Peter (Luke 22:31) that “Satan desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat.” Peter later recorded, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Now think with me for a moment about that verse. I want to point out that Peter says we are to be “self-controlled.” In other words, we are to be in our right mind at all times, always thinking properly – thinking Biblically. Why? Because Satan, our arch-enemy, is on the hunt, looking for weak Christians to devour. Think about it this way: When a lioness is on the hunt, she knows that the best target is the weak one. The one who is isolated, alone, away from the herd. The one who is most vulnerable. So, when she comes upon a herd of antelope, she crouches low in the grass and waits, watching to see which one is the weakest. This, Peter says, is what Satan does. He is looking for the Christian who is weak in the faith, the one who isn’t daily reading, studying, feeding upon God’s Word. The one who isn’t hiding God’s Word in their heart, focusing all their thoughts on glorifying God. The one who is choosing to graze elsewhere. The one who isn’t going to church, not reading their Bible, not on their knees in prayer, not daily choosing to dethrone King Me. That’s his target. So, my question for you is this: is he watching you?

Listen to 1 Peter 1:13 and consider this warning from Peter. “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Did you catch that? We are commanded in Scripture to prepare our minds for action! Peter writes the verb “to prepare” in the middle voice, which simply means it is to your definite advantage to have your mind always prepared for action.

You see, your mind is the place where all your behaviors, your attitudes, your actions, your choices, your words, it’s where everything begins. So, it benefits you greatly to have a prepared mind. Peter says specifically that you are to prepare your mind for “ACTION.” Your mind needs to be prepared, it needs to be on high-alert, it needs to be fully ready for the kind of action we saw in the last two episodes of this podcast in the life of Eve – because, as Peter warns us, our enemy is seeking to devour us. He wants to deceive your mind with his subtle lies (2 Corinthians 11:3). So, the action you need to prepare your mind for is fighting off those deceitful lies of Satan.

Now I also want you to notice that Peter says, in 1 Peter 5:8-9, you are to “be self-controlled.” You are to be in your right mind. You are to be at all times and in all ways thinking properly. Not only are we to be self-controlled, but we are to be “alert.” In other words, we are to be awake and watchful, circumspect. Why? Because Satan’s attack can come at any time! And when it does, you are to “resist” him, standing firm in the faith. You are to set yourself against him, in opposition to him, with both your words AND your deeds. You are to “stand firm,” solidly and immovably planted in the firm foundation of God’s Word. And here’s the really cool thing God promises in this text – Satan has to flee from you! He has to!

Peter also clarifies that as you stand, you are to stand firm “in the faith.” This is done when you choose daily, when you choose moment-by-moment to “stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” (Ephesians 6:14). Now I want you to note with me Paul’s use of the word “with” (“stand firm then, WITH the belt of truth buckled around your waist”). It’s a word that indicates you are FULLY EQUIPPED for the battle. Think about that. God is telling us that when we wear the belt of truth, we are standing firm in the faith, fully equipped for the battle! And what, my friend, is truth? God’s Word IS truth!

OK, now let’s try to put this all together in a way that makes sense. We are to resist the devil – right? Right! This is done ONLY as we stand firm in the faith. How do we stand firm in the faith? By fully, completely, totally, and unreservedly submitting to the Lordship and Leadership of God in EVERY part of our life, and by being fully equipped for the battle, which of necessity includes wearing the belt of truth – surrounding yourself, saturating yourself, immersing yourself in the Word of God. In short, you can’t prepare your mind for action, you cannot stand firm in the faith, you cannot effectively resist the Devil without first filling your heart and mind with God’s absolute truth from God’s Perfect Word.

You see, you when know God’s truth you will be able to quickly identify Satan’s attacks on your mind with his deceitful lies, and immediately be able to say “no” to each and every one of them. You won’t flirt with them. You won’t even give them a moments consideration. Not in the slightest. Instead you will promptly dismiss them for what they really are – lies from an enemy intent upon destroying your relationship with God and your testimony to the world around you.

The command in James 4:7 is this: “submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Now I want you to notice something from this verse – something that is critical to victory. You are to FIRST submit to God. Are you catching this? You are to FIRST submit to God. The enemy wants you to reverse the order. He works hard at trying to convince you that before you can truly submit to God you must first somehow become successful at resisting your spiritual enemy. But without Christ you can do nothing! (John 15:5) No, you must first submit your heart, your mind, your life to God.

THEN – watch this now – THEN, by the act of submitting yourself to God you are AUTOMATICALLY resisting the Devil. Resisting isn’t the focus of the verse here. Submitting to God is. When you submit to God you are automatically choosing at the same moment to resist the enemy, resisting the temptation.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for any length of time, then you have definitely noticed that my ongoing theme in each and every episode is all about being in God’s Word. There’s a powerful reason for that. You see, God’s Word reveals God’s way and God’s will. Apart from the absolute truth of the Word of God we have no sure understanding of the will of God. And without the ability to understand the will of God we won’t be able to walk in the way of God. This is precisely why Satan wants to attack your mind with his deceitful lies so you will not trust in God’s Word, which in turn means you will not know God’s will resulting in not walking in God’s way. This is why Ephesians 5:15-17 warns, “be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is!”

Well, this is probably as good a point as any today to wrap up this week’s episode. Even though we aren’t quite done with this particular topic of study, I want to respect your time. So, in next week’s episode we will pick up from here as we talk about not only knowing what God’s will is, but understanding how to walk in that perfect will of God.

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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.