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Christian Philosophy

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Christian Philosophy

Chapter 1 - What is Christian Philosophy?

Everyone has a philosophy—whether you realize it or not. Philosophy is simply the basic set of ideas, beliefs, and values that you live by. It’s your outlook, or the filter through which you view life. Every piece of information that comes to you and every situation you face is filtered through your philosophy. In a sense, your philosophy predetermines your response to the things happening around you and the results you see in life. Yet many people are unaware of their philosophy. They have never combined their separate beliefs into a single value system through which they view the world and interpret life.

Pessimism and optimism are two simple examples of opposite philosophies. Pessimists look toward the future and expect the worst, while optimists hope for the best. You could sit a pessimist and an optimist side by side, expose them to identical circumstances, and the optimist would find some positive way to spin what has happened, while the pessimist would focus on the negative. The optimist would look for some opportunity to take advantage of the situation, while the pessimist would focus on the negative and be more likely to get depressed and discouraged.

Philosophy is the reason identical situations can produce completely different responses in different people. Your philosophy filters every experience you have and every piece of information that comes your way. The apostle Paul emphasized this truth to the Colossians when he warned them to be on the lookout for anyone who would “spoil” them through philosophy. A wrong philosophy causes wrong responses to circumstances, and it can cause you to draw wrong conclusions about events and information in life. Christians need a philosophy that is modeled after Christ, and not after the traditions of men, vain deceit, or the principles of this world.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Colossians 2:8

The believers in Colossae learned about Christ from Epaphras, not from Paul. We know Paul hadn’t preached to the Colossians in person before he wrote to them because he stated that he hadn’t yet seen the Colossians face-to-face (Colossians 2:1). The Colossians were once removed from Paul’s teaching, so he wanted to make sure they fully understood the doctrine of Christ. He didn’t want them lacking in any area or at risk for being led away by false teaching (Colossians 2:4).

Then Paul writes, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Colossians 2:6). This verse has had a major impact on my life. The way we receive salvation is by putting faith in Jesus; Paul says this is the same way we receive everything else we need as Christians (healing, deliverance, provision, etc). It’s amazing how people begin their Christian walk by putting faith in what Jesus did for them, but then start thinking they are going to be perfected by their own holiness and good works. You can’t get saved by the grace of God and then try to earn all of salvation’s benefits through your own effort—it won’t work.

Though Paul was writing to Christians, he had never ministered to the Colossians directly and he wanted to make sure they had everything they needed to live the abundant lives God intended for them. This has direct application for us today because many people, if not most, who have been born again have not heard the true Gospel. They haven’t heard all of the things they need to know in order to prosper and really walk in victory. I don’t think there is really any debate about that when you compare the way people in the Bible experienced victory versus the experience of the average Christian today. The Christian message being proclaimed today is not producing the same degree of victory in the lives of those who hear it as it did during New Testament times. In part, I believe this is because churches aren’t teaching the same gospel that was taught in the first century.

As a whole, the church has discontinued teaching and making disciples, and is now simply producing converts. Most efforts are aimed at just trying to get people born again so they can go to heaven when they die, but not a lot of energy is aimed at helping converts become true followers of Christ. Yet Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not converts. He said,

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

The Lord told us to teach people to observe “all things,” yet the modern church has basically reduced Christianity to confessing Jesus as Lord in order to avoid going to hell, which is only a portion of the Gospel. This is exactly what Paul was warning the Colossians against. He warned them to beware in case they didn’t get the full truth, because it would make them susceptible to all of the ways Satan tries to steal the benefits of the Word of God. Paul’s advice is just as applicable to us today as it was 2,000 years ago.

The English word “beware” in that verse means “To be on guard (against); be wary (of)” (The Houghton Mifflin American Heritage Electronic Dictionary [HMAHED]). It comes from the two Middle English words “be” and “war” which, when put together, signify “to be at war.” This word reminds me of standing guard duty when I was in the Army. Some people didn’t take guard duty seriously and they would sleep through their whole shift, but I couldn’t do that. We were in a war, and sleeping through guard duty put everyone’s life at risk. In a spiritual sense, many Christians are not heeding Paul’s warning to “beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.” They don’t know we are in a spiritual battle and Satan is attacking our values every day. He is trying to get us away from the godly way of looking at things that is established in the Word of God.

We are being pressured every hour of every day, and I believe the attack on Christian values is greater now than it has been at any other time in history. Prior to the information age, Christians were able to isolate themselves, in a sense. They didn’t have to expose themselves to the things that were going on in the world. But now, we live in the information age. Television, radio, print news, cell phones, and the Internet are continuously parading the problems and philosophies of the world in front of us. We are being bombarded with the negative philosophy and thoughts of this world more than any generation of Christians that has ever lived, so it is especially important for us to be on our guard.

During the war in Vietnam, I was stationed on a small fire-support base that was 41 miles from the nearest U.S. military installation. A fire support base is an isolated base that provides artillery support to soldiers patrolling beyond the range of their base camps. Somebody said that war consists of long periods of boredom sprinkled with a few moments of sheer terror—and that pretty much sums up the experience I had. Nothing would happen for a long time, and then suddenly we would come under attack.

I spent my 21st birthday in Vietnam, and it was one of the days we came under attack. We took multiple direct hits on the bunker I was in and I could see the muzzle fire from our enemies’ weapons. On nights like that I can guarantee you nobody was sleeping on guard duty. They took things seriously because they knew that the enemy was out there trying to kill us.

Christians need to get the same sense of vigilance; we need to recognize that we are under attack. Satan is coming against us and we need to “beware lest any man spoil” us. Spoil means to carry off the plunder of war, or to carry a person off as a captive and slave.[1] In a battle, the victor strips the one he has vanquished of everything valuable, so Paul is using military terms to say, “Beware lest Satan take from you some of the things that God has given you!” God has already given us everything that pertains to life and godliness through knowing and having intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:3-4), but we won’t experience those benefits if we allow the world to seduce us into viewing life from an ungodly, unbiblical perspective.

God says that you’ve already been healed. He has already blessed you. You already have wisdom in abundance. You already have faith. You already have forgiveness. Yet many people aren’t experiencing the blessings of God because they believe the lies society is being bombarded with, and it is robbing them of victory. They aren’t experiencing joy, peace, and prosperity. Christians are missing out on what Jesus has purchased for them because they haven’t recognized that we are in a battle. Satan has come into many people’s lives and led them away captive, exactly as Paul warned he would “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

The devil doesn’t overpower Christians—because he can’t. With Adam and Eve, he didn’t use the strongest animal in the Garden to force Adam and Eve to submit to him and eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He didn’t use a lion to overcome them and force them to obey. No, what he did was come against them with words, with thoughts, and he corrupted their way of thinking. That’s how original sin entered into this earth. That is exactly the point Paul was making to the Colossians. He was telling them to look out lest somebody rob them of what Jesus has provided by seducing them with words and thoughts that corrupt their way of thinking. Not just individual thoughts, but by changing your entire outlook on life, your worldview.

Satan comes against us through philosophy and vain deceit, which means he uses lies and deception. Sin wouldn’t have entered the world if Adam and Eve had recognized Satan was using the serpent to deceive them.

Paul goes on to say that we can be spoiled by “the traditions of men.” Traditions are tied in with our philosophy; they are ways of thinking and behavior that are handed down from generation to generation. It is the handing down of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites, and customs from one generation to another.[2] Obviously, secular traditions present an ungodly perspective, and are therefore an obvious threat to seduce Christians, but religious traditions can also keep us from experiencing God’s best. Not every religious opinion, doctrine, and custom that works its way into the church comes from God—some of them come from people who are mistaken, or worse, self-seeking and deceitful.

During one debate with the Pharisees, Jesus told them they were, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye” (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day. They were trying to serve God and by all outward appearances they were, yet they made their traditions—all of the customs and opinions they had added to the Word of God—equal to God’s Word. Jesus said that by elevating their traditions above the Word of God, they neutralized the positive power of His Word.

The world, and even the church, is full of philosophies, vain deceit, and traditions of men that will carry you away captive if you aren’t careful. They will rob you of the blessings that Jesus purchased with His atonement. One of my goals is to expose those philosophies for what they are: deception from the enemy. Religious and secular traditions have corrupted our way of thinking, and everything in the Christian life revolves around the way you think. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us,

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

This verse stresses the important of what you think at the heart level—not at surface level. Surface level knowledge is like the information you acquire when you go to school and learn stuff just to pass a test, but it never impacts you in a significant way. You might not even really believe what you learned. Back in school, we stored that information in our short-term memory so that we could pass a test, but there’s no way we could still pass those tests today. It was information we never meditated on or used, and it didn’t go down to the heart level.

Heart-level knowledge is different. Scripture says that as you think in your heart, that’s the way you are. In other words, your life is going in the direction of your dominant thoughts, or your dominant philosophy. This is not referring to individual thoughts, but rather the pattern or model you have combined your opinions and life experiences into, which then shapes how you view the world. This is how your philosophy ends up determining your response to life and how you will act.

I knew a woman who came out of an abusive marriage and the experience left her with a chip on her shoulder. She had unresolved hurts and pains that shaped her way of thinking. Her basic philosophy was that all men were out to get her. No doubt, at one time that attitude helped her avoid abuse from her ex-husband, but her outlook continued to influence her even after she got out of the abusive relationship. She didn’t trust men, and she was always expecting men to do bad things, so she was sensitive to the slightest provocations. Her philosophy prevented her from having any sort of meaningful relationship with other men, which meant she couldn’t keep a job. She had a wrong way of thinking that was robbing her of joy and peace in life. People might not use the term "philosophy" to describe her outlook, but that’s exactly what it was.

“Beware!” Paul says, because if you let circumstances in this life affect you and create a perspective in you that is different from God’s outlook, then your wrong perspective is going to rob you of happiness and success. Once you establish a philosophy that causes you to prejudge situations, the same circumstances that caused you to come up with the philosophy in the first place are going to follow you wherever you go. You will filter everything that happens in your life through your philosophy, and it will make you prejudiced to see, hear, and find what you are looking for. You’ll form opinions, make decisions, and base your actions on the things that are happening around you, but if your philosophy is incorrect, then your conclusions are going to be wrong. This is exactly what we see happening with so many people today.

A lot of people wish they could be different. They wish they could maintain healthy relationships with other people, for instance, but they just can’t seem to get along with others. It doesn’t matter how well a relationship starts off, something inside tells them it’s going to fall apart. Relationships have always fallen apart for them, so they have come to expect it. In order to get different results, they need to change the way they think. As long as you maintain a way of thinking in your heart, then your philosophy will dictate the results you see. This is exactly what Scripture means when it says: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Your life is going in the direction of your dominant thoughts. If you can’t maintain relationships, then I guarantee you have a wrong philosophy that is causing those results. If you can’t succeed in business, even when you have ability and you know you should be doing better, it’s because you have a wrong philosophy that is defeating you. Philosophies become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you want to change the results in your life, you have to start by changing the way you think. Philosophy is relevant to our daily lives, and establishing a Christian philosophy, or a godly way of thinking, will have tremendous benefit to you. It could literally revolutionize your life.

Many people know separate truths from God’s Word, but they don’t combine the truths into a way of thinking that impacts their overall outlook on life; that’s why I joke that most people don’t let the Bible get in the way of what they believe. They are just tagging on truth after truth to some sort of hodgepodge system of thought, but there is no organization, no intentional effort to create a godly worldview. In other words, many believers do not have a solid Christian philosophy—they have a jumble of unorganized thoughts.

Simply tacking on more and more separate truths to a wrong philosophy isn’t going to create a godly worldview. This is why some people can go to church for decades and memorize half of the Bible but never see any real fruit in their lives. You have to allow God’s Word to get down to the foundation of your philosophy, and to do that you must make a deliberate effort to change the way you think. You have to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2).

A while back, we had a woman at Charis Bible College who was in her late sixties and had been raised by parents who struggled through the Great Depression. After living through the Depression, her parents carried the fear that there might be another total economic collapse, and they instilled the same philosophy in their daughter. When the woman came to our Bible college she had a lot of money, but she still had a poverty mentality. She would squeeze every nickel and get every last drop of product out of every jar in the house. It’s good to be economical, but you can also get out of balance by being too frugal. A poverty mentality like that comes from fear, and it will rob you of peace in your life.

The woman came to me one day and said, “I’ve heard all of your teachings on prosperity, and intellectually I understand what you’re saying. I see that I should be more generous and I shouldn’t be afraid, but this is the way I was raised.” What she was saying was that she knew her philosophy was wrong, but she felt like she couldn’t change the way she looked at life.

Changing the way you think is hard, and it isn’t necessarily going to change simply because you are presented with the Truth. Individual truths are not going to change your philosophy unless you make the effort to embrace those truths. The Word says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), but it’s only the truth you know that sets you free. To be set free you have to have more than a mere mental awareness of truth, you need a heart-level understanding.

Recently, I was talking to some friends who told me they know people who have studied every one of my teachings, and they study the Word, but they still aren’t operating in faith. They can quote all of the things I say about trusting God, but they don’t trust God. The truths they have learned haven’t changed their philosophy, and I think that’s tragic. You have to get beyond merely possessing individual pieces of information. You need more than facts to be set free. You have to combine those facts, connect the dots, and pull them all together so that they change the way you look at life.

We have a tendency to think that our problems are our problem, but they aren’t. Often, our problems are just symptoms of deeper heart issues. We’re looking for physical or natural reasons to explain why our life is the way it is, but the condition of our lives is a result of the way we think—not what is going on around us. Outside forces have an impact on us for sure, but they aren’t the determining factor in our reality. The apostle Paul said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). The way we respond to what happens to us determines the condition of our lives, and the way we respond is a direct result of our philosophy.

I have seen this very clearly in some of the third world countries in which I’ve ministered. The poverty is so severe, you want to just throw money at the problem. But others have done that and the people are still struggling. I’ve come to realize they struggle because of their philosophy. You can’t just give people a fish, you need to teach them to fish. If you just give money to people who have a poverty attitude, they will quickly be poor again. They need a new way of thinking; a new philosophy.

The most important thing you will ever do is to renew your mind and form a Christian philosophy, or a Christian worldview. Once you have a Christian way of looking at things, then your philosophy becomes a filter through which you see and experience life. Everything gets filtered through what God has said and you see the positive instead of the negative. You’ll be encouraged when other people are panicking. You’ll operate in faith when other people are running scared.

Whether you realize it or not, you have a philosophy, or a way of looking at life. It’s an attitude that has been formed by the way you were brought up, by the experiences you’ve had, and by the things you’ve learned. Through all of those things, you have formed a way of seeing life that largely predetermines your responses, and even your experience of life.

Right now, we’re in an economic downturn. Other people, with a less optimistic philosophy, are calling it a worldwide financial crisis. News broadcasts are busy prophesying doom, gloom, and disaster. I don’t deny the economic challenges out there, but I’m not a pessimist either. I’m not fearful and preparing for the worst-case scenario. Scripture says that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). If you are secure in the Lord and you know God is your source—not this world system—then you can go ahead and prosper while the whole world is falling apart. It doesn’t matter what condition the world economy is in, because the world economy isn’t our source. God is our source.

My personal finances are prospering and so is our ministry. While the stock market has been in decline, my portfolio has been increasing. While many organizations are making cutbacks, our ministry is seeing the greatest growth and income we’ve ever seen. We’re reaching more people with the Gospel than ever before, and things are working for us. Our experiences are completely contrary to what the world is saying should be happening.

The reason we are prospering is because I have a philosophy that is based on years and years of walking with God and seeing God bring me through. My faith and hope are in the Lord—not in the world economy. My Christian philosophy causes me to filter information differently than the world does.

The dominant worldview in modern society is humanistic, which tries to explain life and truth purely from the perspective of what matters to humans. Humanism rejects God totally, but aspects of humanistic philosophy have worked their way into many Christians’ belief systems. Instead of filtering life from God’s perspective, many Christians are filtering life through mental reasoning. Instead of trusting in God, society is conditioning believers to lean unto their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Instead of walking by faith, Christians are being encouraged to walk by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). This is exactly what the apostle Paul warned us against. It is a direct attack from the devil to rob believers of God’s promises for us “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Too many Christians are looking at life from a humanistic standpoint. They aren’t factoring in God as their source, and they feel like they are limited to how the world’s system is going. When people have a philosophy that doesn’t factor in God, they fall into panic when the stock market crashes, jobs are being lost, and the media is crying about a financial crisis. We’ve all heard stories about millionaires who committed suicide because they lost money and thought their lives were over. Those kinds of people have their whole identity wrapped up in possessions. People who have a philosophy that God is their source won’t fall to pieces in a crisis because their joy and satisfaction are found in God and in relationship with Him.

Putting your hope or trust in the principles and elements of this world is a wrong philosophy. It’s a wrong outlook, and the long-term effect is the deterioration of society. A large segment of society doesn’t believe in God, and even if they believe in a god, they don’t believe in heaven or hell. We’ve taken prayer out of schools and instead teach children to trust in the principles of this world. It’s no wonder our society is heading downhill fast.

Several years ago, two boys went into a high school in a Denver, Colorado, suburb and killed 13 people, and then they killed themselves before they could be captured. They thought they were avoiding prosecution, but, boy, did they miss it. They didn’t believe in God, and they had a wrong philosophy that led them to believe the end of this life was the end of all existence; so they committed suicide to avoid punishment for their crimes. But they didn’t escape anything. What they did was eliminate any opportunity for forgiveness and usher themselves straight into an eternity of torment and separation from God.

It’s a lot harder to get guns today than it was fifty years ago, but we never had shooting incidents in schools back then. Now, we have policemen and metal detectors in schools, but we’re seeing terrible violence. It has nothing to do with gun restrictions. It has to do with the removal of moral restrictions as a result of the ungodly worldviews being promoted in society today. It’s a philosophy issue.

Everywhere you look there is a new group trying to pass more laws in an attempt to control the way people behave. Some are even trying to pass laws about fatty foods and what is, or isn’t, acceptable to eat. For the most part, those people don’t have a godly worldview, and they think the answer to society’s problems is to create more legal restrictions and punishments. In the absence of Christian philosophy they are trying to come up with controls to limit immorality, but that is the wrong approach. Society doesn’t need more laws, the people in society need to embrace morality—specifically, a biblically based way of thinking.

Satan is destroying individuals and societies by leading people captive through ungodly philosophies and traditions. You’d think all Christians would understand the need to have an outlook that conforms to the Word of God, but I’m amazed how many believers don’t seem to get this. Everyone wants to be politically correct. People don’t want to tell anybody else that they are wrong, or that it is immoral to act in certain ways. The irony is that in a society where everyone is free to act however they want, the government is forced to intrude more and more into civil liberties in order to restrict unwanted behaviors. People without moral restraint have to be controlled by other means.

Unfortunately, you can see this process taking place in the United States and other Western countries. Some people seem to think that being free means being liberal in the way you think, but that’s not true. We have to control the way we think. The way people act is a result of how they think, and a thought process that says everything is permissible promotes immoral behavior, which then leads to the deterioration of society.

When the apostle Paul warned against being spoiled through philosophy, vain deceit, the traditions of men, and the rudiments of this world, he was saying, “Don’t think like a lost person. Don’t think the way the world thinks.” We need a biblical philosophy.

The world is filled with people who have no relationship with God, and therefore they have a very ungodly philosophy. People who think according to the principles of this world say God doesn’t exist, and they believe humans evolved by accident over billions of years. They don’t acknowledge God, and they don’t understand that we were created and designed by Him. To think this way is to think like a lost person.

The world’s way of thinking is not a comprehensive and rational philosophy. For instance, how does a society that goes to great lengths to promote the environment and protect even the most obscure animal species arrive at the conclusion that it’s okay to abort babies? The world’s way of thinking is a wrong philosophy, and it leads to wrong results. Some of the same people who yell about recycling think that having a baby is a choice, and if having a baby is inconvenient, they think it’s okay to kill the baby. Society needs to get its priorities straight. God gave us life. We are not just like the rest of creation, and we are not equal to animals.

I’ll be dealing with specific philosophies later on, but right now I just want to show how behavior comes from philosophy, and why having a Christian philosophy is important for believers. We can’t afford to think like the world thinks. We need to have a philosophy that focuses on God more than all of these secular ideas that are being promoted. The worldly attitudes being pushed on us go against a Christian way of thinking.

Many believers today are establishing a philosophy independently of God and separate from what the Word of God teaches. I read about the results of a survey that questioned people about how they established their theology. The survey was only given to people who identified themselves as born-again Christians, and they were asked how they formed their opinions. The majority of people said they just come up with their own philosophy based on life experiences and their own way of thinking. One question asked if they adhere to the Word of God as being absolute, and only a small percentage answered yes. Remember, these were people who identified themselves as born-again Christians.

Instead of getting their philosophy from the Word of God, they were basing it on how they were raised, what they had been taught in school, books they had read, and the study of principles from other world religions. They had established their philosophy piecemeal. People are taking a buffet-style approach to the assembly of ideas, and that’s not a good idea. If you do that, Satan is going to spoil you. He’s going to take from you what Jesus has already purchased, and what belongs to you by right of inheritance.

A Christian philosophy must be rooted in the Word of God. You can’t form a proper Christian worldview without renewing your mind in the Word of God. When Jesus was praying to the Father, He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). I just can’t overemphasize how important it is for us to conform our minds to the Word of God, and not to the philosophies and principles of this world.

Unfortunately, a lot of Christians aren’t looking to the Word for their philosophy. They have bought into Satan’s deception that the Word of God contains bits and pieces of truth, but it isn’t completely accurate. They think it’s outdated because it was written 2,000 years ago, and that it can’t possibly have wisdom for modern society. In fact, some don’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, or that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation—they say He is one of many ways. That’s a wrong philosophy, and Satan will use that perspective to come into your life and steal from you.

Psalm 91 says, “…His truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (vs. 4). The Word of God and the promises it contains are our armor and protection against the attacks of the enemy. The Word is 100% accurate, it’s totally relevant, and it is the only thing Christians should be basing their lives upon. The way you change your core values and obtain a Christian philosophy is by conforming your worldview to the Word of God, instead of just leaning on your own understanding.

If you want to see the results the Word of God promises, then you have to adopt God’s way of thinking. I have conformed my philosophy to the Word, and it’s working. My health is great, I’m seeing the miraculous power of God, my stock investments have gained 61% in value while the world has been crying about a financial crisis, I’m happy, I’m joyful, my relationships are good, life is good, and God is blessing me in every area of my life. I’m not bragging, I’m just trying to give an example that conforming your way of thinking to the Word of God works. I’m not special—you can have the same results because God doesn’t play favorites. All I’ve done is put God first and recognize that I’m not smart enough to direct my own life. I just do what God tells me to do, instead of doing what makes sense to me, or what I feel like doing.

Being a Christian isn’t about changing your outward appearance. It isn’t about what you do and how you act. If you don’t change the wrong concepts and the belief system on the inside, then you’re going to have the same results in your life you had before you were saved. That’s why God gave us His Word—to change the way we think. The Word of God contains His thoughts, His values, and His way of thinking. It’s our ticket to a new life.

I don’t care what society says is right or wrong, I follow what God says. Society may say homosexuality is just another lifestyle, or that homosexual union is just as important as a marriage between a man and a woman, but God’s Word says differently. If you subscribe to the world’s view instead of God’s, then the devil is going to steal from you. The world is trying to say that there are many paths to God, and we need to embrace other philosophies. God’s Word says we should be on our guard against any philosophy that isn’t modeled after Jesus Christ. The world is trying to say the Bible represents an outdated standard of morality; they want to pretend that we’ve “evolved” beyond the Bible, and now we should just embrace life.

The world’s philosophies are simply an attempt by the devil to undermine the Word of God—that same thing Satan did to Adam and Eve. The enemy wants to strip you of the armor and protection of God’s Word so that he can plunder your life, and steal what Jesus has already won for you. Jesus said,

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:18-19

The fruit of a tree is directly related to the tree itself. In the same way, you aren’t going to get the fruit of God’s manifold blessings if your core belief system is conformed to the world’s way of thinking. You need a Christian philosophy. If you aren’t seeing the fruit in your life that you would like to see, then all you have to do is change the way you think in your heart and adopt God’s way of looking at life. Once you do that, the fruit will come.

Conforming your way of thinking to God’s Word will bring a harvest of blessings in your life, but they don’t all come overnight. The natural law of sowing and reaping means that it takes time for a seed to grow into a fruit-bearing plant, and there is a similar spiritual law of sowing and reaping. God provides miracles when there isn’t time to wait for a harvest, like healing sickness, but God’s best is for you to walk in His blessings daily. For instance, it is better to walk in health and never need healing than it is to get sick and need a miracle. Likewise, it is better to have money in the bank to meet all of your needs than it is to need a miracle to pay your rent every month. Even after you renew your mind, it may take time to get to where you don’t need a miracle every month, but don’t get discouraged. Scripture says,

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Galatians 6:9

This means we have to stay focused on God and meditate on His Word to maintain our Christian perspective and reap the fruit God desires for us. If you are willing to do that, and you change the way you think at the heart level, then you will see God’s blessings in your life—guaranteed.

I challenge you to prayerfully consider the Christian philosophies I present in the rest of this book and embrace them. It will change the way you think, which will change the rest of your life.

Footnotes:
1Thayer and Smith, "Greek Lexicon entry for Sulagogeo," The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/sulagogeo.html (accessed August 2, 2012).

2William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin E. Smith, "Dictionary entry for tradition," The Century Dictionary, (New York: The Century Company, 1910).



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