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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mental Barriers to God's Voice: Part I

Mental Barriers to God's Voice, Part 1
by Charles R. Swindoll
2Corinthians 10:1--7


When the worldtries to squeeze us into its mold, God's message gets muffled. Our minds pickup on the strong secular signals so easily that we subconsciously tune Him out.It comes naturally.
In ancient days, acity, in order to prosper, needed a security system to protect it from enemyattack. Of primary importance was a wall which restrained enemy troops frominvading and which also served as a major means of defense in battle. Guardsneeded to be on constant watch from their sentinel posts on the wall. Thereneeded to be towers within the city high enough for those inside to see overthe wall. And finally, at the time of attack, men of military savvy and battleknowledge were needed to give orders and to direct the troops in the heat of combatfrom within the protection of those towers.
Paul drew a seriesof analogies from that familiar scene of his day . . . but remember, he's notdealing with a city but rather with our minds. The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:1--7 sets forth avivid description of the mental barriers that block out God's directives andHis counsel. Look closely. Paul uses four terms that we need to understand. Ifyou have a pencil handy, circle each in your Bible: fortresses . . .speculations . . . lofty thing . . . thought.
As the Spirit ofGod attempts to communicate His truth to us (biblical information onservanthood, for example), He runs up against our "wall," our overall mentalattitude, our natural mind-set. For some, it's prejudice. With others, it'slimited thinking or a negative mentality. Whatever it is, it's a huge mentalbarrier that resists divine input just as firmly as a massive stone wall onceresisted invading troops.
We all have our fortresses. And occasionally we get downrightobnoxious as we operate under the control of our "walled fortress." Need a goodexample?
A vagrant waslooking for a handout in a picturesque old English village. Hungry almost tothe point of fainting, he stopped by a pub bearing the classic name, Inn ofSt. George and the Dragon.
"Please, ma'am,could you spare me a bite to eat?" he asked the lady who answered his knock atthe kitchen door.
"A bite to eat?"she growled. "For a sorry, no-good bum---a foul-smelling beggar? No!" she snappedas she almost slammed the door on his hand.
Halfway down thelane the tramp stopped, turned around, and eyed the words, St. George andthe Dragon. He went back and knocked again on the kitchen door.
"Now what do youwant?" the woman gruffed.
"Well, ma'am, ifSt. George is in, may I speak with him this time?"
Ouch.