Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7
“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 5:8
In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.
Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.
Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.
Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.
The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?
Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.
Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.
According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Jesus had an appointment.
The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.
After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”
Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.
Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.
Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.
Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.“
Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.
Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”
Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.
Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.
When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.
Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.
One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.
Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.
The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.
“When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.“
Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”
Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.
When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!
There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.
The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.
Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!
Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.
Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16
When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51
Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
Notice the pattern?
Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.
Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?
Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.
Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.
Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8
Resting in the finished work of Christ is the key to walking in victory. Regardless of how much we apply Biblical principles to our life, unless we have this main key to the kingdom of God, we will find failure at the end sooner or later.
What is resting in Christ’s complete work? It is a spiritual principle that is set right out in scriptures but missed by many of us.
One sure way to know that we are not resting in Christ is striving. That is to make great effort to achieve something.
When we find ourselves in this state we know right away that we are not resting. Then we must get immediately back to the cross.
Does resting in Christ equate to passivity? No indeed it does not! What resting in Christ does is to set our eyes on the victor for the victory and not on ourselves.
To rest in Christ is to set the Lord always before us. That is to acknowledge Jesus as our Captain. Our leader and victor over all difficulties that may come our way.
Paul knew this resting in Christ. He said that the life he now lived he lived by the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was accepted in the beloved. How could Christ who loved us enough to give his very life for us not also supply us with all the things we need to live victorious in this life?
To rest in Christ is to rest in his finished work. He beat the devil! He conquered sin! Jesus rose victorious!
What is our part? To rest in this fact! When we do we can be assured that Christ who lives in us will complete all the work that is needed in our lives.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Resting in Christ is to abide in Christ. To accept what Christ says as true. To remain fixed in. To continue to dwell in. To remain in.
“If you abide in me,” Jesus said and his words or his teachings abide in you then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
In other words all the things that we need will be given to us as we rest in Christ. To rest is to have complete faith in the Lord’s ability to perform his word. It is to nestle in his bosom with absolute confidence. Does the Lord not know what is best for each of us? Is his plan not the best plan?
Have faith in God!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith in the finished work of Christ gives us hope. We never have to be worried that Jesus will not come through. He has promised! If he loved us enough to give his life for us how much more would he not freely meet our needs? We have only to patiently wait. (Romans 8:32)
Resting in Christ is to set our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will prefect that which concerns us as we trust in him!
It is Christ who lives! Christ who has conquered! Christ who is Lord of all! We rest in these facts and abide in his love.
Jesus is all our righteousness! He is working all things out for our good as scriptures tell us. (Romans 8:28)
We are complete in him!
“And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10
To be complete is to have all things without lacking. It is to be full and entirely in Christ! Can you see this by faith? IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the head of all principality and power. That means that because we are seated with him in heavenly places we are also positioned with him high above the rulers of this dark world. We are more than conquerors because we are in him! Let us rest in this knowledge!
Jesus is the name above every name. His victory is our victory. His completed work is our completed work because we are in him! Can you see this by faith? Then you are resting! Resting in assurity that Jesus Christ is the head. The chief and principle power of all in this life. If you are in him then you are secure. Rest in this reality.
It is finished Jesus said. Whether we are wrestling in prayer, serving, teaching or ministering we are always resting in Christ. Always confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.
Are you resting in Christ today? If not won’t you get back to the cross? The place of your victory is there! The work has already been done! (Romans 8: 37)
The Roman belt or the balteus was a part of the Roman soldier’s amour.
It was the belt that held the scabbard which in turn carried the soldier’s sword.
Scriptures tell us to be girded in our minds with the truth. Just like the scabbard our mind is called to carry God’s word so that at anytime we can pull it out and do battle against the enemy.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
Our mind is the carrier of God’s truth.
When God’s word is in our mind then we can have the mind of Christ.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
A transformed mind by the scriptures becomes a heavenly mind that thinks on those things that are above and not on the things of this world. A heavenly mind is a girded mind.
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
God has promised to bring all things to our remembrance when we need it.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26
A Holy Spirit controlled mind that is filled with God’s word is able to cast down imaginations and every thing that exalts itself against the word of God.
All contrary ideas and mindsets which conflict with scriptures are to be cast down. We reject them as lies.
We are then able by the sword of the Spirit to bring captive all thoughts in the mind or the balteus to obey Christ.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Be girded in the mind today and always with God’s truth as set out in scriptures. When the devil comes with his lies and deception you can defeat him. Standing on God’s word that is above every other word will bring the victory! Satan hates the truth and cannot stand up to it.
That is what Jesus always spoke to the devil’s lies with IT IS WRITTEN!
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:13
A mind filled with God’s word cannot be shaken regardless of the group think of this world system which is inspired by the evil one!
Christians are justified freely by grace or undeserved mercy. That means our right standing with God is made legitimate by God’s gift which is given not by our own merit but by his mercy.
This occurs because of the redemption (being saved from evil due to sin) that is IN Christ Jesus.
Notice that it is by being IN Christ Jesus that we are saved. IN means being enclose by or surrounded by something else.
IN is the key word to focus on to really understand our position as a child of God.
IN Christ we are new creatures. Our redemption comes not outside but IN Christ.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Christian identity is IN CHRIST. Positioned in a place of enclosure.
Romans 6:3 says we were baptized into Jesus Christ and were baptized into his death.
In other words, IN CHRIST the Christian is emerged. IN CHRIST, the Christian is emerged into his death.
It is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that brings our emersion INTO him.
Colossians 3:3 says that Christians are dead IN Christ and as the Chapter continues it tells us that our life is not our own. We are IN CHRIST. Therefore, we belong to him because he has purchased us with his own blood.
Once we are saved then we are risen with Christ.
Christ’s resurrection raises us up with him IN heavenly places. We are seated positionally with him in his victory.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
In putting this all together; Christians are Justified In Christ because of his redemption. Christians are dead In Christ because of his death so we are not our own anymore. Christians are seated with Christ IN heavenly places or from a kingdom of God position.
From this position Christians operate in this world. In Christ as his ambassadors. In Christ as his children.
We are commissioned now to preach reconciliation to those who do not yet know him.
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Romans Chapter 8 says that those who are in Jesus Christ, (that is those born again and, in his salvation,) are not condemned by God if they are not walking after the carnal nature but are walking in the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be condemned? In English it means to have disproval. To criticize something or someone strongly.
The Greek word is katakrima which means to come under penalty. To pass judgement against.
Romans Chapter 8 goes on to tell us that if we are minding carnal things rather than spiritual things then we are in enmity with God. In other words, if we are living for the flesh (the body, which is living for the passions and sensual appetites) temporal, worldly, or secular things then we are in a hostile opposing position with God. This makes us under condemnation. God disproves of us and our life styles!
Living in the flesh or carnal nature has grave consequences for the Christian. Romans 8 tells us that it produces death in us.
Jesus died to set us free from sin, but we must cooperate with that spiritual position that he has provided. Living by the carnal nature brings only death. What is death? Failure, sickness, poverty, demonic oppression, depression. Any thing contrary to the abundant life which Jesus died to purchase for us.
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that if we live under the law in order to gain God’s approval then we will fail miserably in our lives. Also, we will still be in enmity with God anyway because the law has no power to conquer sin. All the law does is expose our sin. “You lied. Bad you!”
Jesus came to give a better way. He said to his disciples that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The flesh is weak and cannot keep the law. Only God can keep the law.
Did you know that if you are born again that God lives in you? Yes, he does but many Christians who are ignorant of this reality are living still under the law. They don’t understand that the same power that lived in Jesus Christ, that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead, actually lives in them!
Romans 8 tells us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful body. Which is going to be thrown into the trash heap one day and we will get a new one that is not subject to sin!
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Well to walk is to take a journey. Our life in this world is a journey towards eternity! We are called to walk with God! Not walking in our own ways but walking in God’s way.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
Holy Spirit who lives in us is our helper and teacher. We need to acknowledge Holy Spirit and depend on him for everything. Did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you? Yes, he does but you have got to ask him. He won’t impose on you.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Don’t know how to pray effectively? Ask Holy Spirit. He will show you. Need comfort? Need revelation? Need wisdom? Need strength? Need provision? Just ask Holy Spirit and he will help you!
Jesus Christ provided for us a new covenant with a new and better way of living. The law can never conquer the sinful nature. The way to have victory over sin and the devil is life in the Holy Spirit!
If we walk with God on our journey to eternity we will not be under condemnation because we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Rather we will be living our life under the control of the Holy Spirit!
Walking with God by the Holy Spirit is the abundant life promised to us by Jesus Christ.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
Most of us know that the helmet of salvation is a covering for the head against onslaughts of the enemy but did you know that the head covering of a person symbolically represents who has athourity over them.
Head coverings while ascribed to women as an outward symbol of submission are also ascribed to men.
In Israel head coverings reveal what a person believes in. What truth they ascribe to.
Skull caps worn by many religious men in Israel are symbolic of certain sects or beliefs.
For instance the large black cloth kippa, are worn by ultra-Orthodox while a crocheted kippa represents basic traditional and small black kippot are worn by moderates.
Head coverings in western nations reveal the same thing. Rappers wear caps, sports people wear sports caps, and fedoras are won by the dapper.
The head covering one wears reveal who we are, what we believe in and whose athourity we are under.
The Roman helmet or galea was worn by soldiers as well as gladiators. It was a protection for the head against enemy attacks.
Often times these helmets had inscriptions on them which revealed what military unit they belonged to.
Paul tells Christians to put on the helmet of salvation. In other words be conscious of who you belong to. Salvation means to be delivered and set free. To be saved and rescued. Ephesians 6:17
The helmet of salvation signifies our submission to Jesus Christ, who is our captain and leader in the good fight of faith.
Jesus covers us in his salvation. His authority is over our mind. We now have the mind of Christ, being in him who is the head of all principality and power. The helmet of salvation is the spiritual covering that keeps the Christian safe from all demonically inspired attacks!
Put on the helmet of salvation. Be conscious of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the captain of your life!
In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.
The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.
In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.
Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.
During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.
Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.
Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.
A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.
The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.
Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.
Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.
What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”
Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.
For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!
THE Latin word for sword is Gladius. This sword was used by Roman foot soldiers when in close proximity to the enemy. It was used to thrust at unprotected parts of the body while the shield was held up moving forward in battle.
Enemy exposed areas such as the throat, armpit, groin and main arteries were able to be thrust at with short stabs.
The Gladius was also used for blocking an opponent. A Roman soldier could block the enemy’s sword thereby leaving another Roman soldier adjacent to him to thrust the final blow.
The Gladius was also two edged. This gave it multi purpose. Not only could the Gladius be used for thrusting and blocking but the Gladius could also be used for slashing, or cutting. A Roman soldier was able to take opportune moments to slash at an exposed knee below the opponent’s shield or slash at an arm or neck which could end the fight in a moment’s time.
The Bible likens God’s word to a Gladius. This is because in the same way that the Gladius was used in direct confrontation with the enemy so is God’s word a weapon to be used against the onslaughts of the devil.
In battle the Christian moves forward by faith to engage in spiritual warfare. The shield is held in place. Not only to protect the soldier but to thwart off any opposition attacks. Then the Gladius or sword of the Spirit is to be thrust at the enemy.
With a trained Roman soldier the sword could enter the abdomen and kill the opposition. The abdomen was a prime area to attack. The Bible relays many incidents where a sword was used through the belly in war. The belly symbolizes life flow. Jesus said out of your belly or spirit will flow rivers of living water.
The sword thrust through the stomach could cause death within minutes or cause a prolonged death. Depending on the precise area of the wound. This is the same in spiritual warfare. Death to the enemy plan may take a short time or a prolonged time. This is why continued prayer and ministry of the word of God is important until the victory is won.
GOD’S word is two edged like the Gladius because it not only thrusts to kill but it divides. In other words it can rightly divide truth from error. When used by a trained soldier in Jesus Christ the sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. It destroys strongholds, casts down high things exalting themselves against God’s truth, rightly divides the word of God, cuts up deception, chops corruption into spam and is able to be thrust right into the flow of the enemy. Death will most certainly occur. The enemy will be defeated! It’s just a matter of time.
Hebrews 4:12 , For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Take up your Gladius today and go forth into battle in the power of our Lord’s might and strength! Wage war against the powers of darkness and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name!
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.