Friday, January 27, 2012

Distortion: Part 1

I can't believe it's been a year. 1 year ago, I was sitting in my car trying to get up the nerve to step out for the first time and try something new. It was my first visit to C4...I look back on the last year and I cannot express how grateful I am for this ministry. God reminds me week after week how great he is and how much I need him. The work he's been doing in my life is just crazy. God is so good. About 2 weeks ago, Tyson began a series called Distortion. He wanted to raise our awareness of the way the world has changed and is influencing us.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Pretty intense right? Sound sort of familiar? Maybe you are aware of this happening around you or maybe even in yourself. The enemy - Satan - cannot be anything like God. So in his attempt to disrupt God's plan, he will distort the things that are like God...he will distort the good things in this world. There is a supernatural war raging and its at its peak right now. You may or may not see or hear it but your soul is at war.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
We were fashioned after Him...but 2 Timothy 3:5 says that people have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power...meaning that many people today look like Heaven but live like Hell. That might sound blunt...but it's true. Our generation is so self-focused. They are still fashioned in God's image but they don't live the way God designed. Any generation who distorts their morals is a generation who forfeits God's plan and power.

Lets talk about the area of media for a minute. We all have our TV programs that we follow on a weekly basis...I'll be the first to admit it. But take a step back and look at media as a whole.

50 years ago...in 1962 for those of you who are bad at math...the #1 TV Show was The Beverly Hillbillies closely followed by The Dick Van Dyke Show.

In 1962, there was something called a government sensor. In 1962, TV shows were never allowed to show footage of the bedroom...and if they did, there were 2 separate beds. This sensor was in place because we, as a country, wanted to promote purity and clarity. It was designed to protect people and lift up the family unit that God created. Not even a hint.

What a change...today we have shows like the Kardashians, Millionaire Matchmaker, and the Bachelor...the enemy has infiltrated our media and has distorted what was once portrayed on screen as sacred. Now a days every show has some sort of sexual thread and vulgar language is strung through nearly every scene.

Society went from censorship to 'everything goes'. The enemy programs people(by way of society and media) to think that it's normal to have affairs and premarital sex and talk trash. Tyson made the comment that TV should be called 'hellivision' because it streams hell into your house.

Realize where we are headed as a world. Slowly but surely - we are pulling back the walls of morality and becoming a people of pleasure worshippers rather than a God fearing people. Satan programs us to think sin is okay. The distortion is louder than ever before...the devil is being bold. Revelation talks about the enemy coming after the church...and these days, you don't have to go far to hear the gospel of hell being proclaimed. Revelation also mentions that in the last days, Satan will be coming to the end of his term...and much like a candidate in an election, he will come guns blazing with all he has in order to get your vote. Think about it...if this world keeps on track the way it has been...where will we be in 50 years? Can it really get worse? How much farther will it go? We are in the last days...the closer we are, the harder the devil will fight.
Ephesians 2:2-10 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The world is dying...it'll pass away...but the good news is that the Word remains forever (John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.)

Take note in that scripture where it says 'prince of the power of the air' (aka Satan). Think about all the old movie/TV sets you've ever seen or maybe a radio station...what is the phrase they use when they are broadcasting? "On Air" Hmm...I think I just read something about that in the Bible...in all seriousness though, through radio, movies, television and other media are the frequencies that sin is transmitted to the world. The devil controls the temporal airwaves...his influence in media is HUGE! The things on the screen are not from God...the things you see on TV are NOT normal! Sin is NOT okay! Why is society so fascinated with what's on the screen? - Because there is a spirit (the devil) influencing them and sending distorted messages.

The good news...give a sigh of relief...the devils day will come to a close.
Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
When you go to battle, you have to wear the armor. You aren't in a physical battle (well, some of you might be...and thank you for serving our country) you are in a spiritual battle. I don't know if you are anything like me but when I read that I get sort of down because I'm not sure how to fight that exactly...there are days I wish I could just fight it out and land a few punches and be done with it...but that's not how it works. The way to fight is to put on the armor of God. The God we worship is more than enough...he is hope, he is light, he is the resurrection, he is the Alpha and Omega, he is everything and more. The way to fight the distorted images the world is believing and sending is to tell the world about the goodness of Jesus. Life in Him is better than living in a distorted, temporal world.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Remember in 2 Timothy when he said that people would have the appearance of godliness? That means that people have the image but not the likeness...they deny God's power in their lives. You deny God's power by allowing the distortions to take hold in your life, by embracing distortions, and by living life your own way. Stop allowing distortions to wreak havoc in your life! Get the power back! You have to go through the sword and let your old man(flesh) die. Turn from the world's version of normal and realize that power comes from the Holy Spirit...be holy and pure.

You can't change your past or fix the distortion but you can have an impact on your future and your children and grandchildren's future. You have power within you that is greater than the world...His power overcame sin, darkness, hell and the grave! Begin to put down the world...turn off the TV and the computer...you won't die, trust me, just turn it off...you'll find that you were created for so much more than images on a screen.

The real normal is a life of holiness and purity. Live a life surrendered to Christ Jesus and there you will find the spiritual power to overcome the distortion. So many churches deny the power...we worship and then go live like the world. Going to church isn't good enough. God desires revival in this city and in your own life. Embrace his spirit and power.

It's so easy to blame the filth on the devil or people in the media industry...but the truth - if we stop buying it, they'll stop making it. Maybe not right away, but if there is no demand, then there will be no supply. Take your world back...you are called to be holy. Don't allow distortions to win the battle in your life. Put the world down so that God can speak into you and through you.

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