Have you surrendered your imagination to ungodly thoughts? Who is using the canvas of your mind?
Statistics say that as much as 95% of Hollywood’s TV and movie producers either do not believe in God or are against God’s teachings. No doubt, video game producers are in this same class.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3, Paul explains something that as modern-day Christians, I think many of us have found very hard to achieve – he said;
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:”
If that’s not hard enough, he goes on to explain not only HOW we can walk in such a way, but that we can walk in such a way with confidence!! Are you serious??? How can we possibly resist the things of this world that “war after the flesh” (carnal loves) which bombard us from every direction? Oh but wait, there’s a lot more to this story!
He explains that we do this by “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” found two verses further in 2 Corinthians 10:5
So you ask, how does that translate into my life in today’s world? I’m glad you asked! Well, if 95% of Hollywood’s TV and movie producers don’t believe in God, or are against “the things of God”, then most of what they are producing is most certainly interlaced with content that is “against the knowledge of God” and is grounded in the things of this world and not the Kingdom of Heaven. I guarantee, the content they are selling us, including news,entertainment, and commercials are specifically targeted to our “carnal minds” and fit in perfectly with our “worldly living” and are the very things we are “naturally drawn to” as we endure our time in this fallen world. Just because “everyone else is watching”, they are still born of “this world” and not of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.
You may say, “Really- that sounds extreme to me! What’s the harm? it’s not all bad stuff on the airways anyway right? Besides, I’m a decent person who knows right and wrong, so I can “mentally sort out” and “filter” the bad things. I’m covered; I got it under control right?”
I say, what about the young ears and eyes, are you filtering their content 24/7. Do they have the same foundation (or desire) to filter the bad content in their own minds? I say, I think we have all been so desensitized over the past 80 years, that we are deceiving ourselves and most are now blind to what we can and can’t handle and that we can’t or don’t even see the harm anymore. Filling our eyes with light has become so foreign to us that we can’t even recognize the amount of darkness we are allowing into our homes and minds which are the very things tearing apart the morals of our society and warring inside our spirits.
I say, in watching these things we are doing the exact opposite of what Paul said we need to do “to walk in ways that do not war after the flesh.” I say we have actually “surrendered our imaginations” to dark, ungodly thoughts and ideas, instead of “casting down imaginations” as Paul says we are to do.
I say we have given the enemy a broad pallet to paint harmful things on our imaginations that make us totally ineffective as Christians in today’s world. You disagree? Just look around and tell me we are not losing our grip on morality in our nation, our government, and the world. Look around and tell me our children are not in the greatest danger of any generation past. Look around and tell me you really believe the world is “more Godly” than it was just 100 years ago, today filled with a 100 Billion dollar porn industry with a slave/sex trade happening right in our back yard. Tell me you have no worries that your kids will be abducted by a pervert and no worries to let your young children walk alone down a busy sidewalk in town.
Brothers and sisters, for most of my life, I was asleep at the wheel and guilty of opening my spirit to all these media forms that “exalt themselves against the knowledge of God”, but today I can say to you that I have seen the truth to their dangers and will no longer lend my “imagination or my mind” to such things.
Over the past few years, I’ve been slowly but surely seeing the truth and removing one by one, those idols in my life that have been; “exalting themselves against the knowledge of God” and causing me to be a “divided” in my soul (Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand).
I owe much to the example of a couple special brave Christian friends that God placed in my life that led the way, as an example to me; who stood up and took a stand to walk guarding their spirits and souls and minds against the invasion of Hollywood’s onslaught. I am so very grateful to them and to their examples which have been a beacon for my walk and a blessing beyond words.
About 4 years ago, I realized how depressed I was getting and how much anxiety I had from all the negative news I was hearing, so I just stopped and now I have so much more peace in my spirit and I’m far less negative then before and I’m excited to see what God has for me each day!
About two years ago, I stopped listening to all secular radio/songs and now, thanks to Pandora on my iPhone and ihopkc.org/prayerroom, I fill my life with praise and worship music and prayer which has replaced ALL my secular music, and honestly, now my heart rejoices in praise every day.
About 4 months ago, I went to my last “r” rated movie that I’ll ever watch. I made the giant mistake of thinking it would be OK because a Christian Actor was the star and I failed to check out the content first. After the shock to my spirit in the first scene, I’m done and don’t care if it has nudity or not, I’m not watching any more “r” rated movies and in fact, I’m so disturbed by most of what Hollywood produces, I’m not interested in “PG-13” or even “PG” movies anymore! You may be saying I’m too legalistic? Maybe for you but not for me because what I have found inside me “God’s living spirit” is a treasure far beyond anything I have ever found in this world and it is far too valuable for me to tarnish any longer with anything ungodly. I’m done quenching my spirit and violating the pure nature of God in me. I’m done letting darkness in through my eyes filling my soul with darkness. That’s where I’m at and I suspect the more God fills me, I’ll fight even harder each day to protect that precious gift!
OK continuing the list, about a year ago, I dropped cable and bought a High Def antenna and limited my viewing to a couple “song shows” but I found even those had such garbage between the “rock star” hosts and commercials, that within a few months stopped watching the three secular TV stations I was able to get for free. That is when I started to plug my laptop into my widescreen TV started looking for only Godly content like Christian seminars, Christian concerts, Biblical teaching audio series, healing testimonies, Christian music videos, and live sermons, …. and I found ton’s of quality material all from the internet. I catch the live IhopKC.org concert every Friday and Saturday evening at 7PM and listen to the uplifting bible teaching from 8-9, then more of the concert.
I found so much content, that I recently purchased a “Google TV device” and have turned my entertainment time into “Godly time” that is actually so fun, I look forward to it every day. Really! I’m finding God is far more interesting and entertaining than anything I’ve been seeking in my past and I think I’m just scratching the surface! What I’ve come to realize is I have been learning to successfully use “my imagination to exalt itself FOR” the knowledge of God”. What a difference it is making in my walk!
Radical? Maybe! Counter cultural, definitely! But I firmly believe in doing so, I am doing exactly what Paul instructed us to do. I’m walking in a way that protects me from those things that “war after the things of the flesh” and I am living out the very scripture he wrote about by “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”.
I’ve learned the biggest battle we face to becoming more Godly, is not out in the “big bad world”, but the biggest battle is in the 8 inches that lies between our ears! That is where we become “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” mentioned in verse 4 of these same passages ….“mighty through God” I’m latching on to that one!
So what are these so-called benefits to putting Hollywood on the chopping block? Here’s my testimony to three major benefits (so far) that I’ve seen in my life:
One, God’s presence in my life now, is greater than ever before. I believe when we feed our minds all the things of this world and fill our eyes with darkness which are full of distractions separating us from God, and our minds become divided. I believe we open the door to a condition in us where we become exhausted because our “spirit wars against flesh” day in and out. I believe we are allowing for the “desensitization of ungodly thoughts” in our minds and spirits, which we allow through the secular media, and our families suffer.
As a result, what would have been offensive 100 years ago today is commonly accepted and especially the minds of our children are being occupied by darkness. As an added result, we all struggle to “renew our minds daily” as we grow numb to the darkness. We also grow numb to the light in scripture which should be “sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing spirit and soul” but instead in becomes a dead boring book because our spirit is dying inside. In this state, scripture seems to have little relevance to us and little impact on us, as if we have fallen into “a sleepy state of mind”.
The saddest part is that we have become so desensitized, we don’t even know our spirits are dying. Consider this; everyone knows when someone is dying or perhaps is in ICU, a sign they are dying is that they no longer hunger food. The body is on a path to dying and precisely because they are dying, they can’t sustain food any longer. Their body is becoming “more dead than alive” and no longer seeks food to live.
So why don’t we understand that when someone is no longer hungry for God’s word, that this in itself is a “warning sign” that our spirits are literally dying, no longer seeking the bread of life. At this point, we’re in ICU and in need of a major “spiritual wake-up call”! We need to remove ourselves from the “toxins” which are killing our spirits. If we continue to ignore the signs, the impurity of what we are feeding our spirits, continues to numb us and begins to separate us more and more from God, where His voice becomes so very small and distant to us that we often feel alone and wonder where God is in our life.
I finally found that once I started removing the “toxins” of secular media from my life, then I started to find that God had never left me; in fact earlier in my life, it was me who had grown almost completely numb to His presence inside me. Never again will I allow myself to grow numb to His life-giving spiritual food; never again will I thirst for the things of this world more than for His presence; never again will I subvert His plans for my life. I have learned that if we let Him, he gives us “beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” and restores my soul.
The second benefit for me: God’s joy is greater in my life than ever before! I believe when we remove the things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God in us (by being selective in what we watch), we are giving God first priority over our lives, opening our hearts to allow Him to draw closer, and He honors that by filling us with more of His Spirit, His Joy, His Love, and His Knowledge, (in fact all the fruits of the spirit) and we start to become the true Children he wants us to be, filled with Him, filled with “life abundant”. We walk in more confidence of our faith; we radiate more of God’s light from within, and for the first time, we start getting a glimpse of what it may have been like in the first century church where God’s spirit was exploding all around the Christian church.
I’m starting to get that picture of what it must have been like, because there are days I can barely contain the joy God places in my heart and I feel more alive than ever before and I praise God like never before! Amen! I don’t say that to nauseate anyone with self-indulgence, or to bring attention to myself or to say I’m better than anyone, because I’m not and none of this is “of me or from me”. I’m just a guy who stumbled across some things (by the grace of other folk’s examples) that have exponentially strengthened my walk with God. Besides that, I’m convinced it’s the Holy Spirit who led me to those things that I stumbled on anyway so again, I take NO credit and give all the credit to a very patient Holy Spirit who keeps turning my eyes back to Jesus and our Father in heaven. He is indeed the great counselor and none of this would be true without His constant help wooing me back to God.
The third and last benefit I’ll discuss is in the second part of this passage in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” This is a powerful statement.
OMGosh! What a light bulb moment this has become to me! Remember the things “exalting themselves against the knowledge of God”? Well, in the past when my mind was so divided by all the things I was watching, I always had to work so very hard to control my thoughts and try to “submit them to Christ”, that is if I even remembered to submit them!
Each day, it was a constant battle between spirit and flesh trying to control my thoughts, actions, and sensual desires. More often than not, I’d fail then I’d feel even worse with such a sense of guilt and shame from my failures, which only added to the burdens on my heart. I’d always end up feeling further from God, and the cycle would perpetuate itself, seemingly causing my walk to spiral into an ineffective state. I so often hated myself for not having more control over my thoughts and actions and although saved by grace and forgiven for my very sins, I would allow the enemy to completely condemn me, convincing me I am of less value to God, because of my sin. Somehow in that battle which I usually lost, I allowed my sins to overcome and start to falsely define my identity in Christ, overshadow my real identity in Christ, and in doing so, deny the very reason for Christ’s death, to cover ALL my sins. In a sense, I was in a bit of a loop, crucifying Him yet again and again in my heart as if starting from scratch again each time. Those are the lies I would believe daily, when I allowed the enemy to control the canvas of my imagination through the media.
Today, I believe my life is so different precisely because I have removed most of those things in my life “against the knowledge of God”. Since then, I can honestly say that my daily burden battling all these forces that used to exist, is soooooo much lighter than before. I now fill my daily entertainment and thought so fully with the things that lifts up and exalt God that I rarely have to control my thoughts against the ungodly thoughts of my past. I’m serious!!
I believe by filling ourselves with the things of God, all day, with every chance we have, and by growing in continuous prayer, what I have done in a sense is I have automatically “brought every thought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ”!
How cool is that? It’s so crazy simple and life is so much easier than when my mind was divided from all the junk I was pouring into it. I believe I now have this “supernatural” protection built into my mind/spirit and the workings of my life now! It’s like now I have a less influential tiny body (my ego/flesh/mind!), but a giant “spirit man” inside of me that’s been lifting spiritual weights and stands guard to protect me! In fact, when those ungodly thoughts now pop up, they seem so much more “foreign” to who I am in Christ, that they are literally an instant offense to me and I simple cast them aside with little or no effort. (Submit them to Christ with no effort! Way cool!)
In conclusion, it’s clear to me that these results have become totally true in my life through what Paul said, by removing the things that exalt themselves “against God”, and filling myself with the things that are about God, I’m actually “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”, and by doing this, it’s like I’m automatically accomplishing the last verses mentioned “my obedience is fulfilled”…and, I am “having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience”!!!!!! OMGOSH, is anyone following this real life revelation???? I’m filling myself with God, and guess what? …in doing so I’m resisting the devil and he flees from me!!!!! What a concept!!
Haaaaa! So do you think this is what Jesus when He said in Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.…..follow me”? Maybe we should really believe everything Jesus said and really follow Him, instead of everything the world tells us??
I realize my stand may be vastly unpopular right now to a fallen world but hey, this is my testimony and I’m sharing it to anyone who listens! I want everyone to know the truth that since I’ve placed God first in my life, and removed the worldly distractions that separated me; I am seeing just how much easier life becomes when I’m walking closer to Him; I’m seeing just how much He has given me as an heir; I’m seeing a glimpse of what eternity holds for me; I’m seeing my real purpose unfold before my eyes; I’m seeing more of what it was like to be a first century Christian; and I’m seeing greater miracles happen when I pray for others and lay hands on the sick.
For the first time in many, many years, I’m excited to see what God has for me when I wake up each day! I’m hoping this post will help bust a few more out of the ICU unit soon!! Yah God!
How good is our God??? …. Let me count the ways 🙂
Thanks for reading my post!
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.