Inluences

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Romans 13:14 ESV

If we are serious about walking with God by faith, we must address the influences we are allowing to feed our thought life.

God only calls us to let go of things that are hurting us. We never lose anything when we allow God to help us guard the avenues of our soul. We simply exchange counterfeits for the real deal. Much of what grips us in worldly entertainment is not evil, yet it is tainted. God desires to satisfy us with that which is pure, lovely, noble and untainted.

We were created to desire justice and while popular movies play upon this, they rarely grant us an accurate picture of it. We are rightfully drawn in by a love story, but this world's version of love sets us up for perpetual disappointment. Gaming plays upon our sense of adventure and wets our appetite for mastery and problem solving, yet after consuming hours of our most precious resource it gives us nothing of substance in return. God does not shame us into better choices, he simply desires to set reality before us and appeals to our reason.

Eternity is built upon one great narrative. Story is the framework from which we derive our picture of God and ourselves. Nothing is worth guarding more than the lens through which we see the world. The Bible presents us with the true, kind, and noble narrative of God's love. The influences we surround ourselves with must reinforce this narrative if we are going to persevere in trusting God amidst a world which rejects him.

Every movie presents its own version of the one great narrative. You literally cannot create a compelling story without an underlying philosophy. Intentionality must guide our entertainment choices. God has given us a very clear bar against which to measure whether or not something is worthy of our time. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

We earn no brownie points by being more selective in what we watch, read, and listen to. Little House On The Prairie never made anyone righteous. Investing our time in what is pure, kind, and true, is simply about fueling a trusting relationship with God. The more valuable he becomes to us the more we are interested in avoiding things which do not strengthen our walk with him.

God is not surprised or horrified by any of our media choices, he understands us and accepts us just as we are. Cold turkey transformations on all fronts at the same time are unrealistic. God in his tender mercy and wisdom knows just where we can begin the great exchange in the way we invest our time. If you are brave enough to invite your Heavenly Father into this area of your life, you will find no condemnation, only patience, guidance, and lasting satisfaction.

Still Seeking His Face,
Pastor Andrew

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