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Posts Tagged ‘victory’

“And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, but he who endures to the end will be saved.”  Mt 24:12-13 AMP

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What is it that we as the Body of Christ are to endure in?  Love. Love for God.  This is love that first looks to Jesus and loves Him and will keep His word as He asks (obey His teaching) Jn 14:23.

Anyone who does not really love Him will not obey His teaching (Jn 14:24).

Truly, this is the crisis that the Body of Christ faces today.  We must learn to prefer obedience to Christ over our own opinion and preference.  Because we continue to exercise our perception and opinion, rather than obedience, we remain in the realm of the flesh instead of operating in the spirit.

The story of Noah and his three sons gives great clarity to this need of the body…

After the flood, Noah plants a vineyard and harvests grapes to make wine. It happens that his youngest son, Ham, finds him uncovered in his tent.

It is Ham’s flesh which delights in reporting on Noah’s sin. Yes, even though Noah was God’s authority at this time, he had a failure here. He got drunk and was uncovered. Ham makes use of that to point out his father’s failure.

But Ham fails even before then to regard the dignity of God’s authority.  His obedience has been half-hearted up till now, and the one who is insubordinate in heart will always expect authority to fail.

It is the flesh of man still operating that delights in finding the failure of authority.  But Shem and Japheth act with love, as they go and cover their father even walking backwards so as not to look upon his failure.

What can we learn from this concerning love? Love is not just an emotional condition, it is a spiritual choice that causes me to act in concert with obedience to Jesus.

Is it that by my love I am condoning sin? No. Noah’s sin had already happened. In covering their father, the issue was not of condoning. it was continuing to give a place of dignity to the authority of God. And most importantly, it was Shem and Japheth operating according to God’s principal of love rather than rebellion.

Here is the vital point that we often miss. When we are only half-hearted ourselves in our obedience to God, another’s sin can provide a necessary catalyst to expose our own half-heartedness and even insubordinate heart, thus bringing before us our own need for forgiveness and repentance.

Sin and imperfection are apart of our lives as long as we live in tents of flesh.  But we show ourselves to be God’s children when we choose His way of covering sin in love rather than our own way of declaring another’s failing.

Somehow, we fear that to cover with love allows the other party to get away with the sin. But this is the enemy’s tactic to get us to operate out of our flesh and in the principle of rebellion and insubordination.

God does not need our trumpeting of another’s failure.  He desires our obedience to His word and the demonstration of our love for Him that supersedes even our own opinion and flesh.

As He has covered us so graciously and undeservedly, who are we to uncover another?

Now, the ramifications of this are most poignant for these end times…

The Lord is preparing His Body to be His Bride, but we in the Body are often finding out our brother’s sin and lifting it up to scrutiny to the  world.  Where is our obedience in that?  Do we think the Lord doesn’t know of the spots and blemishes still on His Bride?

But recovery comes as the Body pulls together in Love and fights against the enemy’s plan!  Beloved! We cannot win this battle in the enemy’s tactics or nature. We win when we walk in the spirit and nature and obedience of the One Who has redeemed us!!!

Today, the need is more dire than ever before for us to begin a strategy under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to intercede for the Body at large in love and travail  – for otherwise we will devour each other as the enemy desires.

It is time to have our own hearts purified of our divided opinions and interests.  It is only God’s opinion and interests that matter. We must confess our lack of confidence in His ways and plans, and fully cast our hearts on His altar of love so that we too will become fully clothed and operating as one in the spirit.

It is time to put off …

“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 …” Eph 4:22

It is not that Jesus needs to hear our findings on other’s failures.  It is that He desires to see us choosing His nature and provision over that of our own.  It is this way that is obedient.  It is this way that ushers in the victory and the Kingdom of God.

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“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 Twenty-Nine

 

Overthrowing Your Strongholds

 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,…”

Amp 2Cor 10:4

 

 

          Have you ever seen the poles along the interstates in Montana and Wyoming used to measure snow drifts?  Sometimes I think it would help to have such a device to measure the pervasiveness of change which the Kingdom of God has made in our old patterns of thinking.  That’s a vague notion I’m sure – let me clarify.

          Simply put, the question is this – is there agreement between what I show people, what I demonstrate to be my thinking or opinions on some topic or towards some person – and what are the thoughts I allow to occupy my internal dialogue?  In other words, am I congruent?  If I harbor thoughts of dislike, distrust, jealousy, anger, rage, bitterness, etc. in my internal mind, but reframe those thoughts and actually dress them up with “pseudo-Christian fluff” that then gets projected outwardly – I am not congruent.  I am living a divided life where what I think and tolerate in my thoughts is markedly different from what I display outwardly.  This is not good.

          The Scripture says, as a man thinks in his heart – so he is.  It says out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks!  We think we are hiding those critical, negative attitudes of our heart.  Or at the very least we think we are dressing them up to make them more socially acceptable.  But we deceive ourselves.  They are known.  More importantly — when your secret thoughts indulge dark thinking – thoughts that are more like the enemies thoughts than a believers, when they are diametrically opposed to the heart and thoughts of God – you place yourself in a dangerous and precarious position.  When you harbor thoughts that are essentially “evil” in that they form a report that does not agree with God, His Word, or His will on the matter, you have then given the enemy a potentially evil foothold.  He cannot read your thoughts, but he can read your actions like a book.  He has studied you especially for places of weakness.  If he can use your negative thinking as a platform and base of operations where he can skew your thoughts into deeper darkness – he will indeed!  This is the zone of danger Will Robinson!

          This is why we are called to guard our hearts above all that we guard – for out of them flow the very issues of life (Prov 4:20-23).  We would seek to modify the projection of our thoughts, to make them look more kind.  We excuse them as something that we are allowed to indulge – completely oblivious to the truth that as they continue to solidify and expand their hold on us — those thoughts are what we actually are becoming!  If our eye is evil or unsound, then the very light that is in us is darkened, and how dense is that darkness (Mt 6:22-23).

          So where is the line in you that marks the level of the Lord’s rule in your life and the reign of His Kingdom.  To what depth does it extend?  Do you religiously arrange your external behavior but bring no discipline to your thought-life?  Do you still insist on harboring thoughts adversarial to His truth and His will simply because you excuse them as harmless? The Lord has given us His life in us and His word to renew our thinking to His.  Saints – use His word as a yardstick to judge the quality of your thinking and to bring truth to your inner man.  As your thinking is brought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus, His life will expand and grow in you.  You will begin to have victory over internal struggles and external conflict like never before.  This, then, begins the overcoming life — the resurrection life, the new life in Christ being lived out in us that He came to give us.

          Be free, be one with Christ in love, be-loved!

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