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“For [you seem readily to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed; you tolerate [all that] well enough!” Amp 2Cor 11:4

“Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;” Amp Eph 4:22

“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God’s consecrated ones).” Amp Col 1:4

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.” Amp Lk 10: 20

 

We can never lose sight of the fact that on our best day we can quickly become a great liability if we wrest free from the moorings of Christ and the likeness of His Name, His Spirit, and especially His Word – His Gospel.

We are still living in a flesh container even while housing the Name and the Presence of God through the Spirit. But we must remain vigilant. 

Humility is how we do that.  Like the disciples when they saw the power of God working in them – were cautioned to rejoice because their names were written in heaven.  That is a practice of humility needed as we increase in the operation of the power of God and in the Spirit.

Think of the Apostle Paul – he was given a thorn in his flesh as he says: “…to keep me from being puffed up and too elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations there was given me a thorn ( a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.” Amp 2Cor 12:7

Though this thorn was described as a messenger of Satan, the fact was – it was providing an important function: it was deflating the natural tendency of the flesh to puff up and move Paul into error and pride (the opposite of humility).

Our flesh (soul and physical body) – all that we essentially had prior to salvation, must be continually yielded up to Christ as a living sacrifice. We daily reckon ourselves as dead to sin – but you see all our flesh has not engaged in sin. It is that part then which happily likes to the lead in walking out our Christian life. But it cannot!

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Natural passions, and proclivities. We are cracked pots at best that the Lord chooses to work through for His glory! 

However, I am called to not only continually reckon myself as dead to sin, but also by my faith in Jesus, lean my entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness – and to stay in His love. This leaning is me laying my natural life continually on the mercy seat as a living sacrifice. We are never to depart from that posture.

This becomes an anchor for my soul which otherwise has great potential to want to add, assist, help, interpret, and participate with the Lord’s work – but is always wanting to run ahead of God, to anticipate rather than obey, champion rather than submit.

This is why Moses had to be trained in the wilderness so long before being of use to God. I am the same way! But the blessing for us is that we now have the indwelling Spirit that provides another anchor of safety, another protection against spiritual drift.

So we see that we have an anchor for our soul (leaning it constantly on Christ). We also have an anchor in the Holy Spirit – Who constantly applies the work of the Atonement of the Cross to my life – bringing me to all Truth as He continues to reveal, disclose, and transmit to me the very life of Jesus Christ.

There is also the foundational anchor to which the other two are vitally linked and which forms the critical anchor of agreement – that is the Word of God: or more specifically here, the Gospel. These three in operation: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Gospel are critical in keeping me from drifting into error or excess (which would all come from the liability of my flesh with assistance from enemy agents stirring up my flesh). James relates this liability as he comments: “But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).” Amp Jam 1:14

An important underscoring is needed here about the Gospel. It is written. It can be studied, reviewed, meditated on, and it can dwell in us richly with exactness that we ourselves employ to enforce truth. The Gospel and the word carry definitiveness that can renew our mind and protect us from drift. Like a runway provides safe landing and lights for an approaching aircraft, the word lights up our path – it is a lamp illuminating the way to proceed.

Here is the issue of concern. Without healthy vigilance and distrust of my flesh, and without a gracious dose of humility in recognizing that constant liability… exaltation, puffed up-ness can happen to the most committed saint (recall Paul here). We all can be vulnerable to the danger of drifting. We each have the same issue and liability. None of us are exempt!

So the question to be asked is: what is currently ruling over you?  Is what is ruling over you aligned with the Jesus of the word, the Spirit of the word, and the Gospel of Truth?

Romans 6:16 asks a probing question:

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will you are the slaves of him who you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?”

Check your six according to these three anchors: Jesus, the Spirit, and the Gospel.  Has exaltation crept in via your flesh that has become puffed up? Are the doctrines you are embracing and practicing in full agreement with the word? Or have you slid into receiving teachings for itching ears that mask themselves as truth but about which the word is silent?

While these three anchors are perfect and vital, they are only as good as your humility and submission to them will allow.

Take a moment. Submit yourself before the light of God’s truth: let the Holy Spirit reveal where you are “out of G” with Him.

There is a reason why the word is settled in heaven, and why the Lord has elevated it above His very Name.  It is the place where you can know and trust unequivocal truth. It is also the place where Jesus forever displays His own submission to the Father and the words the Father has given Him to utter.

Yes, it is by Jesus you are saved – but it is by the word spoken by Christ that spirit and life have gained entrance into you. Ps 119:130 says: “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.”

Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not work exclusively, but cooperatively with the word, and in unity and redundancy – providing a three-fold anchor for your safety against the overreach of your flesh into things that are not of Christ, and against pride which has demonic likeness.

There is no good thing that is withheld from those who walk uprightly, but even your hunger and thirst for spiritual progress must be yielded to the Lord. It is indeed the tactic of the enemy to work in subtleties – convincing you that you are simply pressing in to all the Lord has for you when in actuality, you are pressing beyond the bounds of truth and doctrinal accuracy and are kindling a fire of passion and hunger that is in danger of burning down the house because it will not submit to God.

Be on your guard Saints… for the enemy is afoot like a devouring Lion… withstand him!

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The Razor


There is a principle in life,

A law that each can see.

Requiring constant vigilance,

Against this entropy.


We see it every morning,

The harvest of the flesh.

What once was smooth and silken,

Now tender touch arrests.


With hyssop lay the lather,

Against the flesh each morn.

And with the two-edged sword,

Expose a heart reborn!


©1996 Sandra Gilloth

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Day Ten

Heed the Call to Simplicity

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  NKJV 2Cor 11:3

In the Garden of Eden, Satan baited Eve to doubt and disbelieve God’s intentions by posing questions to her.  Watchman Nee describes with great detail this attack in The Spiritual Man, and how this tactic was used to cause Eve to employ her mind to answer his questions.  Though we may not see it, the attack was a malicious and deliberate attempt to get Eve to stir up her soul (specifically her mind), so her soul would expand in its efforts of thinking and depart from under the rule of the spirit within her.  The spirit was the part of her, and Adam, that could commune with God.  To destroy the rule of their spirits was to destroy this fellowship with God.

Now, here, the Apostle Paul presents a warning so that a similar evil will be averted today by believers who possess a regenerated spirit in Christ.  He is warning that our minds may lead us into the very same corruption as Eve experienced, a corruption characterized by fleshly thinking and doing, and a dependence on our soul vice the spirit as it is moved and led by Christ.

If you are a believer in Christ you actually have two minds.  You have your natural mind that you were born with.  But through your regenerated spirit you also have the mind of Christ.  Romans chapter eight discusses this duality, especially verses 1-18.  May you study them and receive revelation!  But in very simple terms, imagine you are a dog-sled and that there are two different dogs that like to lead you (the sled).  One dog is the flesh dog, one is the spirit dog.  Depending on which dog is allowed to lead – that is the nature of the things he pursues.  The flesh dog pursues the things of the flesh and seeks to gratify those desires.  The spirit dog seeks those things of the spirit and seeks to gratify the desires of the spirit.

So essentially Paul is warning us to let the spirit dog always be the lead dog, and let the flesh dog die of boredom and non-use!  The importance of this is not to be minimized!  Your flesh dog – can never please God (Rom 8:8), and it will always lead you astray.  The profoundness of this notion is underscored by the meaning of “simplicity” in 2Cor 11:3.

This word simplicity is haplotes (#572) in the Strong’s Greek.  It means singleness, without dissimilation or self-seeking.  The word is also derived from (#573) haplous, which adds the aspect of a particle of union, and being folded together.

Our flesh is “self-seeking.”  Our spirit is Christ-seeking.  Paul’s admonition to pursue simplicity in effect means never be self-seeking, thus never flesh-led!  Further, to have union in Christ – to be folded together implies we seek the same things, have similar perspective, and have the same goal as Christ Jesus – thus be spirit-led, following the dictates of the spirit.  This is having the simplicity in Christ Jesus!  It is singular devotion that is pure and of one substance with Him.  It is uncorrupted.

The point is – once the enemy finds a strategy that works, he generally keeps running with it.  Getting Eve to rely on her mind (flesh) rather than remain dependent on the spirit worked in the Garden – so he sees no reason to change his playbook.  He believes it will cause you also to fall.  But for you – hear the words of Paul and do not allow the enemy’s tactics to succeed again!  Let the flesh dog die – surrender and renounce the use of your flesh.  Reckon yourselves as being dead to sin but alive to Him.  And yield/offer “yourselves” (all of your faculties and members – all of your soul) to Him as instruments of righteousness (Rom 6:13).  Be-loved …

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