An ANTHEM For Us to Proclaim

Brothers, we need accountability.

I know it, and even though guys don’t want to talk about it, I know that they understand there is a great need for it. We need accountability. There is too many things out there in the world trying to win over our affections, and if we are not careful, we will get hooked.

It is a daily battle for me. I need accountability. I need guidance, and I need to pursue Jesus above anything and everything else. So that’s why this post is so important. For many guys, it may be a first step needed. Our gaze needs to be fixed on Jesus not our situations or our circumstances.

1 Peter 5:8  says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”  We need to be vigilant, keeping a careful watch for possible dangers or difficulties.  The enemy loves to ensnare us, and if we aren’t ready for the traps that he sets, we will find ourselves caught before we even realize what is happening.

I am not a big fan of acronyms, but this is one that I have held onto in the midst of battle.  It is a tool that God has used to keep my focus on Him.  I had first heard of this acronym in a book by John Piper, and have since seen it in a few other places as well.

A.N.T.H.E.M

My prayer is that is will be a shield for you from the fiery darts of the enemy.

A void.

N o! Say it in 5 seconds.

T urn and trust in Him.

H old the pure things to mind (Phil. 4:8)

E njoy the promises of God instead.

M ove onto Christ-exalting activities.

caution-avoidAvoid.  Of course this is the first thing we should strive for.  If we are given the opportunity we need to avoid temptation at all cost.  That means being intentional about the choices we make, the movies we watch, and the music we listen to.  Whatever it may be, if it is something that you know may cause you to stumble, you need to avoid it at all cost.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen.  Most of the times, I don’t have to look far for temptation, it usually comes to me, which is where the second thing comes into play.

No! Say it within five seconds.  Sometimes we can’t avoid temptations, but we do have a choice what we do with it.  The first thing we need to do is simply say no, and do it quickly.  If you give a temptation longer than 5 seconds, you’ll likely give into it.  The longer you think about it, the weaker it will make you, and before long you’ll find yourself giving in.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Sometimes the way of escape is your own two feet. 

Turn Away, or Trust in Jesus.  Either one of these works well for the T.  I recommend Trust in Jesus, because there are a thousand “good things” you can turn away to, but if they don’t point you to trusting in Jesus, are they really worth investing in?

Hold the pure things in mind.  This is what I’d like to call the Philippians 4:8 section.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

This has been a verse that we filter our lives through in my household.  If it doesn’t fall into the things described in that passage, we try to steer clear of it.

Enjoy the promises of God. The world would like to offer you a thousand different enjoyments every single day of your lives that will try to replace the ultimate joy of God’s promises for your life.  I call it counterfeit joy, because none of those things will give you the lasting joy that Jesus can.  God’s Word is filled with promises that far exceed anything the world can offer us, yet sadly we fall for the allurements the world has, time and time again.

Move onto Christ-exalting things. Lingering in the wrong things can be dangerous.  Don’t linger around or in temptation, move onto things that will exalt the name of Jesus in your life.  If you’re going to linger, linger in prayer.  Linger in His Word.

A.N.T.H.E.M. is only a tool that can help point you to Him.  Whenever we face temptation, we need to be pointed to Him instead.  Jesus is what we need. We don’t need anymore empty promises of “try harder next time” we need Jesus. That’s the goal and my prayer for you and what I hope A.N.T.H.E.M. will do in your heart as you focus on the only One who can deliver us from the daily temptations of life.

The goal is more than just accountability, it’s about finding Jesus. It’s about brothers helping brothers find their ultimate satisfaction in Jesus Christ and Him alone.  The ANTHEM of our hearts should be the power of the Gospel to say no to sin because we have found the ultimate joy in Jesus.

Armor Up, Stand firm, Pray.

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