Imagine what a contemporary spiritual awakening might look like in America, in our church and in our culture? When a Christ Awakening comes, it will bring about a restoration of morality, ethics, and accountability among leader of church, government, business and politics. Here are just a few principles for “spiritual renovation.”
As Christians, we need to encourage one another to live by godly standards and to resist the pull of the world. We need to hold one another accountable for the words, images, and information we allow into our minds.
A well-known quote offers some good advice: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
We may think that the music we hear and the movies we watch are really no one else’s business; however, setting high standards and living a godly lifestyle will bring blessings and a good path toward the future. Watching excessive violence, listening to filthy language, or seeing images of people scantily dressed does not help us grow in God.
Romans 14:22 makes very clear that we should not do things we feel guilty about or try to make others live by our convictions: “Your personal convictions [on such matters]—exercise [them] as in God’s presence, keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed (happy, to be envied) is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do]” (AMP).
God is interested in the influences we allow in our lives. In addition to what we see and hear, we need to be very careful about the people with whom we spend our time. The Bible teaches us not to sit passively and inactively in the pathway of sinners, nor to relax and rest in the presence of the scornful and mockers (Ps. 1:1). It is easy to dive into a body of water and float downstream with the current, but it is more difficult to swim upstream. It is often easier just to go along with other people and do what the majority of them want to do, but in the long run, doing so can cause us significant heartache and misery. We must set high standards for what we wear, what we watch on TV, what we listen to, how we use our time, whom we associate with, and how we spend our money.
Yield to the Word
A lifestyle of obedience to God’s Word offers many blessings. If we would commit to higher standards of holiness in our lives, we could eliminate some of the enemy’s ammunition and defeat some of his plans against us. Our lifestyle choices would help form shields around us that Satan could not penetrate. The things we see and hear can be tools the enemy uses to wage war on the battlefield of our mind. When we see or hear something, it is recorded forever in the subconscious mind. Who do we think is behind ungodly scenes, images, and words in so much of today’s music, television, Internet, and printed material? It isn’t God—it’s the enemy. Working through the world’s system, Satan constantly pours out poisons, and often we just sit by passively, taking in whatever is being offered. We must decide whether we are going to dedicate ourselves to God or serve the world system.
Make Good Choices
One of God’s great gifts to mankind is the power of choice. If we want to enjoy the blessings He has for us, we need to make lifestyle choices that align with His Word and are consistent with the values of His Word, not choices reflecting the constantly eroding values of the world.
Let’s make a decision to serve God wholly, putting Him first in everything we do.
Here’s a prayer we all can pray:
“Thank you, Father, for the ethical foundations of our faith, ‘that we might always prosper and be kept alive.’ (Deuteronomy 6:24). We repent of behaviors that violate Your moral standards. Dear God, we regret that we have hurt You so deeply, as we have not set godly standards for our lives. Forgive us, Lord, and change us. We choose to serve You wholly, putting You first in everything we do.”
Praying for a Christ Awakening, p. 81-85. Used by permission.