Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:4,42
As I stay up-to-date on the current situation with the coronavirus, our nation, the United States of America is in a time of panic. We have traveled through several phases: Blame, Disbelief, Fear, Demand for the tangible, Rebellion, Demand to return to work, Compromise, and Negotiation, and now many are caught up in this repetitive cycle. We are listening to many “Self-proclaimed Saviors” who are prideful and full of arrogance, under the influence of Satan, they have incited hatred, and civil unrest yet, they have many followers, including those who acknowledge God.
Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars, whose consciences are seared with a hot iron–their consciences are dead. 1 Timothy 4:1-2
Are you experiencing the phases of the mass anxiety and hysteria that keeps recurring over and over again? No matter how many miles you cycle, a stationary bike will never move from its position. Many who call on the name of God are also caught up in this vicious cycle of emotional responses to our current adversity. Despite their efforts, they are unable to break away from the influences of this world.
Technology is excellent, and we have accomplished witnessing the gospel of Jesus Christ through online church services, sermons, and uplifting music. Even so, many Believers are fixated sitting in front of their televisions or laptops daily, hearing so many conflicting reports that they are in a state of self-destruction. There is a critical adverse reaction of technological advancements, and that is the over-saturation of stimuli.
Believers, what is the importance of the media in your life? How are you being influenced by what you see and hear? Is your mind just as confused as the unbelievers? Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
We must be cautious of what we expose our minds to; the senses of vision and hearing will cause many to be led astray. One of the most effective methods of visual imagery is with the use of lights. The gambling industry even goes as far as employing psychologists to create a perfect ambiance and level of comfort for their customers. Lighting is manipulated to provide a comfort zone, the ideal balance between brightness and dimness is achieved to facilitate the wasting of financial resources.
Clubs also use lights and sound to influence those who are intoxicated from alcohol and illicit drugs, and yet they are not held responsible for the many lives lost to DUI and DWIs. And who is not mesmerized by photos that display a nighttime view of a city of lights? Do you love fireworks? It is not a critical point that I emphasize regarding lights and the display of lights (except for gambling and clubs where lights are utilized for deceptive purposes). It is to increase our awareness that visual and auditory stimuli impact the way we believe.
Many are familiar with the phrase, “We are what we eat.” However, the audible sounds have a phenomenal influence on our lives. We are greatly influenced by what we listen to. The rhythmic beat of a drum which is in sync with the rhythm of the heart has the power to create a hypnotic or passionate state of mind often utilized in Satanic rituals, or the beat of the drum can be used positively to encourage a synchronized march of individuals or to enhance a musical selection. Music is being used for every purpose imaginable, for good and evil, facilitating peace or destruction.
Do we turn our heads to avoid the worldly temptations that are pleasing to the eyes? “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23
How often do you read a hard copy of positive information that nourishes the mind? The newspaper, a book, or your Bible? Even if you have the habit of only using electronic gadgets, incorporate reading materials that require the turning of pages. Touch is one of the most powerful senses that we have. Physical contact enables us to develop attachments.
When we utilize all of our given senses, we are less likely to possess a tumbleweed mindset. Reading a good book requires an intent focus, we can contemplate on the information presented, and we gain the knowledge to incorporate the necessary lifestyle changes to make us a better person. The guideline for choosing a book is that it should honor God. We should not read materials that are written by unbelieving authors that focus on worldly pleasures. Make sure the articles you read are by a credible author. Check out the credentials of the author before reading and absorbing their view of life.
Humanity possesses many commonalities, and the most powerful factor is that we are influenced by what we allow our senses to be exposed to. No one is exempt. It is challenging to discard bogus information once we have processed it in our frontal lobe. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41
The Bible, written under the inspiration of God by holy men is the book where all that is written, can fully be trusted. There are no errors or conflictual statements contained in the Word of God; therefore, we will never have a confused state of mind. When we pray before studying the Bible, we are nourished spiritually, and our mind is opened to receive knowledge, wisdom, correction, and guidance from our Jehovah Jireh.
Picking up the Bible confirms that we have the intent to take our time and study without the distractions from notifications or phone calls. The Bible, in our hands, signifies that we are ready to spend time with our Heavenly Father. With time devoted to God’s Word, we can establish excellent study habits, and most importantly, we are prevented from diminishing the “Voice of God” down to an ordinary level. The Bible enables us to distinguish the carnal, worldly things from that which is Holy and Divine and prompts us to recognize that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and should think and act accordingly.
What are your most significant concerns during this pandemic? Write a list and present your concerns to God. Change your habits and choose credible sources such as CNN, cdc.gov, WHO-int for daily updates. Trusting in God is our only option!
My testimony is that during my Stay-at-home, and following my spiritual fast, I am experiencing changes in the way that I think, the words that I speak, and the importance of seeking God daily. I have eliminated all distractions that facilitate conflict and have purposed in my heart to live a faith-based life, serving God until death. To possess complete peace and joy is God’s gift to all who faithfully believe in Him.
No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?…Matthew 6:24-25
Bible Study: Matthew 6
Stay in His presence. Love God, Love Others, and Love yourself.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020