Declaring War on Yourself - Purity 1208
Purity 1208 11/27/2023 Purity 1208 Podcast
Purity 1208 on YouTube: Coming Soon!
Today’s photo of the sun at mid-day in a cumulous cloud-filled
blue sky over the unnamed dirt and gravel road, which from this point forward I
have decided to call “Freedom Road”, comes
to us from your truly as I captured this scene just after noon on Thanksgiving
Day last Thursday.
Well, It’s Monday – and I for one am very thankful
for the extended staycation I enjoyed at my countryside home with my wife TammyLyn
since Tuesday of last week, but now it’s back to life and back to reality and I
have to warn you all that today’s “return to normal” will be laden with
blessings and curses from the business world as we not only return to work but
will be assaulted today by ads for “Cyber Monday” as the whole idea behind “Black
Friday” is the fourth quarter push for revenue to get businesses out of the “red”
and into the land of holiday profits.
I warn you because I have already treated myself to
a very Merry Christmas already as I have recently bought myself plenty to make
sure I wouldn’t be able to say, “I didn’t get anything for Christmas this year!”
– which is never really a concern. On
the contrary – my “clickbait clicker: has been more or less freely clicking
away for weeks now and I have come into the holiday season with a real concern
over my lack of self-control over my spending.
I will not incriminate myself any further by disclosing the long list of
purchases that I have made over the last few months but I will say that some of
the purchases I made were needed – I need clothes that fit the smaller body I
have now as I cut 5 inches or more from my waist and my printer did die at my fumbling
hands – but most of them were not needed nor appreciated, as the act of buying
them didn’t prevent me from buying more.
As I have utilized my self-control in the area of my
food addiction and have made great strides in accomplishing my health goals, my
neglected stronghold buster – regarding the purchase of media, specifically
books, has resulted in a veritable avalanche of new items in my physical or digital
libraries. While I was utilizing self-control
in what I consumed physically in terms of food, my finances have been consumed
by regular impulse shopping.
Ironically, one of my latest purchases is Levi Lusko’s
book “I Declare War” which I became familiar with over the last week as James
Dobson’s Focus on The Family Ministry was offering it as a resource to help
people change their bad habits. They
sent out an email campaign of 8 mini lessons based on Lusko’s book and I
consumed the “free material” enthusiastically as Lusko was speaking my
language, in encouraging people to overcome and change the habits and attitudes
that they didn’t like about themselves. I
was so enthused by Lusko’s encouraging message that I broke down last night and
purchased a copy of the book, the study guide, and the audiobook, with the
excuse that I needed it in all three forms because of my busy “on the road”
schedule and because I might utilize the materials for ministry, as I resume
leading the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group at Starpoint Church on Wednesday and
will be leading an online Freedom in Christ Course for Men come January of 2024
and you can never have enough knowledge or encouraging words to share when you
are helping people to find their Freedom in Christ and to overcome those persistent
hurts, habits, and hangups.
Of course, I also have learned that there is more
freedom and victories to be won on this journey of faith where we are becoming
more and more like Jesus and hope to declare war on my penchant for impulse
buying. When you get free in one area
you become more and more aware of the issues you have in other areas, so as I
continue to fight the good fight over my food addiction and am on the cusp of possibly
being set free from my sleep apnea machine, I am aware that the next war to be
one is in the area of finances. So I am starting today, other than what I need
to purchase for OTHERS for Christmas, I hereby solemnly vow NOT to purchase
anything other than groceries for the 3 head monster, and my own worst enemy,
known as ME, MYSELF, and I, so help me GOD!
And seriously God, I need your help.
One of the things Lusko writes about in his book, I Declare
War, is the need to declare war on what we think, say, and do and so I have
thought about this and know I need to stop the insanity with the impulse
buying, and now I have said that I will stop it, but I know in order for it to
carry over into the things I “do” or don’t do, I need to call in my most
powerful ally, the Lord, to help me in prayer.
So Lord God, help me to resist the world’s call on
my heart and mind to purchase items for myself. I declare the truth that I have
more than enough personal property to satisfy me for the foreseeable future and
I renounce the lie that I “need more”.
Help me to be wise and discerning with my finances and to say no to impulse
buying things for myself. I announce
the truth that you have given me self-control through your Holy Spirit, and I
ask for your help in exercising it throughout the next month and into the new
year. In Jesus’ name, Amen,
So what about you? Even though it is the season of
peace on earth and good will toward men, it is also a season of wild impulses
and the temptation to satisfy ourselves with things from the world rather than
resting in God’s presence. So let me encourage
you to keep walking and talking with God in peace, but also to be brave enough to
declare war on the attitudes and behaviors in yourself that are out of control
and need to stop.
Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By
John G. Kruis.
While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google
search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s
work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the
of Philemon (Paul writes the letter to his “dear friend and fellow worker”
on behalf of Onesimus, urging Philemon to receive him back as a “dear
Philemon 1:1-25 (NIV2011)
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—
2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.
6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—
10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.
11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.
13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.
14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.
15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—
16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.
20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.
24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
verses fall under the eleventh point of our counseling reference guide
resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.
11. The meaning of the communion of the saints is beautifully taught in Paul’s letter to Philemon.
Today’s verses tell the story of Philemon and Onesimus and how the apostle Paul encourages Philemon to give Onesimus mercy and grace because although they are master and slave, they are also brothers in Christ.
It is a wonderful example of living together as Christians and I hope it inspires you to be humble and act in love toward one another.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all
to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his
work. This resource is available online for less than $10 at many
is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
WEEK ONE - WAITING
An Un-Christmas-Like Idea
When the old
Christendom spoke of the coming again of the Lord Jesus, it always thought
first of all of a great day of judgment. And as un-Christmas-like as this idea
may appear to us, it comes from early Christianity and must be taken with utter
seriousness.… The coming of God is truly not only a joyous message, but is,
first, frightful news for anyone who has a conscience. And only when we have
felt the frightfulness of the matter can we know the incomparable favor. God
comes in the midst of evil, in the midst of death, and judges the evil in us
and in the world. And in judging it, he loves us, he purifies us, he sanctifies
us, he comes to us with his grace and love. He makes us happy as only children
can be happy.
We have become so
accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we
no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are
indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and
forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the
people of our little earth and lays claim to us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of
Jesus in Our Midst”
In that region
there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by
night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not
be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the
Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of
cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in
the highest heaven,
and on earth peace
among those whom he favors!”
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage
Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available
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These teachings are also available on the
MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247
Email me at email@example.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and
to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this
publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to
reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries,
or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication,
and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the
author may represent.”
for the Path of Christian Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the
Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess,
trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox
Press, 2010), 8–9.