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But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22

About this time of year, I seek for, and the Lord begins to download, prophetic words for the new year. Without hesitation, I tell you that one of the main words for me is “Upgrade”. This, of course, is excellent, timely news, and I relish it. It’s started me thinking about all the areas of my life I’d love to see some increase. Like most of us, I feel there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The world has very clear ways of measuring advancement, especially on the monetary scale. Ambition and achievement are usually rewarded by wealth and conspicuous accumulation, but in the kingdom of God, this is often not the case. Our upgrades are rarely so clearly demarcated. Of course, believers are always praying blessing, progress, success, fruitfulness or promotion on every front. We are told to ask for it: it is promised. But mostly, no neon lights blaze the arrival of something long-desired. Actually, we can receive major upgrades from the Lord, and not even recognize them. Sometimes, they come in so unusual a package, we won’t even receive them.

The truth is, more often than not, we mess up our own promotions. We soil destined perfection with our grubby little hands and small-minded thinking. We’re simply not positioned properly for the things the Lord wants to give us.

Lately, I’ve been convicted about the crap I watch on TV. Why keep watching? It’s amazing how badly content has degenerated in an extremely short amount of time. Don’t even get me started on streaming platforms, where dropping the f-bomb and talk of ‘thruples’ is now considered part of normal speak. Unrestrained cruelty and barbaric behavior abounds. Try to limit yourself to news or sports, and even the commercials are X-rated. We’re getting the full, unremitting blast of sexual perversion, gender confusion, overt greed and rank wickedness in every imaginable form. The entertainment industry, combined with the miry clay of the Internet, have become the sharpest weapons in Satan’s contemporary arsenal for destroying people’s lives. With unabashed wantonness, this is the pit. Nothing retards the life of Christ in disciples more comprehensively than these sophisticated villains.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Hold this standard up to the fashionable top-twenty shows, and three-quarters of viewing is unacceptable. Let’s not fool ourselves. Most of current pop culture is utterly, spiritually taboo by godly standards. Our minds and hearts are being blackened, our consciences seared. We feel depressed, disillusioned, defiled and utterly exhausted, and it’s a direct result of the pig slog and dog’s vomit we consume through the media. And we don’t seem to be that worried about it.

Maybe, it’s impossible to receive the upgrades in tangible blessings because we are poorly positioned morally. We don’t value holiness, we don’t pay the price of consecration. We don’t make choices that place us under the rain of blessing. Is righteousness really getting our most self-sacrificing dedication?

We’ve already been given tremendous upgrades! Are these manifesting in our lives? How many miracles have you done today? Who is utilizing the range of authority Jesus bestowed on us through His blood? It seems we are less like Joseph, living righteously even in the worst of unjust conditions, and more like modern-day Lot, dwelling in Sodom and not really grieved about it. We couldn’t handle a revival if it walked up and bit us. I’m not even sure we actually want one. No one seems willing to pay the price.

If we need an upgrade of anything, it’s the fire of conviction regarding sin, our indulgence and compromise. It’s a fierce hatred of evil and what steals the souls of men. Give us a massive upload desire for what is holy. A hunger for your presence, Lord. An overwhelming impetus to win souls and see nations truly liberated.

Of course, we all long for the day we see a miraculous turnover in something long travailed for, but don't underestimate the refreshing that comes by honoring the simple commands of holiness the Lord has given us. Let's not lose our way in the confusion and contempt of this generation. We are marked for glory, and we need to live up to it.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

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