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Character Building Seminar: 30 “Make No Provision For the Flesh”

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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour, we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us "From Glory to Glory." "Make No Provision For the Flesh" Good evening friends, and happy Sabbath to you. I praise the Lord that the Sabbath is here. What a blessing our Creator, now Redeemer, has given us in the Sabbath, a memorial of His finished work of creation. It was concluded 6,000 years ago. {AH 539.3} But it's more than that, isn't it? 2,000 years ago again He cried out, our Creator who became our Redeemer, "It is finished," on the cross {Jn 19:30}; and when did He cry that out? - on Friday afternoon; and what did He do after the finished work of salvation? He rested in the tomb; and so now we rest in and with Him, not only as our Creator, but as our Re-Creator. Amen? {Amen} Oh, Praise God for the Sabbath. Praise God for the Sabbath. I anticipate a special outpouring of His Spirit upon us on this holy day. But my dear friends, it will be ours if we, what? Ask for it. He longs to pour His Spirit out upon us, and I believe that He delights in giving us an extra measure of His Spirit on this His Sabbath day. But as much as He longs to do that, He cannot unless we ask. "Ask and it shall be given." {Mat 7:7} Dear fellow Laodiceans, do you hear Him tonight, knocking? Knocking at the door of your heart? You know He says that specifically to us, the True Witness, "Behold I stand at the door and knock." {Rev 3:20} He wants to come in, but He awaits our, what? Our invitation. He waits for us to open the door and invite Him to come in. Will you take the opportunity to do that tonight? And as you pray for yourself, would you please pray for me? I covet your prayers; I need your prayers. Let's spend our time in silent prayer to begin our study tonight. My Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord our Righteousness, I come to praise You and give You thanks for the precious gift of the Sabbath day. I thank You for making it so profoundly significant. We honor You and we rest in You as our Creator and as our Redeemer. We thank You so much that You are prepared to come and fellowship with us in a very special way this Sabbath. We invite You to do that; in fact we earnestly plead with You to fill this sanctuary with Your presence throughout this holy day. But Father, we want more than that. We want You to fill our body-temples in a special way throughout this day. We cannot keep Your Sabbath holy, unless Your Holy Spirit is within our hearts. Only Your presence can make anything holy, so fill this time and this space - this place and our hearts - with the Holy Spirit. Quicken and energize our mental and spiritual faculties, and as we study Your holy Word, may Your Holy Spirit enable us to so understand and appreciate and apply the holy law and the holy principles and the holy truth of Your holy Word to our lives, that by the Holy Spirit, we might be made holy. We want to be holy for Jesus and You are holy and we want to be like You. So please, Lord, make that possible. Guide and direct our study tonight in a special way; You know how important it is; and I pray that You would guide my thoughts and indite my every word; and what You're able to say through me, my Father, may it find receptive hearts and minds, and especially submissive wills that it might transform lives. Sanctify us by the truth. We ask it in the name of Him who is the Truth, the name of Jesus. Amen. We've been studying together the role of the will, and we have found it to be absolutely central; and we have come to realize the truth of the inspired statement, Everything, "everything depends upon the right action of the will." {SC 47.1} We particularly noted that when it comes to overcoming temptation, and we did a careful study of that remarkable passage in James which spells out very systematically the temptation process using the birth process as an illustration, something from the tangible realm; and we are greatly indebted to James for doing that because it really helps us better understand what happens in the intangible realm, the spiritual realm, as long as we understand the equivalence of each of the stages of the birth process; and we sought to do that last night and I hope that was clear and that you recognized how vitally important it is to have your will given without reservation to Jesus Christ. Our will is by nature in bondage to the old man, and through him, in bondage to Satan, because Satan can manipulate and control our will through the lusts of our flesh; and that's the way it remains, because you see, until death do us part, the will is tyrannized by her natural husband, the old man. At creation, the human will was married to the Lord God. Isaiah 54, "For your Maker is your Husband, and the Lord of Hosts is His name." But in the Garden of Eden, the human help meet of the divine Creator divorced Him; and tragically, not only divorced Him, but got married to the old man and his ally, Satan; and ever since we have been tyrannized by this miserable tyrant of a husband, the old man; and that's the way we remain until, what? ...death do us part. Remember the law of the husband? "Your desire shall be for him and he shall rule over you." {Gen 3:16} As long as the old man reigns, the human will... and what did we name her last night? - Wilma. Wilma is a helpless, submissive wife; can't do anything but say, "Yes, dear." "Whatever you want, dear, that's what I want anyway, dear." But we better not let the world know; let's just keep it private, because if we let the world know, it could tarnish our reputation. And so with ego-motivation, we manage to keep behind drawn drapes and closed doors private, fantasy sin, where we think nobody knows what's going on. But who always knows? God does. See, He doesn't see as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but He looks, where? ...on the heart; {1 Sam 16:7} and every time Wilma consents to the lusts of the flesh, and allows them to be fantasized, contemplated, cherished, in the privacy of the thought life, in God's eyes we have what, my friends? We have sinned, because at that point, "lust hath conceived;" {Jas 1:15} and sooner or later, ask any mother, if you conceive you're going to, what? ...give birth. That's when we commit the act. It moves out of the womb of the mind into the realm of behavior and people see it, and many times they're astonished because they haven't known what's been going on behind drawn drapes and closed doors in the bedroom of the mind. They're unaware. My dear friends, if we've conceived, we're going to give birth unless we, what? ...unless we get an abortion. You remember that? 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to," what? "...forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Praise His name, the process is aborted, and we don't have to commit the act. But you've got to recognize that it's sin before you'll confess it, and right here is where most people are confused and mistaken. They don't think they've committed sin until they do it. But my dear friends, that's not what Jesus teaches. You say if you commit adultery you're guilty; "I say that if you look upon a woman to lust for her, you've committed adultery with her already," where? "...in your heart." {Mat 5:28} In the privacy of the mind. So recognizing that we have committed sin, we need to confess it before it moves into the realm of behavior. Such important concepts, I just feel impressed to reiterate them tonight, especially for the sake of those of you who weren't here last night. But what we all must recognize is that Wilma is incapable of repulsing the seductive advances of the old man, better known as temptation, in and of herself. She must be given to another; she must be married to another, and how does she get married to another? Well, she's got to die... Or her first husband has to die. She has to die to the old man is another way of putting it, and how does she do that? By coming to the foot of the cross and claiming Christ's death to sin as our own. We say "I die" to the old man, and then what do we do? We say "I do" to Jesus and we give the will to her new husband and He takes possession of her; He takes possession of her, and we become one with Him, one in spirit; and my dear friends, there's a couple of statements that I... I just have to share with you that I was too rushed to share last night. It's on page 65, on page 65, second one down from the top. Review and Herald, March 15, 1892: "When Christ dwells in your heart by faith, this rich experience will be yours. Then you will know that love is flowing into your hearts, and subduing every affection and every thought, and bringing them into captivity to Christ. You cannot explain it; human language can never explain how the love of Christ can take possession of the soul, and lead captive every power of the mind. But you will know it by a personal experience." My dear friends, if you don't have that personal experience, please know that it's because you aren't married to Jesus yet. You see, when you get married to Jesus, He becomes to you the "chiefest among ten thousand." {Song 5:10} He becomes "altogether lovely;" {Song 5:16} and those are phrases out of Song of Solomon, by the way, which uses the marriage union as a type of our union with Christ; and it is our love for Him that constrains us, {2 Cor 5:14} and it brings every thought, every feeling into captivity to Him. {2 Cor 10:5} He becomes our magnificent obsession. Review and Herald, May 30, 1882; listen to this one: "To be living Christians, we must have a vital connection with Christ. The true believer can say, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' {Job 19:25} This intimate communion with our Saviour will take away the desire for earthly and sensual gratifications. All our powers of body, soul, and spirit should be devoted to God. When the affections are sanctified, our obligations to God are made primary, everything else secondary." And we can say with David, Psalm 73:25, "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You." "None on earth that I desire besides You." Oh, my friends, do you have that kind of relationship with Jesus? Please recognize that if you don't have that kind of relationship with Jesus, then you don't have the love of Christ compelling you, constraining you; and there's no way that you're going to be able to resist the lusts of the flesh except by the love of Christ. It's the only way. Now, having shared those, I want to go on to consider with you one of Wilma's primary responsibilities in the household of me, in the household of you. When we give her to Christ, He becomes her Husband and her desire is for Him, and He rules over her; and there's a radical change in everything that takes place, because she is now married to a radically different husband than she used to be married to. The old man had depraved desires called fleshly lusts. Everything that tended to meet his cravings for sensory pleasure, sensual pleasure, for worldly possessions and for ego gratification is what he desired, and the will was bound to grant those desires when she was married to him. But now she's married to a different Husband and He has a different set of desires. He desires for your household everything that will promote faith, hope and love, but especially, what? ...love. By the way, it's fascinating to compare the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life {1 Jn 2:16}, which are the desires of the old man, with faith, hope and love which are the desires of the spiritual nature. Fascinating. It's a study of its own. There's such a radical change that she now, as a dutiful wife who wants to please her new husband, realizes that there is a whole different dietary that needs to be prepared for feeding the mind. My dear friends, that's the topic at hand, mental dietary, and its effect upon character development. You see, in Proverbs 31, which describes the model mother and wife, what is one of her primary responsibilities? Proverbs 31:15, "She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants." You see, Wilma is the governor of the household. The will is the governing power in the nature of man. But she herself is under the authority of her husband, and she is to feed the household according to His desires. But if she is truly married to Him, her desires are His desires. You see, what does the law of the husband say? "Your desire shall be for him, and he shall rule over you." {Gen 3:16} But where we get into trouble, my dear friends, is when we try to pretend like we're married to Christ when we're still actually married to the old man. Are you hearing what I'm trying to explain here? That is a tough go because naturally we have no appetite for what Christ desires us to feed our minds. We still are tyrannized by the perverted appetites of the old man. So what we must do is, every day, make sure we make that pilgrimage to the cross and say those two things. What are they? "I die" to the old man, and what? "I do" to Jesus. "I do" submit my will to You, Lord Jesus; I desire what You desire; and by the power of the Holy Spirit, He will change our appetite. But we've got to cooperate with Him in that process; it doesn't happen overnight; and the way we develop a new appetite is by determining to cease feeding the old man anything, and to conscientiously feed the new man everything it needs. Paul puts it this way. Romans 13:14, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make," what? "...no provision for the flesh." ...make what? ...occasional provision? No. Make what? ...no provision for the flesh. Now, provisions, what are provisions? Well, when you go on a camping trip, what's number one on your list of provisions? - food. Okay, some of you have the same priorities that I do on a camping trip. What's a camping trip without good food? When Paul says, "Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts," he is exhorting us not to feed the old man anything. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} And my dear friends, that is the only way we can put on the Lord Jesus Christ, enthrone Him in our lives and keep Him enthroned. You see, what so many of us try to do is enthrone Christ and then proceed to feed the old man. But if we feed the old man, what will he inevitably do? Regain the ascendancy. He will no longer just remain, he will once again reign. {Rom 6:12} You see, if we fulfill the lusts of the flesh, if we obey the lusts of the flesh, sin doesn't just remain, it reigns; and if sin reigns, who doesn't? Jesus doesn't. So it's absolutely imperative that if we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and keep Him there, we've got, by His grace, to make what? ...no provision for the flesh, none! No provision for the flesh. And is it important when it comes to character development to keep Jesus Christ enthroned? Medical Ministry, page 201, "...put on Christ, not to lay Him off again, but to let His Spirit stamp your mind and character." It's only, my friends, as we keep Christ enthroned that He can by His Spirit enstamp His likeness once again in our character. This issue of mental dietary, consider it with me. Education, page 126, "The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds; and it rests with us to determine upon what it shall be fed. It is within the power of everyone to choose the topics that shall occupy the thoughts and shape the character..." Now please trace those last three steps. Let's do it backwards. What is it that shapes the character? It's that which occupies the thoughts, and what is it that occupies the thoughts? That which we choose to feed the mind, the topics that we choose to feed the mind. Please understand, my dear friends, the direct relationship, then, between mental dietary and the character we have. You see, what is character? It's thoughts and feelings combined. {5T 310.1} What determines how we think and feel? It's how we program our minds. The mind is a wonderful computer; we've used this illustration before, and that which determines directly how it functions is how it's programmed; and how do you program it? Through your senses. It is precisely what you choose to allow to come in, particularly through your eyes and you ears, that directly determines how you think; and how you think determines what you are. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." {Prov 23:7} So please don't underestimate the importance of governing carefully your mental dietary. It is absolutely crucial if you're going to develop a Christ-like character. Are we all together? Do you see that? Now, what you must recognize that as Christians, you are confronted with two radically opposite appetites. What are they? Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are," what? "contrary to one another..." You see, remember that when we receive a new nature, though the old nature no longer reigns, it still, what? Remains. Though it no longer presides, it still resides; and it still has all of these perverted appetites, doesn't it? Cravings for that which will gratify its selfish tendencies and inclinations; and what we must do is refuse to feed it what it craves. If you were to get out a pad of paper and sit down and interview your old man, and ask him what he craves, what he naturally desires as far as mental dietary is concerned, and write on the top of your sheet "carnal menu" and make a list, you would discover everything that tends to satisfy the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and what else? ...the pride of life; and all of those come under the single heading of what? ...selfishness, selfishness. Then turn the page and interview your spiritual man, and ask him what he craves, as far as mental dietary is concerned, and under the heading of spiritual menu, list what he tells you that he desires; and you know what you will discover? Everything that satisfies the desire for greater faith, greater hope, and greater love. And then, take those two menus and compare them, and what will you discover? They are radically opposite in every way, radically opposite. This is precisely why Scripture says "No man CAN serve two masters." {Mat 6:24} No wife CAN serve two husbands. No will CAN serve two natures. Therefore what? "Choose you this day whom you will serve." {Josh 24:15} You've got to make a choice, don't you? You've got to make a choice; and my dear friends, please know that that choice is absolutely crucial, because what you choose to feed your mind, is going to directly determine the character you develop. Are you all with me on this? Signs of the Times, March 9, 1882: "The mind grows by what it is fed upon. The understanding gradually..." watch out! "The understanding gradually adapts itself to the subjects which it is required to grasp." The gradual adaptation of the mind to the topics and the material that you feed it is potentially deceptive and potentially discouraging. What do I mean? Well, potentially deceptive in that if you indulge your carnal nature, and gratify its perverted appetite, since the character, the mind, only gradually adapts to it, you can be fooled into thinking that you are not being adversely affected by what you're feeding your mind. Are you hearing what I'm trying to warn you of here? You can think that it's not having a negative affect on you. Why? Because the change is slow, the adaptation is gradual, but you better believe it's sure. You are, by law, determining the character that you will develop by what you feed your mind. Even though you won't be aware of dramatic, radical changes. It's gradual. The gradual nature of the change can also be discouraging. How so? Well, when you determine, for the love of Christ, to change your mental dietary, and start refusing to feed your old man anything - make no provision for the flesh {Rom 13:14} - and determine to conscientiously feed your spiritual man what it craves and what it needs, will you be aware of rapid, radical change into Christ-likeness of character? No, you won't. In fact, the changes will be painfully slow, and you may even be tempted to think that you're not making any progress at all, and it can get discouraging, can't it? But please, don't be discouraged. Continue to conscientiously feed your mind spiritual food and I promise you, it will spiritualize, sanctify, render Christ-like your character. It will. Now, in light of this principle, what ought we not to feed our minds? I want to start with a look at what we ought not to feed our minds and then tomorrow morning we're going to take a look at what we ought to feed our minds. In light of the fact that mental dietary directly determines character, what ought we not to feed our minds? What ought we not to allow to program our brains through our senses, especially our eyes. Listen to David's commitment, his covenant with God, and please, my dear friends, recognize that it is worthy of emulation. Psalm 101:3-4, "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes." Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes." In light of the fact that in beholding we are changed {RH, Dec 6, 1881 par. 15}, in light of the fact that what we feed our minds, makes the character... directly determines our character, how important to set nothing wicked before our eyes; and, please notice, if we covenant with God to do that and in His strength indeed refuse to place anything wicked before our eyes, what will be the advantages that we will experience? They follow. Number one: "I hate the work of those who fall away." {Ps 101:3} How does that work? Well, please know that exposure to wickedness desensitizes you to its offensiveness. That's an inevitable psychological principle. Exposure to wickedness desensitizes you to its offensiveness. So if you place that which is wicked before your eyes, you will not hate it. In fact, if you continue to place that which is wicked before your eyes, you will come to what? Embrace it and love it. So how are you going to come to hate the works of those who fall away? Hate the works of wickedness? You must determine to set nothing wicked before your eyes, that by the Holy Spirit you might become re-sensitized to its offensiveness. Did you see that? And you will then by God's grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, come to hate the works of wickedness, hate the works of those who fall away. But you've got to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in that re-sensitization process by determining to set nothing wicked before your eyes. Is that clear? Notice what else David will experience, and you and I will experience if we determine to set nothing wicked before our eyes. "It shall not cling to me." {Ps 101:3} That which we behold is that which captures our attention, and if we continue to behold it, it gets a tyrannical hold on our mind, and the only way we can break that hold is, by God's grace, to set nothing wicked before our eyes. Then and only then will it not cling to us. Notice another benefit, verse 4: "A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness." Now that's obvious. The heart's condition is directly determined by how we feed it, how we program it. So if we determine to set nothing wicked before our eyes, a perverse heart shall depart from us and we will not know wickedness. Do you see the cause-effect relationships there? Tremendous blessings, but they all can be ours only when we, by God's grace, determine to set, what? ...nothing wicked before our eyes, nothing wicked before our eyes. Notice what Job says in this regard: "If my step has turned from the way, or my heart walked after my eyes..." {Job 31:7} Isn't that interesting? What does our heart do? It walks after our eyes. Why? Because the heart functions on the basis of how we program it with our eyes; and if you behold that which is vile, that which is carnal, that which is worldly, that which is wicked, your heart will follow after that, and be directly, adversely affected. Testimonies, Volume 2, page 561: "You will have to become a faithful sentinel..." What's a faithful sentinel? - a guard who's ever on duty. Amen? "You will have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your mind and prevent vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul. The power of grace alone can accomplish this most desirable work." Oh, my friends, it is so imperative for us to set a guard over all the avenues of the soul, and that's the eyes, the ears, and the other senses as well. But especially the eyes and ears are the avenues through which the mind is most directly programmed. Notice what Peter has to tell us in this regard. 1 Peter 1:13-16, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind." Pause. You know, that's lost on us in our western culture, but to those to whom Peter wrote this, they understood exactly what he was saying. "Gird up the loins of your mind." You see, in Bible times, men wore rather loose, long robes, and if they had to get from point A to point B, particularly if they had to get there in a hurry, what did they have to do to make sure they didn't get tripped up? They had to take that robe and wrap it tightly around their loins and tuck it in and then they could safely proceed. If they left if flapping, it could easily get caught on a rock or a stick or a branch or a thorn bush, and they'd be in trouble. Peter is telling us friends, that we must take our thoughts and wrap them around Jesus Christ if we're going to keep from getting tripped up as we press on towards the mark. "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'" {Lev 11:45} And my dear friends, remember, if we're going to be holy, where have we got to be holy? Well, where are we? "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." {Prov 23:7} So to be holy, we must be holy in the mind. This is why it is imperative that we gird up the loins of the mind if we're going to be holy. We have got to govern our thoughts. We've got to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ if we're truly going to be holy. Acts of the Apostles, page 518, commenting on this passage. "The apostle's words were written for the instruction of believers in every age, and they have a special significance for those who live at the time when 'the end of all things is at hand.'" {1 Pet 4:7} Who's that, my dear friends? That's us. Reading on: "The apostle sought to teach the believers how important it is to keep the mind from wandering to forbidden themes or from spending its energies on trifling subjects. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan's devices, must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts." I've got to read that again. "They must avoid," what? "reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest. The heart must be faithfully sentineled, or evil without will awaken evils within, and the soul will wander in darkness. 'Gird up the loins of your mind,' Peter wrote, 'be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ... not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.'" Oh, my friends, why do these words though, these words of Peter, why do they have a special significance for those who live at the time of the end? When "the end of all things is at hand"? {1 Pet 4:7} Why? Listen to this next statement, and learn the answer to that question. Sabbath School Worker, July 1, 1894: "As we near the close of earth's history, Satan redoubles his efforts to cast his hellish shadow over us, in order that he may cause us to turn our eyes away from Christ." He what? He redoubles his efforts. "If he can prevent us from beholding Jesus, we shall be overcome; but we must not permit him to do this; for 'we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.' {2 Cor 3:18} What is the glory of the Lord? ...The glory of God is His character, and it is manifested to us in Christ. Therefore it is by beholding Christ, by contemplating His character by learning His lessons, by obeying His words, that we become changed into His likeness... in contemplating the goodness, mercy and love of God, we become transformed in character. Jesus said, 'The glory which Thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one.' {Jn 17:22} On him who receives Christ, the glory of the Lord has risen, the Sun of Righteousness has shined, and rising from his low and worldly state, the believer reflects the light of Christ's glory. As he continually looks to Jesus and contemplates His beauty, he is more and more transformed into the child of light." A beautiful summary statement of many of the things that we've been studying in our seminar. And it is precisely, my dear friends, because Satan knows that Jesus is coming soon, and that if we as a people are going to be effective witnesses for the King in these closing hours of earth's history, and fit citizens for the Kingdom, we've got to be Christ-like in character; and he knows that the only way anyone's going to be Christ-like in character is by beholding the glory of the Lord, the character of God as revealed in Christ; and so he is redoubling his efforts to come up with anything and everything he possibly can to keep people from beholding Christ; and has he done that in the world today, my dear friends, has he? Absolutely. It is absolutely amazing all of the garbage that is available out there, all of the things that tend to divert attention from Jesus; and I think of the computer, and the internet, and computer games, on top of the list. It is absolutely frightening how much time is being spent beholding those things; and my dear friends, it's not only in the world that that's being done. That's being done in our own beloved church. It is amazing to me how virtually everyone is wired these days. Have you noticed that? They've got headphones on or ear buds in. I travel extensively, and everyone's wired. Or they've got a cell phone, and they're talking. Or they've got... What do you call that little hand-held computer thing? {Blackberry} And they're playing some computer game. I see it all the time. Their minds just completely absorbed with that which is worldly. Now, having said that, I probably need to warn you that if you saw me at the airport, you would see me with my iPod and my ear buds; and you might be tempted to say, "He sure doesn't practice what he preaches." But you come up to me and I'll give you my ear buds. I am listening to Scripture. You see, my friends, I've got a passion to redeem the time. {Eph 5:16} Are you with me on this? We don't have much left, and I don't want to lose a moment so why not use the technology and make it a blessing? Does that make sense? Sure it does. I also have the Spirit of Prophecy on my iPod, and I am feeding my mind spiritual food, and I am totally tuned out to the world, and it's a tremendous blessing, a tremendous blessing. Please beware of the enemy's tactics in these closing hours. Please beware. Christian Education, page 57: "Fill the whole heart with the words of God..." Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} "Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy, it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature." You see, that truism, "We are what we eat," applies not only then to physical dietary, it applies particularly and especially to what? Mental dietary, spiritual dietary: "You are what you eat." What you feed your mind makes you what you are, my dear friends. Please determine not only to make no provision for the flesh {Rom 13:14}, but determine to make every provision for the Spirit. Amen? To diligently, deliberately, conscientiously, perseveringly look for every moment you can to feed your spiritual man that food that he so desperately needs if he's going to grow, if he's going to grow. Sons and Daughters of God, page 108: "The mind must be fed with pure food if the heart be pure." Do you want a pure heart? My dear friends, you've got to have a pure heart if you want to see God. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." {Mat 5:8} But how are you going to have a pure heart? You've got to feed your mind pure food; you've got to feed your mind pure food. Now, let me warn you. It is not an easy task to change mental dietary habits. In fact, it is probably even harder than it is to change physical dietary habits, and that's hard enough. Are you all with me? By the way, there's direct parallels. If you have cultivated a palate for junk food... Now we've stopped preaching and started meddling here, haven't we? If you've cultivated a hungering and thirsting, a craving for McDonald's fare, junk food, and then you get convicted that you need to eat wholesome, healthy food, and you decide to make the change, how does that wholesome, healthy food taste to you at first? Pretty bland, pretty uninteresting. Why? Because you have trained your taste buds to crave the highly stimulating flavors and seasonings and you have come to love all of the fat, concentrated fat and concentrated sweet and concentrated seasonings of, you know, highly processed junk food. You've trained yourself to crave that; your taste buds want that; and so when you start eating simple, wholesome food, your taste buds say, "Aaah, come on, you don't expect us to enjoy this, do you?" And bless your hearts, you won't for a while, but please take courage. If you hang in there, you can re-educate your palate. You can actually re-educate your taste buds to crave and enjoy simple, natural flavors. In fact, I promise you, that if you hang in there, you will come to enjoy wholesome food much more than you ever used to enjoy junk food. I know from personal experience; I can testify. Much more than you ever enjoyed junk food. And I'm here to tell you that it's a whole lot more satisfying as well; and that holds directly true for your mental dietary, all of that. Do I need to make the application? When you start feeding your mind what it really needs, it will taste awfully bland to your mental palette, and you will not really enjoy it; but bless your hearts, hang in there. Continue to make no provision for the flesh. Because you see, if you ever resort to the junk food again, what do you do to your carnal palette? You instantly re-educate it and strengthen it. So make no provision for the flesh. Don't feed your carnal man anything, and keep feeding the spiritual man and I promise you, you will come to enjoy that much more than you ever enjoyed the junk food. Now, as far as the satisfaction factor goes, notice this. Micah 6:14, "You shall eat, but not be satisfied; hunger shall be in your midst." If we are feeding our minds carnal food, we are eating but we're not what? We're not satisfied. We're not satisfied. We're still empty. But you know the sad thing about it is that so many people are so frantically feeding their carnal minds that they don't even know or realize that they're not satisfied; and sometimes it takes a crisis to bring them to that. Remember the parable? Luke 15:17, "But when he came to himself," This is the prodigal son. "...he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" You see, he'd been gorging himself with all that was carnal, but he was starving. God help us recognize that we're really hungry even though we're gorging ourselves with carnal food, and God help us come to Jesus and receive true food. John 6:35, "And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'" Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Oh, my brother, my sister, please taste, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." {Ps 34:8} "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Determine to stop feeding your carnal man. Start feeding yourself the Word of God, and I promise you, it will be the most delightful and satisfying mental dietary that you have ever known. Shall we stand? Father in heaven, please help us to understand the importance of making right choices regarding what we feed our minds; and as we continue in this study, help us to identify one of the most damaging sources of mental dietary that has caused more harm to Your people than anything else. Please, Lord, give us an open heart and a teachable spirit as we continue in this study. This is our prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour and 7 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Revival Seminars
Director: Phil
Views: 815
Posted by: ludo on Apr 7, 2010

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Romans 13:14 --- www.RevivalSeminars.org

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