What Entertains You is Training You
"What entertains you is the same thing that trains you", the Holy Spirit whispered that to me one day as I was browsing through Netflix, looking for something to watch.
Did you know that everything you choose to watch, read, and listen to has a spiritual affect on you.? You may think, No, it's just entertainment, It's no big deal, It's just a show/song/book, but that couldn't be further from the truth. As a believer you have to be mindful of the media you intake because it is planting a seed in your heart and mind. Those seeds, when you water and feed them, grow to shape your beliefs and desires. However, if you starve them they will become unfruitful and eventually die.
We have all struggles, sin, and insecurities we deal with on the daily basis. I want you to think about a sin you struggle to overcome or a major insecurity you have. Now I want you to think about a song or TV show you watch that glorifies or encourages that behavior. Maybe, one reason you're still struggling with THAT thing is because the seeds from that "entertainment" have taken root of your desires. We can't continually indulge in media that promotes lust, hate, lying, coveting and all others types of sin and think it won't have an effect on us.
I remember coming home from work one day and asking God what we should watch on TV. I said, "God, what should we watch? A movie maybe? Can you teach me something from it? I felt the Holy Spirit respond,"I can't speak to you through something that glorifies what I'm against." I was kind of shocked. I was asking God to speak to me through media and He challenged me on what media I was consuming.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8: 5-8
As Christians our desire should be to live a life pleasing to God, but it is difficult because our flesh and our spirit (that is the Holy Spirit within us) are at war. Which will win depends on which one you feed and which one you starve. What you feed grows and what you starve dies. Do the things you watch and listen to feed your faith and spirit, or so they indulge your flesh?
If you're having a hard time giving up certain shows, movies, or social media accounts that you KNOW aren't pleasing to God then that's probably a sign you should give them up. God showed my that anything I can't (or rather don't want to) give up is in idol, and something I'm honoring above Him.
Truth is we can't love the things of God and love the things of this world. We cannot be passionate about the things of God and desensitized to all of the sin that is glorified around us. We are at war, and the enemy is using every medium he can to distract, tempt, and disarm us. We cannot take sin lightly, not in any form. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, entrusted with a mission to be light in this dark world and reconcile people back to their Heavenly Father.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Friend, the battle is spiritual. Satan is the god of this world and the things of this world are filled with His lies. They plant doubt, insecurity, and thoughts that oppose the truth of God. Don't let this world's idea of entertainment train your thinking. In Jesus we have power and victory to overcome all sin, but we have to position ourselves to receive it. We can't starve our spirit. We must nurture the seeds that increase our desire for God instead of those that desire to gratify our flesh.
How do we do that? By renewing our minds.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.- Romans 12:1-2
You become what you behold. Behold is defined: to observe; look at; see. If you want to truly experience the freedom and abundant life Jesus talks about in John 10:10, then you must observe Him and His teaching more than you observe anything else. He is the Living Word of God - study Him and seek Him. As you do, the Holy Spirit will teach you, lead you, and change your desires to be more Him, free from the bondage of sin and walking in the freedom only Jesus Christ can give.