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Posts Tagged ‘Overcoming’

“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and pleasures and delights and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” Mk 4:19 Amp

“For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.  Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?” 1Jn 5:4-5 Amp

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If you happened to find yourself out to sea and in the water, separated from any immediate support system, but you saw a boat in the distance would you not begin to swim, wave, yell, and if possible exert every means at your disposal to propel yourself towards that vessel?  You would fight to survive, you would not be passive. It’s a no brainer!

However as believers once saved, we seem to adopt the attitude that we now can coast…all need to fight is over. But in that we misjudge both our safety and our need.

As I look at that Parable of the Seed found in the Gospels, four conditions are presented concerning the seed. Only the fourth example of the seed sown on good soil meets conditions to bear fruit and be prosperous.  Some may try and conclude that only one out of every four people hearing the word will successfully continue in the faith and become fruitful for the Kingdom. I would disagree.

For all of these situations: seed along the path; seed on stony ground; seed among thorns; and finally seed on good soil — Jesus presents truth by which to overcome! He tells them all: if you have ears to hear be hearing, perceive, and comprehend. (As the Lord has said this it is not only an imperative … it is made possible by His words).

He further goes on to say: “Be careful what you are hearing.” Read that as what you are giving entrance and power to and force in your lives.  He then proceeds to describe every believer’s ability to affect their spiritual progress in any situation…by filling up on Truth.  He says: “The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” Mk 4:24

You see for every seed situation described the same thing applies. You can overcome every adversity you find yourself in by posturing yourself to actively engage with the Lord and listen and give place and force within you to His word of truth. By the measure we hear truth we will begin to reap truth as spiritual knowledge within our spirits and souls.

Now let us focus on just the seed sown on thorny ground.  These believers are in a serious fight that is seeking from the get-go to actually steal the impact and life-giving force of the word within them. Here is the problem. In living in the world the things of this world have a great value and place within their hearts. Their thoughts are actually captive to cares, distractions, fleshly pleasures, and passionate desires. This manner of thinking not only causes them to love the things of this world, but the attachments to this mode of thinking actually begin to choke the light of the word out of them so that the life of Christ fails to bring forward fruit, or it doesn’t develop to maturity.

So why am I even addressing this, and the seed falling on thorny ground in particular? For two reasons: ONE, too often we have held the notion that seed other than that sown on good soil was doomed to futility, that its condition was sealed as lost. (I already mentioned I disagree with that.) TWO, the days ahead are already shaping up to be challenging, and it is more important than ever to be aware of the worlds’ situations, but to counter what we are seeing with the stabilizing force of truth.

Listen to what Jesus said to His followers: “For whatever is born of God….” Stop right there for a second. He didn’t say, “Whoever” was born of God!  This is vital to see.  Whatever is in you that is born of God is ignited to life by His Spirit and His Words. Where we agree with the thought of God and the Word of the Spirit, we are united in life with Him.  This then is about your thinking!

So: “…whatever is born of God is victorious over the world … and he who believes (actively) in Jesus and sticks to Him, trust in Him, and relies on the fact that He is the Son…” this person will have victory over the world.

Especially as it pertains to the cares of the world which will try and choke the word within you. The provision is already made for your victory!!! But your thinking must be more and more aligned with truth!

This victory is also even more sure than your current faith!  So are you gripped by fear over things impending, or threatening, or things to come? Are you being distraught over your living situation, financial hardships, relationship struggles, your failures, health issues, the world picture, the political landscape, corruption, disappointments, etc.

You see there is no lack of worldly fodder that the enemy will not lob at us.  But we have the power of God’s word to deflect those threats and even to rest in. Jesus doesn’t want us to be consumed or choked by the cares of this world, he wants us to remain in faith, be confident in Him, and to be fruitful!

John 16:33 is clear: “I have told you these things so that in Me you might have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distresses and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

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Day Fifty-Eight

Super-abounding Grace! The Grace Juxtaposition

 

– many died through one man (Adam’s) fall… but many gain God’s grace through the one (Jesus)

– one man brought condemnation… but Jesus’ free gift brings justification

– by one man’s trespass death reigned… but by God’s overflowing grace we reign as kings in life

– one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men… but Jesus’s act leads to righteousness for all

– one man’s disobedience makes men sinners… but by one Man’s obedience they are brought into right-standing with Him

– where sin increased and abounded… God’s grace has superabounded

– where sin has reigned in death… God’s grace now reigns through righteousness which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (paraphrase of Romans 5:15-21)

 

It is done: completed! Seven juxtapositions of man’s natural state as placed beside what God has done for him.  Can there be any doubt of God’s redeeming love, how He has super-abounded in grace for us, and has more than overcome the condition of our fall?  If there is any doubt in you of God’s nature, His character, His love for you, or how far He has actually come to abound to us in grace – you need to take time and study for yourself the above passage.  Read it. Study it. Meditate on it.

I know – it is easy to get into a spiritual funk.  Life happens.  Your find yourself high and dry on a spiritual plain of desolation.  You find it hard to see Him let alone fellowship with Him.  But I tell you – the cares of this world have been choking the word that is in you.  Turn the tables now and let this word expand, occupy, and super-abound in you in truth.  The pressure this word exerts for truth is greater than the pressure of your situation!  Let this word fill your eyes and fill your heart with truth!  It will bear you aloft over and through your situation and circumstances, if only you will embrace it.  Not because you fully understand it intellectually – but by faith you believe that the One Who holds all things is willing and able to do what He has said here.  Let Him begin to saturate your thinking with His truth.  Let His grace abound even super-abound in you today!

 

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Day Twenty-Five

 

Arise and Shine!

 

“Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life!] Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” (Amp Is 60:1)

 

          Before Moses was commissioned by God to go deliver the Hebrews out of captivity in Egypt, their bodies were bowed under the strain of their evil taskmasters.  Their heads were bowed under the oppression of a system that only cared about what they could produce.  But their hearts remained attached to the belief that a Deliverer was coming to free them.  He did, and has freed – US ALL!  Yet – you and I today can often slide into a place of captivity and forgetfulness of that deliverance and freedom.  We can lose our perspective and thus our position through Christ.  There in that place of being weighed down, our heads are bowed, and we look like captives.  Even as believers, if we are not watchful, the cares of this world can choke and suffocate the Word that is in us (Mt 13:22).  But dwelling within us is the very Presence of the Most – High God, Who is more than a conqueror in us!  To be engaged with that Truth we must receive it, know it, and keep it as a light before us to walk out.

          Think of yourself like a balloon filled with helium.  Under normal conditions you are buoyant.  You float!  That is a picture of the Spirit-Filled life.  You are an over-comer.  But if you change the external conditions and begin to increase the pressure on the outside of the balloon – the balloon begins to struggle and shrink under that greater pressure.  The only way to avoid the collapse of that balloon is to increase the internal pressure to match that of the outside atmosphere.

          In life, when our focus is stayed on the world and its cares, our buoyancy begins to subside.  The problem is:  we are focused on the wrong thing.  Yes, we can be aware of the problem and issues – but we focus on the Lord!  Like Col 3:2 says, we set our minds and keep them set on things that are above, not on things on the earth.  To focus on the cares of this world steals our buoyancy and our over-coming strength in Christ.  This strength dissipates (leaks) anyway over time – so we must constantly fill up and be filled in the Spirit.  We do this by focusing on Christ, meditating on, and memorizing His Word.  We let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.  We put on the love of Christ and enfold ourselves with His bond of perfection (this helps slow down the leaking process) 🙂(Col 3: 14-16).  And we allow His peace to rule in us – this stabilizes agitation and upheaval in us that stirs us to fretting and worry.

          So then focusing on Christ, constantly connecting and filling up on His Word, being enfolded in His love, and having His peace fill and rule in our hearts  — these are the ways we keep our lives in a place of faith and strength before Him so we can indeed arise and shine in His glory.  These are the ways we throw off the shackles of prostration and depression that the enemy would like us to be captive to.  These are the ways we keep our spiritual life buoyant and inflated with the Presence of the Lord!

          Beloved – we are free!  Our circumstances may be pressing hard against us.  We may be perplexed.  We may be pursued or persecuted.  We may even be struck down by events – but we are not struck out and destroyed! (2Cor 4:8-10) Within us resides by God’s grace everything we need to overcome every situation and circumstance.  But our success lies in keeping our focus on Him, His word dwelling in us richly, enfolded in His love, with His peace ruling over our hearts! We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!

          Arise and shine — beloved!

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