High Ground on the Battlefield

Given the choice, where do you want to fight? Traditionally, you want to get to the battleground before the enemy, choose the best location (often the high ground), and prepare to fight.

As children of God, we live on the battleground every day. It can be hard to think about tactics and strategy, though, in the middle of the mess.

“Kill sin at the level of counsel. Don’t let it get any farther.” 
–Matt Jensen

When and where we engage the enemy does matter. It is much easier early on, rather than when the sin is fully entrenched in our lives. How can we do that, though? How is it possible to cut sin off at the first hint?

The purest and best counsel is the whole counsel of God. If our minds are filled with scripture, if our thoughts are shaped often by that truth, we are powerfully protected and able to fight quickly. This doesn’t just include sitting down and quietly reading the Bible. It can also include listening to scripture being read or sung. It can include verses taped to mirrors and steering wheels and set as screensavers. Feed, feed, feed on the Word — all through the day.

After that, is other counsel we seek shaped by the Word? This is crucial. If it is not, we run the risk of being led astray, even if the topic is not purely theological. We need to weigh experts carefully and be aware of truth (or the lack of it) everywhere.

We often ignore the messages we absorb unintentionally. Entertainment, whether visual or musical, is a constant stream of input. We can just let them all flow freely into our minds, or we can set boundaries and evaluate every so often. These messages also set the tone for our households, so what are the views we are getting and giving? What is heard and seen in our homes has much influence on both our battle and the battles of others.

It is a lot to consider. How goes the fight?

The Key to Successful Living

After hearing a friend’s senior thesis, I thought it would be good to share. The battle against procrastination continues on! The post below was written for us by Rebecca Fike.

Procrastination haunted me throughout my high school years. My senior thesis approached, and I couldn’t choose a topic. A last minute decision landed me on the topic of the effects of social media. The day came to present our theses and have several judges ask us some questions. One question asked was, “How does all this research and writing on this topic make you want to live differently?” My glib response was, “I am going to try to be more disciplined and not just with social media.” Later, it was pointed out to me that self-discipline is key to everything in life. Self-discipline is really just practicing self-control. It is the ability to keep pressing forward in a difficult situation when you are tempted to just throw in the towel and quit.

Why is self-discipline so important? First of all, sin and the Fall made man generally lazy and lackadaisical. As part of God’s creation, one of the main goals of the Christian life is to glorify God in everything. This is virtually impossible, however, if we are not even working for the glory of our Creator. This does not mean life will be all rigid rules and regulations; rather, practicing self-discipline enables us to live successful lives. 

What does it mean to live a self-disciplined life? One of the first steps for more successful living is removing any doorway that allows falling to temptation. For example, if I know I have a test that I need to study for, but I can just as easily scroll through social media, I should remove the object that allows me to slip. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses enables you to achieve more in life.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest enemies of self-discipline is procrastination. How can someone be successful if they continually put off what demands to be done? Procrastination continually yells, “there is always another time to finish this job; there is another time for study; there is another time for devotions,” and the list goes on and on. Procrastination is key for easy living, but that should not be our life’s desire. It may seem to work well for a time, but the consequences are hard.

Self-discipline allows for constant and continual self-improvement. There is no point at which the self-discipline in your life is at its perfect peak. There will be times when you just want to quit your journey of self-discipline and go back to the easy way of life. However, at the end of the day, the rewards of discipline are so much better than the results of easy living. A runner has to consistently train if they wish to take advantage of having started exercising. A musician must practice if they wish to grow. A concert pianist did not suddenly become a famous musician. A student must study diligently if they desire to really gain anything from their education. Living a disciplined life leads to success.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant,
but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11