Pg. 89 “But it is, in fact, only a habit of self-indulgence. It can easily be broken when that is earnestly wanted… you can train your thoughts away from lusting if you cultivate chaste habits of thought and attitudes. Appropriate disciplines of study, meditation, and service, for example, can break the action of looking to lust as many have established by experience. Here too the use and training of the body is the place where faith meets grace to achieve conformity to Christ.” Dallas Willard “the Great Omission”
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Believing we are saved doesn't mean we are saved. We ought to ensure through testing and evaluating that we are in fact growing in God's principles and character.
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
Mark 13:22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Romans 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
1 Corinthians 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Galatians 6:3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Colossians 2:4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
2 Timothy 3:13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
James 1:16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
We are to follow God and only God. Following and obeying God correctly, assessing ourselves for sin, purifying our heart, cleansing our conscience, and building God's kingdom places our soul under God's care and salvation. We watch for defensive posture in our minds and hearts.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Ephesians 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Thinking about our thinking
As therapists probe our minds with questions they can guide us into an increased self awareness. They can guide us to see things we instinctively avoid seeing providing we are willing. Meditation is not only about eliminating distractions, but enhancing our self-awareness. We ought to hold our focus steady upon what ought to be changed within our attitudes and thought. Having more insight into our ungodly character empowers us to change it provided we understand the solution. We cannot change what we do not see. We improve our ability to see the thoughts which guide us into action. We may be aware of some of our thoughts, but there will always be many thoughts and beliefs beyond our awareness. There will always be unnoticed mental activity within us no matter how self-aware we are. Avoiding meditation and reflection upon our mental activity is, for many of us, a conscious choice to set us up for failure. Our lack of self awareness is avoiding to look at our problems and making corrections.
Postponing our responsibilities whether they are chores, homework, health maintenance, relationships, or taxes only makes the situation worse. We have a spiritual responsibility to increase our understanding of God and ourselves. When we neglect it we choose to be spiritually destructive. God speaks to us through many people over thousands of years to love him and each other, to live in peace, to work with our hands, to have faith in him and worship him only, but for thousands of years we choose to listen to our limited understanding and follow what appears to be an easier or less painful way of life. We believe lies and suffer.
James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Many people preach and teach about helping widows and orphans and skip the next line of instruction. "Keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James mentions earlier "21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."
If we can humbly accept the word of of God planted in us, the spirit within us, that instinctual sense that knows right from wrong, then we can be saved. But we must follow this spirit which knows right from wrong and discern against the other source tempting us each day. Through meditation, prayer, reflection, and support from others we may get to know more about our spiritual condition, but we still need to compare this spiritual condition with the bible. We can easily be misguided. We need to follow the instructions from the bible and see how it is right or we may be mislead into destruction. No one is free from deception especially self-deception.
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”