Here the apostle sets before us what should be the resolve of every Christian through grace – to guard the mind. There is in this evil day a constant, concerted attack upon the minds of God’s people.
We are daily exposed to a brainwashing process. Radio, television, videos, the press, and various publications are all instruments hijacked by our subtle enemy to reach our minds. The media constantly presents sin as acceptable in modern society. Drinking, adultery, and unfaithfulness are presented as socially acceptable and the common norm.
The unsavoury filth of the world should never be allowed to seep into or sully the mind of the Christian. He must “gird up the loins” of the mind, as the pilgrim on a journey girded up his robes with a girdle so that he might walk unhindered. So let us keep our garments unspotted from the world, and gird our minds lest they get caught up, and entangled in the philosophy and thinking of the worldling.
Paul speaks of “loins girt about with truth” [Ephesians 6:14]. Here is the mind girt and encircled with the word of truth and hedged about with the power of truth. Feed your mind and soul on the manna of Christ in His word. Keep your mind’s eye on Christ, and it will not be able to fix itself on the world. Remember, loose thinking must inevitably lead to loose living. [Rev. Jim Beggs].
MORE ON THE HUMMINGBIRD
Last week we carried a brief article on “God’s little flying gem” – the hummingbird. Sightings of them are fairly rare. Well, on Tuesday we were sitting in the back garden when we saw a hummingbird in a bed of red flowers. She spent a good time enjoying the nectar, and we enjoyed watching her.
They are masterpieces of God’s creative ability, weighing a mere half an ounce, and yet doing feats of flying that no airplane could do. If a plane tried to beat its wings at 90 times a second they would break off. The stresses generated would be too high to sustain flight. How amazing is it that the little bird migrates to Central America, including a five hundred mile non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. How great is our God!
THE OFFERING OF STRANGE FIRE
The early chapters of Leviticus bring us face to face with the five offerings, followed by the consecration and service of the priests. The children of Israel are reconciled to God, happily worshipping. All was done God’s way, and His blessing was on the people.
But now comes a dreadful event. Just as night follows day and war follows peace, disaster strikes Israel. Two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, offer strange fire in the tabernacle [Leviticus 10:1]. Fire from God bursts forth and consumes them. Aaron is plunged into the deepest sorrow.
Their sin was one single act, but it resulted from a complex build-up. The command of God immediately following, “Do not drink wine or strong drink” [v9] suggests that their error had its genesis in drink. The consumption of alcohol has left mankind with a history of tears, ruin, and blood. Individuals and empires have been destroyed by it.
Nadab and Abihu then substituted human “will worship” for God’s commands. Depraved human nature always wants to add to, or subtract from, God’s word and His way. They paid for their sin by the swift judgment of God. “Be sure your sin will find you out” [Num. 32:23].
Fire in the Bible is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. God also makes His ministers “a flaming fire” [Psalm 104:4], and incense in the Bible is a picture of prayer. Sadly, there is much strange fire being offered today. There are strange spirits, leading to strange preaching and strange praying. Christians must be careful not to ascribe to the Holy Spirit that which is actually the work of a strange spirit.
Had Nadab and Abihu obeyed the Word of God, they would have lived, Israel would have been delivered from disaster, and Aaron would have been spared his grief. How important it is for us all to read, study, and obey God’s word. Obedience prevents much heartache. Disobedience brings disaster.
THE ENEMY IS CAST OUT
As a tempter, the evil spirit still assails us, and insinuates himself into our minds; but thence also he is cast out as to his former pre-eminence. He wriggles about like a serpent, but he cannot rule like a sovereign. He hurls in blasphemous thoughts when he has opportunity; but what a relief it is when he is told to be quiet, and is made to slink off like a whipped cur! [C.H. Spurgeon].