“On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.”
– John Owen
Last week we began to expound on the nature of the Christian mind that is, in one way or another, infatuated with the world.
We discussed two of the more commonly known ways in which our minds can be prone to drift into a state of worldliness: neglecting holy scripture and a failure to persist in prayer.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out last weeks article as it set the foundation of our study on this topic going forward! This post is part two of the series called “When We Love Christ But Flirt With The World – A Practical Examination,” and now we’re looking at 3 practical ways we may be offering a weak defense against the flattery of the world.
1.) Evaluating Our Morning Routine
Our first decisions, thoughts, and plans in the morning are extremely vital in relation to how much influence they have over the entirety of our day.
The difference, for example, between waking up and investing our minds in Facebook or in Holy Scripture is significant.
I’m not suggesting that every ‘mature Christian’ should be studying the bible in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening.
I don’t necessarily believe that it’s irresponsible and reflective of a worldly mind to merely choose to invest in deep study at a different time in our daily routine, but I absolutely believe that spending time filling our fresh and rested minds with things such as social media is very unhealthy. (More on this specific topic coming up next in the series).
I do think that regardless of our bible reading preferences or the troubles awaiting in the day (Matthew 6:34), we should be saturating our minds in the richness of the Word and the intimacy of prayer every day.
If this means reading a quick devotional in the morning and studying more deeply later on, then so be it. That quick devotional, that five minutes spent in prayer about the coming day makes all the difference in the world to its outcome and our own hearts.
“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)
What we consistently choose to invest our minds in each morning reveals what we care most about. What we turn to when we have 15 minutes to just relax before finally getting out of bed will demonstrate the state of our affections.
Worldliness will not be prevented by the man who is eager to engage in it before he even leaves his bed in the morning.
There are things to do each day and plans we make. Whether it be work, school, errands, or the finally granted day off, we will make decisions and do something with our day.
We need to be making these choices with a clear conscience that is driven by a desire to glorify God with our actions.
What we choose to do during lunch on a school day, when we get home from work, or throughout our day off does demonstrate to the world that we are passionate about something. Are these passions even worth having? Are they edifying toward your relationship with Christ? Harmful toward it? What about harmful to the relationship others have with Him or lack of?
I think we would do well to acknowledge that if we had prepared for these moments by starting the day with a renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) we would be more inclined to exercise mature and effective discernment.
We should fear for the one that has no plan of action, has sealed no gates between his heart and the world, and blindly walks into each day merely presuming on the grace of God.
Indeed, by grace we have been saved, but gratitude of the gift of grace doesn’t give license to laziness and an attitude that leaves us slothful in Spirit. (Proverbs 19:15)
Understand that each new day is a merciful gift of God that should be used in an endeavor to know Him more intimately, to hope that through our choices we can be the vessel of grace that God will use to reveal His majesty to others.
How can we positively influence those we know we’ll encounter, and how can we be of such a sober mind that when the unexpected comes we will respond in a manner that reflects the joy we truly find in Christ?
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” (Proverbs 12:11)
Those who are diligent and continue to take action against the flesh will be prepared for these situations. They’ll have a plan and confidently boast in Christ as their impenetrable shield against the enemy.
On the other hand, those who follow worthless pursuits, or embrace the seduction of this fallen world by choosing it over the things of God, will stumble into daily life while subconsciously handing the devil the key to our hearts desires.
None can achieve perfection and we aren’t expected to do so, but we can put on the armor of God, pray for strength, wisdom, and discern what our plan of action will be.
We need to write down these plans for action today and be held accountable by brothers and sisters in Christ of mature faith. God has sent His Spirit as our Helper and we can accomplish none of these things apart from His power working within us.
Pray for strength and that, if it be His will, we’ll see these plans come to fruition and bear fruit in our lives.
“All earthly desires are but streams, but God is the ocean. ”
– Jonathan Edwards
Christian, can we aspire to awake with this mindset? Can we believe this and live each day in such a way that we would leave a sinful world astounded at our disregard for it’s pleasures?
We can and we should should make it our aim with every new morning!
Please feel free to share your own ideas on this in the comments section below and discuss them with your family & friends. Be sure to join us again next week as we continue this series and take a closer look at how social media & TV affect our view of the world. Blessings!