Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mount Everest

I have been reading Dreaming With God by Bill Johnson and in it he talks about an incident that I have shared in church before. The details vary in different accounts of the story, but most say that it occurred at a dinner for survivors of George Mallory’s third attempt to scale Mount Everest. Mallory had tried twice to reach the mountain’s summit and failed, and on the third attempt he was killed. It is reported that, at the dinner for those who survived (but didn’t make it to the top, either—that was still about 30 years away), the leader of the expedition stood up, faced a picture of Mount Everest at the back of the room, and said:
"I speak to you, Mount Everest, in the name of all brave men living, and those yet unborn. Mount Everest, you defeated us once, you defeated us twice, you defeated us three times. But Mount Everest, we shall someday defeat you, because you can't get any bigger, but we can!"
I love this story! I have seen tremendous victories in my life and the life of people I have ministered with, and I have seen some heart-breaking losses—some times when “Mount Everest” won a battle. I don’t understand why I don’t see more victories, and why I sometimes struggle so, but I do know that I am an heir of tremendous promises from God and I have in me the Holy Spirit of my God, who defeated Satan at the cross. I am lured, and invited, by the possibility latent in such verses as:

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Matthew 17:20 . . . For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

John 16:23-24 . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Mark 9:23 . . . All things are possible for one who believes.

Additionally, God’s Work tells me that I don’t need to be anxious for anything, that I am a co-laborer with God, and that I am to pray (and play a part in bringing about) that His will would be done ON EARTH, as it is in HEAVEN! I am to partner with God in showing Heaven’s realities and the Father’s heart and love and will (which is always good!) to a world that desperately needs to hear it.

I am, according to 1 Peter 2:9 . . . a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession [that I] may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you [me]out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Here is the thing. The devil, like Mount Everest, can’t get any bigger. But I have an invitation from my Father in Heaven to grow in intimacy with Him, to walk in purpose with Him, to live for the eternity He promises me with Him that the devil can’t take away, to demonstrate His love and power and nature to the world, to be transformed in to the image of Christ, to grow in grace, and to work toward seeing those awesome promises above become more and more the reality of my life as I seek to destroy strongholds of the enemy in my life and the lives of others.

The temptation the devil would love me to swallow is to say those promises (or, as I see them, invitations) above don’t really mean what they say, or seem to say. Once I swallow that I start to water their meaning down to match my level of experience, and I don’t grow but I shrink the meaning of God’s Word down to justify the level I am at. But, as long as I don’t water down what God’s Word says and, instead, contend to raise my experience level to match it, I continue to grow and the devil hates the sound of that! It is time for the people of God to start moving in greater and greater measure of not just declaring, but also demonstrating, the love and power of our mighty God! A world bound by deception, pain, hopelessness, abandonment, addiction, disease, purposelessness, orphan spirits, and counterfeit power desperately needs it.

Photo of Mount Everest from a free download of travel wallpaper at

Friday, October 23, 2009

It’s Not a Bathtub With Cute Giraffes Popping Out!

I love being surrounded by things that remind us of God. Bethany and Abigail play with a cute Noah’s Ark toy that I had as a kid, we hang Christmas ornaments with Bible pictures, we send and receive cards with pictures of Bible things on them, and we decorated our girl’s crib area with cute little Noah’s Arks that are delightful to a baby with their elephants and giraffes sticking their HUGE heads out of the TINY ark. These are delightful and wonderful and I’d probably decorate our nursery again with them, so don’t take what I am about to say as being a “kill joy” or “conspiracy theorist.”

These things are, I believe, fun and a great way to introduce our children to the testimony of the Lord’s work through history, but they may, unbeknownst to us, aid in undermining our faith in the account when we get a little older if we aren’t careful and diligent to replace those cute images with real facts about things like the ark.

What I mean by that is this—the ark would have had to have thousands and thousands of animals in it to do what God said it did, and if we try and fit the Biblical account of Noah in to an image of the ark that goes back to our childhood nursery or toy, we will, by necessity, find doubt about the account (hence God’s Word) creeping in. There is simply no way the account of Noah’s Ark could be true if it is anything like the way we usually see it pictured and, if that is our picture of it, we will begin to doubt or try and water down this account of God’s judgment and the faith that preserved a righteous people through it. I don’t care where doubt in God’s Word creeps in—it will always, from there, try and slink and slither its way toward the core of God’s Word, the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, yesterday for the history time of homeschool, we took my 50' tape measure and started in our yard and took it nine times down our driveway and across our road in to our neighbors field to make the Bible’s recorded 450' length of the ark come to life for us. I can tell you, if you have never done that, that was one big ship! Wow—it truly was an awesome, mighty vessel worthy to sustain the violent upheaval of the earth and heaven’s waters! Looking at its size you can see how Noah was a giant of faith to persevere in building it!

So, if you ever want to be blown away, and to have your faith restored, come on over. You can now stand outside our kitchen window and look up at the nail in our wall marking Goliath’s height (9' 6" in our case, though some say he was 10' 6"). Or, you can look at the nail in our wall at 15' off the ground marking the diameter the sun would be if the earth were the size of a golf ball. Or, you can now stand in our driveway and stare all the way down it and across to our neighbor’s field at the circuit breaker standing there 450' feet away, and be awed by the ark and the man of faith who believed in God’s Word enough to build it. No wonder God sought to preserve faith like that!

(Note: You can see a picture of our girls under the Goliath and sun nails in our wall in my Oct. 6th post, “Fallen Giants and Big Stars — Good Reminders . . .”)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Atheists Say It Better Than I Do . . .

(Note: If you haven't read my Tuesday, Oct. 20th post, "Where's the Fall?" then you should read that first as it is the context for this post. Also, I would value a few of you trying out the comment feature at the bottom of this post. If you have subscribed to email notifications of new posts and you are in the email viewing this you need to click on the post title, "Atheists Say It Better Than I Do," to get to the web page to be able to comment. Someone told me yesterday that they tried the comment feature and it didn't work. I value your comments and thoughts and insight and knowing you are out there. I need and grow from your thoughts and comments as well, so I would like to test the feature and make sure it works. Thanks bunches!)

I made my post on Tuesday evening about the critical difference between evolution and Creation (as recorded in the Bible). The thrust of that difference is that evolution (whether accident or God initiated) removes the Fall, hence the need for a Savior, and ultimately undermines the whole Gospel message.

Literally just a few hours after making that post I curled up in bed and started leafing through Dennis Petersen's book Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. On page 75 he writes, "Can an atheist understand the battle better than most Christians? Note what one wrote:". He then goes on to quote from a 1978 American Atheist periodical which says the following (punctuation, spelling, and capitalization are exactly as quoted):
Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.

Christianity, if it is to survive, must have Adam and the original sin and the fall from grace, or it cannot have Jesus the redeemer who restores to those who believe what Adam's disobedience took away.

What all this means is that Christianity cannot lose the Genesis account of creation like it could lose the doctrine of geocentricism and get along. The battle must be waged, for Christianity is fighting for its very life. (Note from Erick: Geocentricism is the belief that the sun orbits around the earth.)
This atheist said it better than I did! I found it fascinating to stumble on this just hours after sharing (far more clumsily) what I had about exactly that same point. We can't afford to doubt the Bible, nor can we afford to say, "What does it matter if it is a literal six days or figurative?"—and we don't need to say it. Literal, Biblical Creation is dependable, supported, and true.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where's the Fall?

I have been reading the book Already Gone by Ken Ham of "Answers in Genesis." In it he talks about how doubt over the Genesis accounts is undermining faith in the entire Word of God, and how people (especially youth) are "checking out" of the church because, in the wake of such doubt, they are losing confidence in the relevancy of church and Scripture to their life. It becomes a "good story," and in this world of pain and uncertainty "good stories" may be fun but they don't pay the bills, heal the hurt, or give hope amidst hopelessness.

In the book Ken made a comment that started my mind down a path of thought that I wanted to share. In a nutshell, it is this: Evolution stands as the absolute opposite of Creation in more ways than just the obvious (how life and we began). If we believe in Creation as it is recorded in the Bible then man started off in God's image, we started off good, and then we fell and became separated from God, in need of a Savior, and cut off from the life and source of goodness. If we believe evolution (either accident or God initiated), man started out as a cell in some primitive pool billions of years ago and we have just been improving ever since! Truly, in evolution's natural conclusion, we just keep getting better.

Are you starting to see where this is headed? Evolution, which in its truest implications says man is just improving more and more, stands in stark contrast to Creation which says man is getting farther and farther from God, hence more and more lost and astray. The gap between the two end points of these two explanations just gets wider and wider as they both continue down their logical paths—one saying man is rising, the other saying man is falling.

Evolution promotes, inherently, the idea that in man we will eventually find man's solutions. It promotes the idea that the key is to just keep getting better, trying harder, etc. The natural implications of evolution, when we take them to their natural conclusions, draw man farther and farther from God and the realization of our need for God.

We see this ever-widening separation in the vast gap between politics and candidates and policies that exists today—one side feels man can fix man's problems, the other says that only God can and that we will only find our solutions in a deep reliance and dependence on God.

For the atheist, this all poses no seeming problem. They don't believe in God or the fall or heaven or hell so they don't see any other option than man fixing man. But, for the Christian who has embraced evolution, there becomes a very big problem—when was the fall? (I speak from experience here, having tried to reconcile evolution and Creation as a young Christian, and eventually finding out it just can't work if we allow it to take its natural course to its natural conclusion. I explain this below.)

Think about it with me for a moment if you will. If God started the whole thing and then let evolution bring us to today, when did we fall? When did we become advanced enough to understand good and bad and the law of God and to become accountable to a decision to disobey? When did that happen? Was man still hunched over in ape-like form when he first understood what God wanted and chose to disobey? When was the point of accountability and separation from God? Really, it boils down to this: When was the fall?

You see, the problem is that in evolution there is no room for a fall. We are just improving, not falling. We are going up, not down. There was never a defined point in which man fell. Evolution is the epitome of the results of rebellion in which God decreases in our eyes and man increases because in its teaching man continues to improve. Inherent in that is the assumption that technology and knowledge mark improvement, whereas inherent in God's Word is that the fear of the Lord marks the beginning of knowledge and growth, and that the fool in his heart says there is no God.

In evolution's natural conclusion we don't need a Savior because there never was a fall, and we are just getting better and better—we will become our own Savior. In Creation, and the Word that provides authority for Creation, we fell from God and until that separation is bridged we are lost and hopeless and separated from goodness and our Creator until we are saved . . . and Jesus alone is that Savior.

Of course, start to doubt the Bible's account of Creation or the Flood and you (or, if not you, then your children) may soon start to doubt the Jesus that the same Bible talks about, and Whom the Bible gives His lineage back to Adam, and Whom talked Himself about Noah and the flood and the ark as a literal person and event and boat. Be careful, it is a slippery, untenable slope to begin down the path of "Christian evolution." I know, I tried it out when I first became a Christian. Trust me, it doesn't work if we think it all the way through. The nice thing is that "Christian evolution" doesn't need to work—Creation, as described in the Bible, stands alone, scientifically supported, easily defended, and authoritative. Yes, there will always be faith required, but the faith required to embrace Creation is reasonable, not blind, and does not require at all the amount of faith it requires to believe in evolution in the face of all of the honest science that stands against it. Whatever your stand on this, I love ya. Just, please, think it through, because it is a serious, unsupported, dangerous slope we start down to embrace any evolution across kinds.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marvelous Light . . .

We had a wonderful day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium today. It was their homeschool day and it was free to homeschoolers, with even some special events set up for us. I stand in awe of the intricacy and beauty of God's creation. He is truly awesome and wonderful and, obviously, very creative! As Bethany and I looked at one rock formation covered in different colored plant life and creatures I told her something to the effect of, "There are people who think that all of that is an accident. I used to be one of those people. I used to think that this all evolved from some chance life that somehow kept changing and reproducing to become all of that."

I praise God that He has taken me out of darkness and in to His marvelous light. I now stand and look at these things and wonder how I ever could have been so blind and foolish as to think that it all was an accident. There is no way fathomable by an intellectually honest mind that all of that could have come about with intelligent design, and without the guiding hand of a maker.

1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Thank You so much, Lord! I can see!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Good Week . . .

It has been a good week. I know that it hasn't for all of you, and I am sorry for that and I stand in my heart beside you, but I wanted to share a bit about our week.

Last Saturday I had the privilege of doing a wedding for a young couple who came up through our youth group and who are both moving out of their parent's homes and in to their first home together. They have been dating five years and have honored God with their values and choices and the way they have handled their relationship. We also, this week, got to spend a few hours talking and praying with another former youth grouper who is passionate about walking in God's purpose for his life and not straying from it. Days like those are truly a joy and encouragement to a youth leader!

We had a massive storm from Monday evening through Wednesday morning—8.8" in a little over 24 hours! It is the first time I have seen our ponds full while the grass is still brown! The storm (and subsequent wet hills) brought a peace with lighting our woodburning stove. To commmorate that favorite "first days of a fire" we broke it in by roasting Hebrew National beef franks in it on a stick (thanks, Andy, for introducing us to this tradition!). I have included a couple of pictures of our ponds/property as well as one of our wood stove tradition!

On Friday we were blessed to be able to take a family day and join Rich and Carolyn Lingor on Rich's boat at Lake Lopez for some relaxation and fishing. We went after Blue Gill and, under Rich's expertise and Carolyn's expert opening of the live well, we caught close to forty fish! It was a banner day and we plan to celebrate by frying them up tonight and eating well! I have included a few pictures of some proud girls with their individual catches and with Rich and the net of fish that reminds me of the net Jesus' disciples must have had (a lot bigger, of course) and of the time Jesus cooked fish for the disciples on the beach after His resurrection. I'd say we are following a good precedent!

I have been excited about some of the things God has been showing me this week and last about parallel, interwoven threads that run through history from Creation to Revelation. Four of these threads include:

1) Satan's attack strategy of first inserting doubt in to a believer's heart and mind about God's love, trustworthiness, goodness, Word, and power and then, after doubt works its way in, tempting the believer to think that he or she can find true pleasure, wisdom, or provision apart from God (on their own).

2) The thread of faith that stands in conviction of God's love, trustworthiness, goodness, Word, and power and commits to that conviction. This is the thread a few men and women choose to walk as God's friend.

3) The thread of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, and of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on God's people, that runs foreshadowed through the Old Testament (and gives us understanding of the Old Testament), and through the pages of history today that we live in (between Acts and Revelation), and on in to our hope of Heaven in the future.

4) The thread of God having a people set apart to be intimate with Him, to minister to Him, and to show His glory to the world. We are those people, heirs of Abraham and Israel and Jesus, set apart to minister to God, to be intimate with God, and to show God's glory and invitation to the same to the world.

I taught on these four threads last Sunday, and will teach more about it tomorrow, and it has stunned me how an understanding of them helps us understand history, current events, our walk, the attack against us, the role of faith, our amazing identity in Christ, and our purpose.

Additionally this week, I feel like God has given me a vision for our monthly family services to teach (and show some awesome videos on) why God's Word, the flood, Creation, the ressurection, etc. are believable and scientifically and historically supported. It is time for the rest of the world to be on the defensive and apologetic for their unsupported beliefs, not for Christians to be ashamed of, and unable to stand strong on, the truth!

It has been a good week. Thanks, all, for all your prayers and love and encouragement.

(These pictures are also on my Facebook page if you want to see them in better detail.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fallen Giants and Big Stars - Good Reminders . . .

I have some green plastic washers in a jar in my garage that I collected somewhere, and today, with Mary Ann and Bethany and Abigail watching, I nailed two of them in to the outside wall of our house, one 9' 6" off the ground and the other 15' off the ground (about dead center in the second story of our house). Then, I set a golf ball on the ground below them. No, I haven't lost it.

Sometimes, when life gets hard, we need a reminder of how big our God is. Lately I have really needed that reminder, and I know I'm not the only one who does. So, these nails stand as a place we can come out to and reflect on. The nail at 9' 6" off the ground represents the height of Goliath when God delivered him to David, a simple shepherd boy with a giant-sized faith. The nail at 15' off the ground represents the diameter our sun would be if the earth were the size of a golf ball—and our sun is one of the smaller stars, all of which God breathes out and calls by name.

So, if things get rough, come stare at our wall and be reminded of how big our God is and how giants fall before Him. Then, when you are done, I'll show you the boulder I put in our field to remind us of the day the turkey died . . . but that's another story.

Picture: Bethany and Abigail hold golf balls below the reminder nails, with arrows added so you can see the nails (better yet, just come on over!).

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail . . .

One of my favorite stories from World War II is one told about General Patton (see picture of him conferring over strategy). I can't confirm if it is true, or not, but knowing his hard charging, no nonsense, get the job done attitude that made him loved in war (and, I have heard, hated in peacetime) it fits. It is said that one time he had the enemy running backwards hard. His tanks were rushing forward so fast that they were outrunning their fuel supply of trucks. He was faced with stopping his advance until the trucks could catch up. Knowing that this would give the enemy time to rest and dig in and fortify he made the decision, instead, to stop half of his tanks and transfer their fuel to the other half, choosing to remain on the offensive at half strength rather than simply hold ground at full strength—the proverbial, "The best defense is a good offense." Unfortunately, the enemy, in this spiritual war we are in, has convinced Christians that we are supposed to hunker down and dig in and simply hold ground and hold on until He comes back instead of being a mighty army advancing in the authority of Christ Himself.

The Bible says we are to pray for His Kingdom (the domain of His rule) to come to earth as it is in Heaven, and it says of His government (rule) there shall be no end. He is a God at war, and a Lord of armies. He has already defeated the devil—we are to collect the spoils of victory. Yes, in the big picture, the world is heading toward catastrophe, and yes we lose some battles, but in the realm we are given, each of us and the church as a whole, there should be some tremendous victory simply because of who we are in Christ and what He has already done.

I know that this is not always a popular position, and I could never explain the full basis for it here, but suffice to say that when a Christian comes in to a room (as I believe Bill Johnson says) the entire equation changes because the Holy Spirit of God comes in with Him. We should, I believe, be more surprised when darkness and its work doesn't fall than we should be when it does. We have the God on our side who breathes out stars so big that, as Loui Giglio says, if the earth were the size of a golfball, one of those stars would be as far across as Mount Everest is high! That is our God—the God of David and Elijah and Moses!

But, we are becoming a church in retreat. A church trying to simply hold on to the ground it has rather than trying to aggressively expand and take more ground. We often act and think like the devil is bigger than God! I have been having this offensive, high expectation attitude build in me more and more over the years, but it was really rekindled for me reading Derek Prince's book War in Heaven. In that book he points out a verse which has often confused me, and shouldn't have because of my military training and background. I think I probably missed it because I had been buying in to this defensive church mentality so I was trying to interpret the verse from that perspective.

In that book Derek talks about Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus says: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. We, the body of Christ, are the church. The gates of hell shall not prevail against us. Now, until last night, I've never really understood that verse. I've used it, and held to it, knowing somehow it meant that the devil wasn't going to win, but I never "got" what it was saying (it's great that a gate of hell won't overcome me, but how does a "gate" attack, anyway?) Well, I should have thought more about it. This is an offensive, not a defensive verse for US, not the devil! As Derek points out, the gate of a city is its weak point—it is the point an ATTACKING army focuses on. For it to say that the gates of hell won't prevail against us is to mean that as we attack the devil's strongholds HIS gate won't hold out against us! We will break through his gate! But, for this to work, we have to march to where he is and carry the attack to him! This is the only way the verse makes sense—that it is in the context of our offensive—because gates don't attack, they ARE attacked!

Where has the enemy built strongholds in your life or the lives God has placed you around? Do you expect victory or defeat in those areas? Have you taken your thoughts and expectations and faith captive to the truth of our victory in Christ and the authority we exercise in Christ as His children? I want to encourage you, as I need encouraging as well, to go on the offensive. Expect that marriage to not just survive, but to prosper. Expect that physical ailment to be defeated. Expect that addiction to be defeated. We may not see every victory, but we can't water down our expectations to protect ourselves. Faith is, ultimately, the expression of the trust we have in God's love, Word, promises, goodness, and character. He has showed us His perfect heart and will in the Garden before the fall, in Jesus while on earth, and in Heaven. In all places it is good. Really good! We have a mighty God who will never leave us and who has left us to show Him to the world, as Jesus showed Him to the world when He walked here, and as He now walks here in us.

Photo Credits: National Archives

Captives Don't Obey or Submit Easily!

I am reading a book by Derek Prince called War in Heaven and in the early chapters he is making the case that we are a people at war within the spiritual realm. Did you know that the Hebrew word for "hosts" which is "tsaba" has as its primary definition "that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host" or "a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army)". Thus, when the Bible calls Him the "LORD (or GOD) of hosts," which Derek says it does over a hundred times, it is saying He is the LORD or GOD of armies. As Derek said, when a country goes to war its citizens are automatically at war, the individuals do not need to make that individual decision. Thus, because our "government" and our "country" (God and Heaven) are at war, we, as its citizens, are also whether we like it or recognize it or not—and the Bible identifies our enemy as the "...rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12).

In making his case Derek uses a multitude of warfare scriptures, one being the following passage (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) which says: For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . .

As I read that passage I was struck by something I had never really seen or thought of before, but which really adds an important piece to my June 30, 2009 post on "cages" or taking thoughts captive. In that post (and that two that followed it in early July) I talked about the essential need to take our thoughts captive, and the "cages" which I constrain my thoughts to. As I read the Corinthians passage above suddenly I saw the word "captive" in the verse "...and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." in a way I hadn't seen it before. I don't know if I can explain clearly the difference, but I'll try.

In the past I have seen the passage there to simply be that I take my thoughts and I make sure that they are consistent with God's Word or Promises, His character, and His testimony (see the June post). That still holds true, but I saw a dimension to the word "captive" that I hadn't seen before. I saw it as it truly is, an unwilling prisoner. I need to take my thoughts captive so that they obey Christ—but they aren't going to go easily or willingly. They are going to fight me the whole way and if I don't keep vigilant guard over them they will disobey or sabotage or even escape and wound me at the first chance they get.

When I was at West Point I spent one summer in a school where it trained us to evade behind enemy lines and, if captured, how to resist. It included being incarcerated in a mock Prisoner of War camp where an enemy tried to break you and you tried to resist. The next summer I went back to the same school—this time as an instructor . . . an interrogator to be specific (see my photo from then above). My job was to get as much information as I could from the prisoners. I can tell you that a prisoner will do all they can to resist, deceive, and if possible escape and wound you. As the "capturer" it requires constant vigilance and rest and warfare to keep them prisoner and obedient.

What this showed me, as it clicked for me last night, was that taking my thoughts captive to obey Christ is part of my warfare, and it suddenly made sense why it is so hard to take them captive and to keep them captive. I am in a war and there is a very real enemy trying to stir up my thoughts to rebellion and escape. I must TAKE them captive, MAKE them prisoners, and MAKE them obey Christ—and then, doing so, I must be vigilant to keep them there as they fight me, seek to resist and deceive me, and ultimately try to escape. It is, truly, a living, active, dynamic battle to keep my thoughts in captivity and obedience to Christ—making sure that all that I think and believe and expect is consistent with my Lord and His character and His heart and His Word. It is not a game. It is war. And the cost of dropping our guard in a war can be deadly. The lion paces about, looking for the one who has dropped their vigilance and given him a slight opportunity or advantage.


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