Praise and Relief

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A statistic I learned Sunday morning is the average person talks to themselves 50,000 times a day, and80% of these comments are negative.  So what kind of negatives? Insults, guilt, ‘you could have done that better’, and counterfactuals.  In The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, the demons use guilt as their most powerful weapon against people to get them to cave to temptation.
How, though, can we fight off the power of fighting demons that want to devour our faith and cause us to defile God’s temple? That is where the praise comes in.  God wants our full undivided attention; he wants to dwell in our thoughts 24/7.  The psalmist wrote “My thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore” Psalm 138: 17-18.  Isn’t that crazy?  We are always in his mind, ALL of us.  That is what God wants from us: full undivided attention.
1 Corinthians 10:13 paraphrased says that no temptation takes us except what is common to men, and God will supply us with an exit strategy.  This exit strategy can be hard to find. We are all tempted and we all deal with it differently but there is always a way out, and here is what I present to you.  God wants to always be on our minds; full undivided attention is the highest display of love.  So why don’t we do it? Why not allow ourselves to always think of God? Here is why.  There is a constant war going on for all of us. We have won but the deceitful one is not giving up.  He will guilt you and tear you down as much as you can and try whatever means to get at you no matter how close you are with God.
The good news is incredible.  In Ephesians 1:19-22 we learn that the same power that created the universe and raised Christ from the dead that is the power that we can call on.  It gets better, we can call on Him anytime we want, we can call on him for strength and our prayers will be answered according to his will if we ask in his son’s name.  We can also use the power of his name to condemn Satan and fight temptation.  So through our praise we can tell Satan that he has no authority over us because we are children of the kingdom of heaven, a place Satan has no authority in.
So why not? Why not wholeheartedly worship the Lord of the universe through undivided attention? We are told we should be in a constant state of prayer, but are we? A good example of this helping us is in letting no unholy thing pass through our lips (Ephesians 4:29).  For the people who believe that this verse doesn’t apply just because a word is unholy doesn’t mean we can use it.  We should be set apart and not conform to this, recognizing that these words are unholy is not conforming. ‘Set apart’ means that there has to be a noticeable difference and it doesn’t mean that conforming and recognizing these words are unholy makes you a part of the world.
The point there is you wouldn’t say those kinds of words around your parents or in-laws would you? Why would you say them to the creator of everything while you are in a constant state of prayer? No, I would never say those words to God, out of respect and love.  The more we are in this state praising, growing through prayer and the word and through keeping commands, the easier it will be to cast Satan out.  The less the voice of temptation is heard and the more we hear the voice of the Spirit pushing us toward Christ.  It is incredible how he wired us to be drawn closer to him through all things good.  Always keep in mind though that the world will hate you for the change because they will notice it.  They fear The Holy Spirit because he is stronger in the world than they like to believe.  The road won’t be easy and you will fall but if you focus your undivided attention on God then he will reward you and increase your harvest.  I am not saying we can become perfect and abstain from all sin but I am saying that we can make this journey of Christianity much easier for ourselves and for the world through the light we can shine.  So let God keep you from temptation by praising him and always focusing as much as you can on him.  Allow him to decrease the negative voices by building you up in him.  Satan has no authority over you and God will stop the guilty voices and will remain faithful.

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