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Wednesday, June 28, 2017 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Guard Your Heart

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When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, "I will return to the house I left." When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first (Lk.11:24-26).

More than once I have left a church service convicted over sin in my life. More than once I have repented of that sin and determined to do better. And more than once I have lost the battle before it barely got started. It would seem that feeling remorse for my sin and good intentions to do better are not quite enough. Sure, I manage to do well at first--I face temptation head on and come away victorious. But that often does not seem to last long. It seems that I have, more frequently than I would care to confess, found myself right back where I started--failing to a temptation I thought I had gained a final victory over.
However, we must first consider the first mistake; and that is the attitude that we will not make the same mistake again. For as soon as we think we stand, that is truly when we will be blind-sided and knocked to the ground in humiliating defeat. Keeping in mind that we are not above sinning will help us to keep a watchful eye open, and to be on guard against the devil's fiery darts.
A second thing that we must keep in mind is that we cannot keep fighting against our selfish nature--we must change it. Fighting against our selfish nature will wear us down until a time we are weak and that nature will prevail. That is why we never try to fight temptation alone. Instead, we turn to Christ saying, "Lord, save us." And we rely on Him to provide us a way to escape. We come to Christ to be our strength, and we come to Him so that through our prolonged contact with Him, our selfish nature might be changed.
But let us keep in mind that just because we have chosen to lay off the fatty foods and sugars, we have not decided to give up food. We can turn from temptation, and we can fight it by the power of God, and we can draw near to Christ to be changed, but Christ did not come to empty and clean our "house" of the bad, without providing something good to take the place of the bad. As we fight off temptation, quitting what is wrong may give us a victory over a battle; but without fortifying the walls of the fort, the enemy will eventually penetrate our defenses. It is necessary not only to be cleaned, but to be filled. For example, if you feel that you need to avoid television and movies because of their godless influence, you might determine to not turn the TV on except for the news and perhaps public TV. Perhaps you will just not watch it at all. And so, you have emptied yourself of the godless influence that would normally come through that medium. The problem is that your person is going to want something to replace that, and the flesh is weak. This craving for want and the weak flesh combined, spell out trouble. But if we were to go out of our way to find videos, movies or TV channels that are entertaining, and have spiritual benefit while containing no godlessness, then we would be filled with something good to replace the bad. The result will not only be more frequent victories over the sin, but our tastes will change to enjoy the godly things, which will cause us to lose more and more of the desire for the things that are godless.

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