Thursday, September 6, 2012
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I think I've lost the same five pounds 200 times. That's enough to make about six of me! Actually, I used to weigh 55 pounds more a number of years ago, and I lost it. But that's no great accomplishment. As anybody will tell you who has that same battle, the challenge is to keep it off. So I set 160 pounds as my ceiling, and kind of 155 is an anchor weight. And as my weight creeps up there, which it often does, I yell down to the engine room, "Reverse all engines! It's time to go to work!" Frankly, it's just too hard to fight 20 or 25 pounds. It's much smarter, I've learned, to fight the problem when it's a baby than when it's full grown.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Fighting it Early."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is in 2 Corinthians 10, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 3. It's a battle briefing for spiritual warfare. It talks about how to fight spiritual fat - well, actually, spiritual enemies - but that which will weigh us down, hold us back, make us spiritually unhealthy. Here's what it says: "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
That's an exciting passage. It talks about God's power to destroy fortresses of sin in our life. Then it goes on to talk, not about immoral behavior or pornography or attacks on people, it talks about our thoughts. It talks about arguments, pretensions, and then every thought. It presents the fantastic prospect of capturing every thought for Christ.
Now, when you're fighting being overweight, you have to fight that early in those first few pounds that you start to put on. When you're fighting sin, you have to fight it early, when it's just a thought. See, your mind is a jungle. Savage animals roam across it all day long, right? Thoughts of revenge, thoughts of lust, sexual impurities, proud thoughts, self-centered "me first" thinking, bitterness is there, anger. Usually we don't start fighting back until this idea animal becomes an action. Well, then it's too late. The Bible spells it out in James 1:15. It says that, "Desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death." Seems like it would be easiest to fight it as a thought, as a desire, doesn't it?
Successful spiritual warfare doesn't wait for sin to become a plan or an action. Successful spiritual warfare has to be fought in the jungle of the mind. It's there we find sin in thought form; a thought that needs to be captured and not allowed to roam free any more. Daily we capture thoughts as soon as they appear, and then immediately, consciously you turn that sin idea over to Jesus Christ.
General Douglas MacArthur said, "The history of failure in war can be summed up in two words - too late. Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy." Now, think about this in terms of sinful thoughts: Too late in realizing the mortal danger, too late in preparedness, too late in uniting all possible forces to resist it. See, this passage says that sin, even the strongholds of sin, are beatable unless you wait until it's too late.
Capture sin when it's a thought...just a thought. Take it from a former guy battling the weight battles. You can stay spiritually fit if you learn to fight it early.