Living on Purpose: Pulling down strongholds within our minds

Dr. William Holland

Posted 3/18/24

By Dr. William Holland

The Human experience includes the standard requirement to choose right and wrong and has always been accountable when it comes to good and evil. Each of us has the free will to choose how we live and no matter how much we brag about being independent, there is no such thing as walking through this life refusing to be accountable to God. Every self-governing and self-reliant person who has ever lived does not have the authority to be excused from God’s judgment. It would seem that humans would understand there are only two choices in this life which is cooperating with God or fighting against Him. A good question is how many sincerely see this truth, and how many see it but refuse to deal with it?

It’s not a secret that people want freedom to speak, live, and worship this is why our ancestors began this great nation. Many have taken an even more extreme path by living off the grid so they can be free to do whatever they desire. However, the ultimate freedom is spiritual and includes turning away from sin and yielding our will to God so we can enjoy the liberty of walking in His presence wherever we are. When we sing, “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free” it’s a declaration that our carnality and the persuasions of evil are no longer holding us in the bondage of misery and depression. When God’s truth sets us free, we are free indeed if we desire to be.

The majority of the world would rather not dwell on the fact that someday they will give an account of their life. A convenient way to temporarily escape conviction is to block these thoughts from our minds and replace them with things that make us happy. We realize that unbelievers do this, but why would a follower of God not want to think about this? The basic reason is they refuse to give Him their heart. Our default nature has a sneaky self-preservation mode that gives us the capability to convince ourselves we are right when we are wrong. It’s deadly but true that the un-renewed conscience can cleverly persuade the brain that we have fooled everyone. This is an intentional deception that justifies what is personally acceptable. A stronghold that needs to be broken.

This ability to come up with excuses and override every voice of reason (including the Holy Spirit) can be blamed for much of why we are our own worst enemy. It’s true, humans are smart and are often secretly proud that maybe they can hoodwink God. A fascinating aspect of this serious problem is that many individuals do not take sin seriously. We seem to be religious experts in comprehending what is right and wrong and are always first in line to judge others but have a tendency to be very lenient with who we are.

Come to find out, we are not as smart as we thought. God is not only perfectly aware of how humans are wired but keeps track of every thought as the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:10, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” He realizes how difficult it is for us to change, but He must retain the highest standard of purity to preserve the integrity of His absolute truth. It’s true, His mercy endures forever but His grace does not give us a license to play games with secret sin. This transformation process to become holy as He is holy does not happen because it’s a good idea, we are drawn into Him when we love Him with all of our mind, soul, and strength.

Becoming an overcomer with Christ in this life will happen when our obedience to God becomes more important than allowing our rebellion to control us. The Bible is heavy on the theme of repenting which sadly is why it has more dust on its cover than the latest issue of National Geographic. It’s also why watery religion is much more popular than taking up our cross and truly following Christ. We all resist laying upon the altar and sacrificing our will to become a new creation, however, it’s the way He demands. Living in denial and ignoring our accountability to God allows our old nature the perfect opportunity to ruin us in this life and possibly the next.

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