Give careful attention to living Jesus Christ as Lord
Paul was careful to instruct Titus on the essentials for setting up elders in the Churches on the island of Crete. To qualify; “he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). Understanding biblical truth and being able to pass that truth on to others was critical. However, right living was of equal importance.
Right doctrine must produce right behaviour. Elders, like all believers are to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (Titus 2:11-12). Our behaviour should match our beliefs. The trouble is, constantly battling right Christian character are the distractions caused by the busyness and cares of life. It’s not always the big nasty temptations which catch us out.
Distractions can easily lure us into spiritual adultery. That’s when we give to another the love we promised to Christ. No matter how tasty or demanding the distraction, devotion to Christ should never be surrendered. Make no mistake, God’s enemy is skilled at introducing complications which challenge your loyalty to Christ.
Paul had this same concern for the Corinthian Church. He wrote to them saying; “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Satan is a master at twisting arguments, at misguiding loyalties, and at diluting moral values so the child of God not only becomes distracted but deceived into spiritual adultery. Once he has your thoughts focused on something or someone, other than Christ, you are putty in his hands.
The apostles understood this basic component of spiritual warfare. If you want to beat the enemy, you must master him at his own twisted strategy. Therefore, Paul said; “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Put simply; Christ must dominate Christian thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour. Jesus said; “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
The only weapon God has equipped saints with is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). God’s enemy knows this, and he will do everything in his power to keep you away from God’s Word. Scripture is a lethal weapon in the mind of a Spirit filled child of God. When filled with the written Word of God, the believer stands secure, undistracted, prepared and ready to do the Master’s work.
Sadly, “those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Romans 2:8 NIV). Satan knows this well, so he applies all his shrewd resources to keeping people away from the life-giving Word of God. Anything from a subtle distraction, to a life changing catastrophe, the enemy will happily use for keeping your mind off God, away from Scripture, and indifferent to the truth of Jesus Christ.
But the crown jewel of distractions is misguided affections. Paul said it straight for the benefit of the foolhardy Corinthian Church; “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Satan’s most used and appetizing distractions are the wrong and captivating affections of the fleshly human heart. Weak or wrong relationships grind down the pure thoughts and emotions of God’s people.
Be encouraged; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Walk today giving careful attention to your love for Jesus Christ as Lord. Christ will be honoured, and you will be blessed.