Many of the men I’ve known, both as a child and as an adult, are full of advice. I have to admit that I have to catch myself sometimes.
“I’ll tell you what you should do…”
“I tell people all the time…”
“What people don’t understand is…”
What our some of those sentence stems that you’ve heard that are followed by ‘words of wisdom’ from someone who is sometimes sincere, but many times feeding their own egos by impressing you or an audience with their words of advice?
I Love How James 1:19 begins…
James 1:19 (NKJV)
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
“Be quick to LISTEN!”
We should always be praying for God to help us love through listening. There are a number of reasons why we don’t effectively listen sometimes…
We may be processing what someone just said.
We may be already thinking of how we will respond to what they just said, while missing what they are saying.
Or, we may be focused on giving advice…even if unsolicited.
So, let me remind you that sometimes you can love the loudest by just listening.
Sometimes all someone else needs is an ear to hear.
Remember the words LISTEN and SILENT are both spelled with the same letters.
Picture this. You’re sleeping comfortably in your bed and are awaken by a rattling at your window. You quietly get out of bed and notice that someone is trying to break into your home.
Or, You’re relaxing watching television and you’re shocked out of your show as your burglar alarm suddenly goes off.
In either situation do you go and let them into your house?
Of course not! You…
Call for help… you dial 911 if available.
You prepare to defend yourself with your weapons if available.
Our bodies are temples for the LORD to live inside of us, and it’s our responsiblity to protect them…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [a]and in your spirit, which are God’s.
John 14:23 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, He will keep my word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
In as much as God desires to live inside us, so does the enemy. The fact is that demons are real. Those fallen angels/unclean spirits are always looking for opportunities to come and try to occupy your spiritual house…
Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV)
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
God’s presence, His Spirits is what makes those unclean spirits leave us.
It’s our responsibility to protect our spiritual houses. But, how does the devil get in? We make our ‘temple’s a comfortable dwelling place’ for unclean spirits through sin. Not just sin, but complacency towards sin. Giving in to sin is what allows them to return, get comfortable and invite more…
Revelation 18:2 (NKJV)
2 And he cried [a]mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
Sin makes our bodies and spirits comfortable places for demons. So, what keeps them out? What makes us comfortable dwelling places for God?
Being obedient to God’s word (1 Corinthians 6:20), being obedient to His word, and walking in His Spirit…
Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
But, here’s the good news! God never allows us to be taken by surprise. He has given us a built-in security system to let us know when the enemy is trying to get into our house through sin. It’s called TEMPTATION.
James 1:13-14 (NKJV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Giving in to temptation is letting the enemy into our spiritual house.
Don’t ignore your alarm! God lets us know that the enemy is trying to enter us through temptation. Not just sexual temptation. I mean the temptation to hate, or harm someone. The temptation to speak evil of someone behind their backs. The temptation to complain… Think about it. You can always tell when the enemy is trying to ‘draw you away’ and convince you to sin.
But, God will not allow the enemy to do so without giving you the strength to withstand him…
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [a]bear it.
Now there are many who now try to say that we weren’t strong enough to bear it, that’s why we gave in. But, I contend that we were strong enough, and we just gave up. That doesn’t mean the strength wasn’t avaialable.
So, the next time that you feel yourself tempted, stop and be reminded that’s the devil rattling on the windows of your spiritual house trying to get in. That’s your spiritual alarm system letting you know to, just as if someone were breaking into your physical house…
Call for help…Pray for a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit and for protection from the enemy.
Defend your house….reject those evil thoughts and walk in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
Remember, temptation lets you know that the devil is trying to get inside of your house!. Don’t ignore your alarm!
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