In AHA from Chapter 9:
“We have an awakening moment, we even find the strength to be brutally honest, but we never get around to actually doing anything different. We spend much of our lives between honesty and action.”
Here we go.
Some of you won’t like this.
It is a heavy dose of spiritual warfare.
Some don’t want to think this is true.
We are talking about the power of satan on man….today.
As we grow older, many people just lose the will to change. They become so tired that they slug through the day. They know they have tension from time to time. That tension may be caused by knowing that they need to change but they don’t think they can make the change. This can result in anger as they get grumpy, irritated, frustrated and difficult to live with.
People give up.
Satan is happy.
Satan’s number 1 target is your mind. His number 1 weapon is lies [he wants you to question God’s word, he wants you to deny the power of God in your life and he wants you to substitute other things in place of God. He targets your body [the physical suffering we have is designed to make us question God as we don’t understand why it is happening]. He targets your will as you slowly but surely feel you have no will to change. He likes to use pride as you feel no need to rely on God; you can do it alone and you are willing to take credit. His purpose is to make you feel independent from God and not connected to God’s will. He targets your heart as you forget God’s love and you commit sin. After sinning, he wants your conscience as you beat yourself up that you have done something very wrong. You may have a guilty conscience for long periods of time and some never feel forgiven. You feel accused.
The need to change dies and if you have any conviction to change, the conviction is not worth much if it does not result in action.
Pastor Idleman references Michael Novak a Catholic philosopher who makes the point that until we have action, our beliefs really are not real. He says we have three levels of belief. Public beliefs are the beliefs we present to others. We present these ideas to others in the public forum because we want others to think we have them in place but we may not really have them in our lives. It’s all about appearances.
Private beliefs are the beliefs we truly have. At least that’s what we think. The problem is, when we are called on to act on those beliefs, we don’t do them. An example is we know we need to eat less red meat because it can lead to heart problems. We love red meat. When we are in the grocery, what do we do? Buy red meat. When we are at the restaurant what do we do? Order red meat.
Core beliefs are the only true beliefs we really have. These beliefs are backed up with action. They are not just beliefs we say we have or beliefs we think we have, they are beliefs we live.
There is an old expression you have all heard. “Actions speak louder than words.” As Christians we may talk a good game but Idleman wants us to play a good game.
Don’t tell me you should love your family; love your family.
Don’t tell me you should help the poor; help the poor.
Don’t tell me you should go to church; go to church.
Satan: he wants us talking but he does not want us doing. He wants us stuck. He wants to kill our desire to change. He wants us spending much of our lives between honesty and action.