(Ezekiel 20:7 NLT) Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’
Ezekiel, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warns God's people over and over again about turning their hearts from Him towards other gods, and the rituals, and obsessions of their culture. They do not heed His warning, and they pay dire consequences. Generations after them paid as well.
Verse 7 is a direct command, and warning, "Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are obsessed with."
America is obsessed with pornography. Look at some of the most current stats:
90% of children ages 8-16 have viewed porn. The largest consumers of pornography are 12 to 17 year old boys. 70% of men ages 18 to 34 visit a porn site in a typical month. 1 in 6 women struggle with porn. $10 to $14 billion is spent on porn annually, the same amount the US government spends on foreign aid. 25% of search engine requests are for porn. 50% of pastors regularly look at porn. 38% of adults say porn is morally acceptable.
These stats are overwhelming to me. There is no doubt that America idolizes porn. We must hear again, the Words from the Spirit of God to His children:
"Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God."
Listen to this warning from God:
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord."(Joshua 24:14 ESV)
The next generation is watching us. Don't kid yourself into believing that this "obsession" will not affect your kids. It has, it will, and will continue until you STOP and remove this idol from your life. Become obsessed with Jesus. Fill your mind with the truth from His Word!
Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus
When you are tempted, do whatever is necessary to turn your attention to something else.
Satan can't get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. That's why the Bible teaches us to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and to fill our minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable." (Philippians 4:8 TEV)
When we're serious about defeating temptation, we will manage our thoughts and monitor our media intake. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived warned: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." (Proverbs 4:23 TEV)
Don't allow thoughts to run indiscriminately in your mind. Be selective. Choose carefully what you think about. Follow Paul's model: "We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV)
This takes a lifetime of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can discipline the way you think.
"Lord, You know the obsessions that so easily become idols in our life. We can find our self worshipping, thinking about, spending money on, wasting time with, things that are so detrimental to our Christian walk. Help us to return YOU to the rightful place in our life...sitting on the throne and directing our every step, passion, word, and decisions. Help us to be obsessed with You. In Jesus' name amen!"
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 11:37 AM
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
DAILY: You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that's a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part too by practicing biblical methods for defeating temptation. Sometimes we put all of our time, sweat and prayers into resisting temptation when we would be better off to resist the tempter. We're told to "resist the devil," and he will run from us. (James 4:7) The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. That's why Job said, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman." (Job 31:1 NLT) And David prayed, "Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless." (Psalm 119:3a TEV). Blessings
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 7:53 AM
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
DAILY: Be careful who your closest associates are. Paul warns us that "bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). This is not just for young people but for adults also. Anyone who tries to pull you away from your spouse is bad company. Anyone who attempts to talk you into something that is contrary to God's Word, bad company. Anyone who when you spend time with them pushes you further from Jesus, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down people, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down your church and leadership, bad company. Anyone who leaves you feeling dirty when they leave, bad company. Anyone who texts, emails, or uses any social media to make contact with you behind your spouses back, bad company. Anyone, other than your spouse, who is constantly on your mind in a romantic or sexual way, bad company! Anyone, I don't care how long they have been a "friend", who pushes you further from your spouse when you guys talk, bad company. "Holy Spirit, help me to be sensitive to Your warnings today!" Blessings!
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 7:35 AM
DAILY: Be careful who your closest associates are. Paul warns us that "bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). This is not just for young people but for adults also. Anyone who tries to pull you away from your spouse is bad company. Anyone who attempts to talk you into something that is contrary to God's Word, bad company. Anyone who when you spend time with them pushes you further from Jesus, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down people, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down your church and leadership, bad company. Anyone who leaves you feeling dirty when they leave, bad company. Anyone who texts, emails, or uses any social media to make contact with you behind your spouses back, bad company. Anyone of the opposite sex who is constantly on your mind in a romantic or sexual way, bad company! Anyone, I don't care how long they have been a "friend", who pushes you further from your spouse when you guys talk, bad company. "Holy Spirit, help me to be sensitive to Your warnings today!" Blessings!
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 7:27 AM
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
DAILY: "I was wrong" or "I need advice" are difficult phrases to utter because they require humility. Pride is an ingredient in every quarrel. It stirs up conflict and divides people. Humility, by contrast, heals. Guard against pride. If you find yourself constantly arguing, examine your life for pride. Be open to the advice of others, ask for help when you need it, and be willing to admit your mistakes. (See Proverbs 13:10) Blessings
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 6:20 AM
Thursday, August 15, 2013
DAILY: Matthew 15:21-28 tells the story of the Canaanite lady who brought her daughter to Jesus for healing. Three things happen that could have caused her to be offended and move on from Jesus. And if she had of, her daughter would have missed out on the miracle of healing and deliverance. First of all, when the lady brought the need to Jesus, He remained silent (v. 23). Have you ever been there? You cry out to God for your need, but it seems your prayers are getting no where. Or, you believed for healing, but the person you were praying for died, and it left you with questions of why was heaven silent? Secondly, the disciples tried to run her off. Has the church ever let you down? Hurt you, left you wounded, or didn't seem to care for you in your time of pain and despair? Are you offended from it? Thirdly, Jesus' Words were tough to take. He answered the lady with the following, "It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Has the Word of God ever offended you? This Canaanite lady refused to be offended by the silence of God, the hurt from the church, or the Words from God that she didn't understand completely. She declared, "even the dogs eat the crumbs from the masters table." Jesus declared that He hadn't seen such great faith as hers, and her daughter was healed. I believe that great faith, is a faith in God that refuses to be offended at the ways and Words of God. That refuses to equate God with His people. That simply moves on and forward, trusting and following Jesus! This lady would have missed a miracle if she had left offended. And it would have affected the next generation...her daughter. "Lord help us to remember that our offense can, and very likely will, affect our children and grandchildren." Make up your mind today not to "throw off this confidence in God and HIs Word!" Blessings!
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 8:32 AM
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
DAILY: In Acts 28, a venomous snake latched onto Paul's hand while he was collecting firewood. He miraculously shook it off and didn't even get sick. As I read that, God spoke into my heart that there are things in our life that poison our spirit and stubbornly hold on to us. It could be failures from the past, it could be offenses from years gone by, it could be dislike or hatred of a person, it could be unforgiveness. But the bottom line is, I must shake that poisonous creature into the fire. It is time to move on! It is time to walk in victory and to stop making excuses for the reason that I am allowing that poison into my life. I must adjust my attitude and begin to live like Jesus in every area of my life. How long will I allow the poison to effect my relationships with: my wife, my children, my co-workers, my church family, my friends? It is time to take action! It is time to move past your past! God can and will use your past today and in the future, if you stop allowing the poison to effect your spirit. King David cried out, "Lord, renew a right spirit within me" and God did. He will do the same for me! Blessings
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 9:00 AM
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
DAILY: In Genesis 22, Abraham faced a situation where he desperately needed God's provision. And God proved Himself to be Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. I woke up this morning with an urgency to pray for someone who is like Abraham was. You MUST have God's provision. He must once again be Jehovah-Jireh for you. You laid in bed trying to sleep last night, but all you could hear was the enemies whisper that you will "never make it through this, and you will lose everything." This is a Word of knowledge for someone who will read this. God saw your tears last night. He took notice of your tossing and turning. He heard, He cares, He is still The Lord your Provider, and He will come through for you. He sees what you cannot see. When you thought you had the answer, The Lord knew about a problem that would come along, so He closed the door. He is not only providing for you, but He is protecting you as well. Abraham was ready for the miracle of provision by making preparations. You do the same by keeping yourself in His Word, celebrating His presence through praise and worship, give thanks for the times He has brought you through, and keep your faith in HIM, and your hope in His Word. Correct your meditations from ones of worry, to ones of faith! Remember, Jehovah-Jireh is the same God who brought you out and through the last time you faced a crisis! Blessings.
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 8:45 AM
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 7:25 AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 8:32 AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 2:05 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 10:30 AM
Monday, February 11, 2013
Numbers 32:7-9 Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them? (8) This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. (9) After they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them.
Wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel.... Which he suggests it would, should they settle on that side Jordan, since they would lose the assistance of two of their tribes, even two thirds of one of their standards in fighting with their enemies and subduing their land; and besides it might be thought that this request of theirs not only proceeded from selfish views and a love of ease, which might set a bad example to others, but carried in it a distrust of ever being able to enter into, at least to conquer and possess, the land of Canaan, and so might have a tendency to discourage their brethren.
Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas.One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water. Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up.
Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb the pole again.
The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one by one, with new ones, and each time a new monkey was brought in, he would be dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas. In time, only monkeys who had never received a cold shower were in the room, but none of them would climb the pole. They prevented one another from climbing, but none of them knew why.
Perhaps others have dragged you down in life. They’ve discouraged you from dreaming. Maybe they resented the fact that you wanted to move up or to do something significant with your life. Or maybe they were trying to protect you from pain or disappointment. Either way, you’ve been discouraged from dreaming.Take heart. It’s never too late to start dreaming and pursuing your dreams.
"Lord, help me to not allow discouragements to keep me from dreaming. There are always people around who just want to maintain status quo and never go forward. They will attempt to pull anyone down who begins to dream. They will pull down through gossip, backbiting, tale toating...Lord, I want to be smarter than the monkeys that we looked at today. Help me to encourage, not discourage. In Jesus name, amen!"
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 3:03 PM