Battleground Brain

Solomon was a straight shooter. I find that rather refreshing in our day of vague definitions and bold rationalizations. The words you just read are timeless and no less relevant today than when the ink was still wet. The battle against lustful temptations hasn’t declined in the millennia since the wise, fatherly king warned his own children. In fact, we could make the case that temptations are far more numerous today.

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On Guard!

Our study of Solomon’s fatherly advice has helped us appreciate the importance of guarding our heart, our inner self. He then explains why. The conjunction for could be translated “because.” The Hebrew word typically indicates an answer to the question why. We must guard the heart because “from within it” something extremely important occurs.

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A Life-or-Death Matter

Make no mistake! Your heart is under siege. Like marauding hordes surrounding a fortress, advertisers, porn moguls, and media mavens scheme to find a point of entry. They lob projectiles and drop subtle baits, looking for weaknesses, and shout taunts, hoping to gain an entrance. They want in so they can bring you under their subjection. At first glance, you may think I’m being overly dramatic.

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Reproofs

Let’s face it: we are a wayward flock of sheep! It’s not so much that we are ignorant, but rather that we are disobedient. More often than not, we know what we ought to do. Put plainly, we simply do not put what we know into practice. So we spend our days enduring the irksome and painful consequences of going our own way. The grind of disobedience is neither easy nor new.

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For a Fresh Start

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1–2) Our Father, in a dry and barren world, where sin is so rampant and society is so filthy, we need a fountain of fresh, clean water full of blessing, truth, and strength.

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Acknowledging Our Weakness

For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. (2 Corinthians 13:4) Our Father, we all struggle with weakness. We’re reminded almost every day that we don’t have it all together. We need You.

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Temptation

May I remind you of four of the more powerful perils that can level even the mightiest? They are fortune, fame, power, and pleasure. Each works overtime to win a hearing, to gain a foothold, to woo us in. Whether subliminal, subtle, strong, or supreme, these messages search for chinks in our armor as they appeal to our natural appetites.

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For Godliness in a Godless Culture

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list.

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For Victory over Temptation

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Thank You, Father, for Your penetrating truth preserved through the centuries.

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Season of Obedience

SAMUEL WAS NOT IMPRESSED. Having discovered that the self-reliant king had once again disobeyed God’s command, the exasperated prophet rebuked the stubborn king as few men in Scripture were rebuked: What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

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