What is not commonly delivered to the Christian message today is the very Biblical truth of suffering or affliction. When the message of suffering is presented it is relayed as a common ailment which Christians must endure because they belong to Jesus Christ. Just because we belong to Jesus is the admonition.
However according to the Bible our suffering or affliction have a clearly defined out come. In other words suffering has a purpose which results, if endured patiently, in a victorious end.
2 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that our light affliction (burden, persecution, anguish, trouble, tribulation) which is temporary or for a fixed determined time, is WORKING FOR US.
That is our temporary affliction is accomplishing a purpose.
What is that purpose? Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding (super eminence beyond measure) weight of glory.
So our light affliction is working for us a beyond measurable weight (abundant authority, dignified honor) of glory .
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
This means that our suffering or affliction is working out for us something good in the end but also scriptures tell us that our suffering and afflictions will work for the benefit of others too.
Examples of this are when Joseph was in prison. What was an affliction and suffering in some respects was also a training experience for Joseph. In the end it worked out that Joseph gained favour and was elevated to a position of leadership. He represented God’s Kingdom in Pharoah’s kingdom.
Our afflictions in life are in reality training ground for our purpose in the Kingdom of God. Even our mistakes teach us valuable lessons.
Joseph was a bit of a braggart. His gift of favor was envied by his brethren. They wanted to get rid of him but in the end God worked it out for his good. Joseph’s life ended up bringing glory to God. (Acts 7:10, Genesis 37,38,39)
Paul suffered much affliction and persecution. However his experiences brought not only an increase in the gospel but much of the New Testament to Christians for the last 2000 years.
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. Philippians 1:12
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2: 10
Peter made some mistakes. Even denying the Lord. However his life experience resulted in the furtherance of the gospel and writing parts of the New Testament as well.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. Psalm 119: 71
The Bible is filled with stories about afflictions resulting in victory. Paul tells us to endure the hardships we face in life like a soldier in the army.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3
A solder doesn’t concern himself with worldly affairs. A soldier fights in battle. A soldier knows he is appointed to endure hardships for the sake of his country.
How much more Jesus Christ’s soldiers in the Kingdom of God ?
Paul tells us that we are to rejoice in our sufferings not for the sufferings in and of themselves but because we know that our afflictions are working out a purpose in the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 6:4)
David tells us that the righteous suffer many afflictions but the Lord delivers the righteous out of them all. ( Psalms 34:19)
As we are appointed (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 2 Timothy 1 :8) to suffer afflictions in this life we are also appointed to be delivered!
Are you experiencing trouble? Affliction? Persecution? Suffering?
Then rejoice for God is going to work it all out for your good! He is training you, teaching you valuable lessons, getting you ready for your purpose in this life!
Be patient in affliction scriptures tell us. Don’t be moved by them!
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 1 Thessalonians 3:3
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Endure like a soldier! Have faith in God! Fix your eyes on Jesus!
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 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.
The Bible tells us to “fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
According to the Greek translation this scripture actually means ; to contend for with your adversary and labor fervently in your battle for good, virtuous, honest and moral convictions of the truth concerning Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Lord is telling us to lay hold of or seize eternal values. To strive to attain God’s abundant life.
In another scripture we are told that we wrestle with the evil darkness of this world who we are called to resist steadfast in the faith. (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 5:9)
In other words the Lord wants his people to oppose the darkness and wage war against the gates of hell. We have been given according to scriptures everything that pertains to life and godliness. All we need to accomplish this command is laid out for us in the word of God. (2 Peter 1:3)
The weapons of our warfare according to scriptures are not natural human weapons. They are mighty powerful Holy Spirit empowered weapons! These weapons are used to pull down demonic strongholds which Satan tries to build up in the mind.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
The mind is where the real battle is. When Satan can create a false narrative by using circumstance then he is able to bring disillusionment, fear and unbelief.
In order to counter act Satan’s deception we are told in the scriptures to take up our mighty Holy Spirit empowered weapons and fight.
What are these weapons? In Ephesians Chapter 6 the Lord tells us to gird ourselves with truth. God’s word, the Bible is the truth. All his promises are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
We are told to put on righteousness like a breast plate. We are made right or justified by the blood of Jesus if we have been born of God. We are called to wear that victory acquired for us as a sign of godly status! Let the devil know who we are in Jesus Christ! Redeemed! Bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb!
When we do fail we can ask God to forgive us. The blood of Jesus will continually forgive us as long as we acknowledge our sin and turn from it. (1 John 1:9)
When our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace what that means is that we are always prepared, always ready to give an answer for our faith in Jesus Christ. Always ready to bring the good news of reconciliation between God and man where ever we go. (1 Peter 3:15)
Preaching the gospel is a powerful weapon against the evil one. Declaring the word of God into the darkness of this world brings God’s light and faith to all who have been given ears to hear.
The shield of faith is important to withstand Satan’s attacks. When those fiery arrows are sent to try to destroy us we can stand on God’s word. What the Lord has promised he is able also to perform. (Romans 4:21)
Then with the sword of the Spirit we can make an offensive attack against the evil one.
Has God really said? IT IS WRITTEN !
The sum of Your word is truth,And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)
You can’t do that! IT IS WRITTEN !
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13.)
You are not important! IT IS WRITTEN !
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)
Then finally we turn always to prayer. Presenting our needs to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ the Son.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16)
Fight the good fight of faith! Lay hold and seize on to eternal life, for in Jesus the Savoir abundant life is manifest to all who believe and to all who receive.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:12-17)
For this purpose Jesus Christ came: to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
That was the whole purpose for God to manifest in the flesh, die on the cross and rise from the dead according to the Bible.
It is important to understand what exactly happened at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to the Bible. By getting a better understanding we are then able to enter into fully our covenant with God provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. By that I mean understanding what Jesus actually did and what that means for the Christian in regards to position in the kingdom of God.
When Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross he in effect stripped him of his power and authority.
The Bible tells us that Satan is the god or ruler of this world system but he is not ruler over the Christian who has been delivered from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, Colossians 1:13)
In other words even though Satan rules this world system he does not rule the born again person. Satan’s greatest weapon is deception. He is a trickster. If he can keep the Child of God ignorant of the fact that he has been defeated he keeps his position of ruler over them.
Without revelation of what Jesus Christ really accomplished at the cross and faith in that fact the Christian can live a whole life time of bondage under the dominion of the evil one.
Yes, even though the Christian is born again, blood bought and a part of Jesus Christ’s body the ignorant Christian can live defeated, sick, poor, and in bondage.
The Bible makes that fact perfectly clear.
MY PEOPLE are destroyed for lack of knowledge. HOSEA 4:6
Now let’s look at what the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ accomplished by manifesting in the flesh. Keep in mind that this is Bible doctrine. Written as plain as the nose on your face.
Unfortunately their are whole churches that don’t believe or teach this. You have to decide for yourself if you want to believe the Bible or the doctrine you were taught by others who do not teach the complete victory wrought by Jesus Christ according to scriptures.
Now let’s look at what it means to destroy the devil’s works.
To destroy in the Greek is luō. That means to break, dissolve, loose free from, to put off.
In other words Jesus broke the power over, closed down the operation of, released from captivity and made the devil to submit to through relinquishing control of.
Now most Christians believe this to some degree but they don’t delve into it deeper.
In order to have a complete understanding we have to under stand what exactly was put off!
What are the works of the devil? Not only that but we have to come to the realization that this defeat was complete. Not just some of the devil’s works were broken over the Christian but ALL!
You might ask yourself, well if this is true why am I sick, poor, depressed and defeated?
Did you ever stop to examine yourself? Are you really in the faith? The first thing to know is if you are really born again. How do you know?
YOU KNOW. (1 John 5:13)
If there is any doubt then you need to go to the Lord, confess your sin, repent which is turn from your sin (breaking God’s laws) and turn to the salvation and Lordship of Jesus Christ. Ask forgiveness for sin and ask him to make you his child. (Luke 13:3)
Then if you know you are born again, are you putting faith in God’s word or in your circumstance? Without faith it is impossible to please God. according to the Bible.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seekhim.”
This is a fact whether we like it or not. It is a fact whether we disregard it or not and it is a fact even if we don’t believe it.
According to the Bible we must believe that Jesus is God. Sovereign over all things. We also must believe that HE WILL reward our seeking him for the victory. (Hebrews 11:6)
Don’t think that Satan is not going to put up a fuss. He has squatted for a long time in people’s lives. He doesn’t like to give up territory without a fight.
This is another thing. In order to receive our victory we have to battle for it sometimes! The Bible tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood! We wrestle with demonic powers that oppose the kingdom of God.
The Greek is palē for wrestle and it means more than simply to struggle. It actually means a hand-to-hand combat with an opposing enemy. The spiritual forces of evil residing in the heavenly places or spiritual realm.
How do we wrestle? (Ephesians 6) Through prayer and standing in faith. We must decide who we want to believe. God’s word or the devil’s deception.
Its called fighting (contending, struggling, striving) the good fight OF FAITH. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Now let’s take a look at what Mr. Devil’s works exactly are.
Satan’s deeds or his actions and labour are as follows.
He is a big fat liar. He is a slanderer. A false accuser. He is a thief and a destroyer. He is a deceiver. Satan is diabolically evil.
These facts are all in the Bible.
The good news is that Jesus Christ exposed the devil and stripped him of his power and authority. He then gave the keys of the kingdom to his church. That is you and me.
Now the tables are turned. Jesus gave his church authority over ALL the works of the devil. Not some but ALL. Either All is All or it is not. (Luke 10:19, Revelations 13:11)
ALL compasses All Satan’s works.
All the devil’s lies, deception, sickness, disease, poverty, depression, fear, even death.
Death cannot hold the Christian anymore. Death is simply a translation into the spiritual realm of God’s light or heaven. If you miss the rapture you still get raptured! In the twinkling of an eye you are translated into glory!
Hebrews 2:14 tells us that through Jesus Christ, death was destroyed. The devil has no more power of death over the Christian.
Another Greek word for destroy is katargeō; To render useless, entirely idle, abolish Cease, do away with, none effect, loose free of to put down, vanish and make void.
Now keep in mind that there are prequisites for living in victory as a Christian.
This means that our lives must line up with the scriptures. We sow what we reap or in other words we harvest what we plant. That’s a spiritual principle in the kingdom of God.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. Galatians 6:7,9
For example if I stuff my face on goodies I can get fat. Maybe even get really sick. Even die!
Using this example I mean that if our life is lining up with the flesh then we are agreeing with the devil and by doing that we will reap the consequences of our actions.
If we lie or steal or operate in Satan’s works we are agreeing with him and have no covering of protection because as scriptures tell us we can be turned over to the devil until we repent. (1 Corinthians 5:5)
What about grace? My answer to that is that grace will give a certain amount of time to repent. There is however the time when reaping will occur. There is no getting away from that fact.
What about sickness? My answer to that is what scriptures tell us. We reap what we have sown. Bitterness, anger unforgiveness all make us sick. Not only do we know this from a scientific perspective but it’s also in the Bible.
Can we get healed? Yes. God is merciful but he expects repentance from us or as scriptures say a worse thing can occur. (John 5:14)
Do you see the point I am making?
Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. It is up to us to now line our lives up in obedience to his word, the Bible. Then we can stand in faith to receive all those benefits that Jesus Christ died for to give us!
Eternal life is the biggest gift. Granted. However Jesus Christ took away all the works of the devil. Not just some. Now it’s up to us to receive all that Jesus has obtained for us as we seek him.
It is not God’s will that any should perish according to the Bible but do they perish? Yes they in fact do! 2 Peter 3:9
Why? Because some will not receive the salvation provided for them.
Is it God’s will for you to be in health and prosper? Yes, according to the Bible.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2-5
Again it is up to us to believe, repent and receive.
Another spiritual principle. All 3 must be adhered to for salvation, deliverance and restoration to occur. It’s in the Bible.
Satan is always looking to kill, steal and destroy. It’s what he does. It’s up to us to put him in his place. Under our feet. It is also up to us to believe God’s word above any other word. If God said it then it’s TRUE. For he cannot lie.
( Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
Jesus Christ came to destroy All the works of the devil. Our part is to enforce by God’s power in us (the Holy Spirit) that victory. We have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober watchful Put up a watch Guard your heart
James 4:7 Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and resist the devil. He will flee.
Ephesians 6:12 We wrestle through prayer and preaching the pure unadulterated word of God.
1 John 4:4 Greater is the Holy Spirit in his elect that the devil in this world
Ephesians 4:27 Do not yield to the devil. Put on the whole armor of God to stand against the devil and having done all to stand!
The Bible says that Satan is a thief. He will try to steal your blessings, your calling, your destiny and whatever else he can get his hands on. Mathew 6:19,20
How does he do this? The main way is exactly what he tried to do to Jesus during his temptation in the wilderness. Get your eyes off of God’s word and onto your self and your circumstances. (Matthew 4)
As long as we are like the disciples looking at the storm we will be afraid. As long as we look at how big the giants are in our life we will be afraid. (Luke 8 & Numbers 13)
Satan’s demons will try to make us question God’s love for us. They will steal our faith and our victory if we give them just one inch.
So what happens if I waver? What happens if I have listened to Satan’s lies? What happens if I let my guard down and got a demonic punch in the gut? Is there hope for me?
Peter walked with Jesus. He knew him intimately and yet he took his eyes off of the miracles and the intimacy he had with Jesus and put his eyes on the persecution coming for him. He faltered. He failed. He blew it. (Luke 22)
Peter needed a breakthrough. What does it mean to get a breakthrough?
Breakthrough in warfare means an offensive military assault that penetrates and carrys beyond enemy lines.
Breakthrough also means an act of moving through or over an obstacle.
Break through can mean a sudden advancement in knowledge or success.
When we get into unbelief and look at our troubling situation we in effect are denying the word. Just like Peter did. We are saying, “I don’t know you.”
That sounds harsh doesn’t it? But it’s TRUE. When we don’t believe that Jesus is the great I am, that he is exalted above all, has the power to defeat sin and every demonic power against us we in effect are denying him.
Scriptures say that those who KNOW their God will do great and mighty exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
To be victorious over the devil and his deception we must believe that Jesus is who he says he is. LORD OVER ALL. (Philippians 2)
Lord over the wind and the sea. Able to command the very powers of the air to be still. Able to lift us above our circumstance and into heavenly places with him. Seated with him in his athourity and power far above demonic powers. (Ephesians 2)
When we turn our eyes back on Jesus Christ the God of the breakthrough will release for us a breaking forth into a new level of faith. A new level of intimacy with him so that we may know him and the power of his resurrection. (Philippians 3)
When we fellowship with his suffering, for he has being tempted like us and harangued by the devil like us he is able to come to the rescue and secure those who are tempted like he was. (Hebrews 2:18)
God the Father broke through death for Jesus because he put his trust completely in the Father. (Acts 17)
Circumstances looked pretty glum for Jesus but he knew who his Father was. He knew the fellowship of intimacy he had with the Father. Jesus knew that the Father would not forsake him.
Jesus got his breakthrough into resurrection life. The Father beat death. He cast down Satan’s power and overthrew Satan’s kingdom. He destroyed the power of sin, death and the grave. (2 Timothy 1)
What does it mean for us get a break through? (2 Samuel 5:20)
When the powers of darkness attack we turn our eyes on Jesus the author and finnisher of our faith. We then call on the Lord to come to our rescue! Help Lord I’m being shaken in this boat! The storm is raging about me BUT I know you are greater! I know you will come through for me. I put my eyes on you! I look to your greatness! You are Lord over this storm in my life! You will speak it to be still!
Breaking through to the Lord is seeking Him for the victory. Ex. 19:21
When we seek God in prayer for a breakthrough he will rend open the heavens to give us a breakthrough.
Jesus is our victor. His victory becomes our victory!
We will break forth by his Holy Spirit power into his light. With a new understanding. A new revelation of his grace.
We will breakthrough into a fresh manifestation of his presence! Into a new beginning with greater victory from faith to faith and from glory to glory. (Roman’s 1:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18)
The God of the breakthrough will always be available to those who call upon him to save them out of all their trouble. (Psalm 18:6)
The Bible tells us that if we walk after the Spirit then we will not fulfill the desires of the carnal nature or our physical senses. What does it mean to walk after the Spirit? (Romans chapter 8)
To “walk after” actually means to be joined to or with. Paul differentiates between living in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit. (Gal. 5:25)
A believer can be made alive by the Holy Spirit and “live in” the Spirit or be baptized in the Spirit but not actually walking after the Spirit or walking in the spiritual realm.
Some Christians are still allowing their carnal nature to lead them. They trust in man’s word more than God’s word and they mind the things of the world rather than the things of the Spirit.
Some believers try following the law and discipline of the body to control their carnal nature . This route eventually leads to defeat because while the law many contain sin it cannot conquer it.
God gives us the remedy in his word to crucify the flesh. He says to be filled with the Spirit and then walk after the Spirit. This is not not just a one time thing. We see in Acts chapter 2 that when believers got the Holy Spirit power from on high they waited on the Lord again concerning Peter in Acts chapter 4 and they were all filled with the Spirit again.
This is important to take note of. Believers need to he continually filled with the Spirit in order to overcome the carnal nature and the world. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be immersed in or supplied with the Holy Spirit on a continual basis. This comes by seeking God in prayer and spending time in God’s word. When we seek the Lord and call on him to empower us to walk in his Spirit he will always answer!
Just because we got the Holy Spirit one time does not mean that the Holy Spirit is activated in our lives on a continual basis. A good analogy would be that if we are a cell phone and have a battery inside us that does not mean that battery is charged. We have to plug it in to charge it. This takes time. It’s the same with our bodies. The amount of time we spend charging our battery will be the amount of power we get in our lives.
So when we are filled with the Spirit then we can be led by the Spirit. This means that once our spirits are charged up in the Holy Spirit we become more sensitive to the things of the Spirit and can hear his voice and feel his promptings.
As we fill up with the Holy Spirit each day that old person will soon die and be rendered in operative. As we pray in the Spirit and sing in the Spirit which Paul recommends that we do then we will be empowered by the Spirit. That means when we get to the place where our spirit man is more dominant than our carnal nature we will actually be able to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit according to our gifts and callings.
Born again believers live in varing degrees of the Spirit. None of us have managed to be as yielded to the Spirt like Enoch where we walked with God straight into glory but we should be moving closer in that direction all the time.
If we are filled with the Spirit then we can walk in the Spirit. When we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways he will direct our paths and then we are guaranteed to be successful by God’s standards. Then we can live as overcomers in this world.
If through the supply of the Spirit we are controlled by the Spirit then it will be automatic to yield to the Spirit. Our spirits being joined to God’s Spirit will enable us to live holy lives.
Those who are led by the Spirit scriptures tell us are the children of God but those who live according to the carnal nature will be defeated. Paul was talking to believers when he said that.
The unregenerate cannot reign in God’s kingdom. The carnal nature must be overcome and the way that we do it is not through rigorous religious exercise but through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5 tells us that our carnal nature will always fight against the Spirit but there is a remedy and that is being led by the Spirit of God. Being led by the Spirit can only come by being filled with the Spirit. When we fill up on the Holy Spirit every day then the Lord will direct our lives every day.
It is the Spirit that gives us life. It is the Spirit that enables believers to be salt and light in the earth. Without the Spirit we can do nothing for the flesh profits nothing. So as Paul says, let us put off the carnal nature and put on Christ. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit like Jesus was and let us be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in victory every day!
When our carnal nature becomes so subdued that Jesus is truly Lord of our lives then as Jesus testified in his word, “Greater works shall you do because I go to the Father. “
A curse is a verbal invocation to bring harm, or evil to another. A curse is a proclamation invoking power to make desired harm.
To bless is to verbally prophecy or speak good things into a person’s life or situation.
Both blessing and cursing while invoked or uttered by people are carried out by either God or the demonic realm.
When God’s people are obedient to him he blesses them by releasing his favor and goodwill but when God’s people are in rebellion they come under a curse. It is not God who does the cursing because God does not commit evil. Disobedience simply puts man outside God’s hedge of protection and that removal of blessing will allow evil things to occur in one’s life. (Isaiah 1:19,20 Deuteronomy 11)
Jesus made it clear that his people were not to curse or in other words not to invoke ill will on another person because cursing is speaking evil on another and that means invoking demonic powers to be released into another person’s life. God’s people are not to use demonic powers to deal with our enemies.
On the other hand when we bless our enemies who are doing evil to us we are asking God through benediction or prayer to change them and give them opportunity to repent. If they do not repent then coals of fire will be upon them or in other words they are in danger of eternal damnation. ( Romans 12:20 Mathew 5:44)
When Jesus spoke to the fig tree and commanded that it bear no fruit what he was doing was prophesying not cursing. (Matthew 11:12-25)
Since the fig tree represented Israel, Jesus was prophesying the outcome of the result of Israel rejecting him. While the disciples thought he was pronouncing a curse he actually was prophesying. (Mark 11:12,25)
The prophets in the old testament prophesied judgments that were a result of Israel’s rebellion but the evil which occurred came about by evil people. God himself did not harm his people but because of Israel’s sin he turned them over to their enemies.
A Curse without a cause will always return to the sender the Bible says. David prophesied that the curses of his enemies would fall back on their own heads. He declared that those who set nets for him would fall into it themselves. Simply because this is a spiritual law. Evil returns to its perpetrator. Touching God’s anointed will result in evil befalling the attacker.
Negative words in actuality are curses. That is why God said that life and death are in the power of the tongue. When we speak evil of another person we are pronouncing a curse in their lives and bringing judgment on ourselves.
When someone does us wrong we do good to them and pray for them to repent because if they do not repent their actions or words will return to them. Since God wants all to repent we are called to pray for them to have opportunity to repent.
Now we most certainly can pray for an evil action to be thwarted. God’s people are called to stand up for justice and take authority over evil. We can bind or render powerless evil devices. We can command in Jesus name all evil plans and schemes to be stopped but we are not to invoke evil on the person directly. We pray for them to repent.
(Mathew 18:18, Luke 10:19)
However sometimes people will not repent even if we pray and the evil they do may return to them. If we witness this happen we are to pray that God’s chastisement leads them to repentance. (Hebrews 12:6-11)
In psalm 69 David cries out to God when he is attacked by his enemies. He says that his enemies have no cause to attack him and because he is innocent concerning them he declares that the evil done to him would return to them. This of course is a prophecy as well about the Lord’s suffering and the results which occur to those who reject him.
When Jesus said to the Jewish nation that he would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel he was talking about a spiritual law. This same law applies to the Christian. Those who bless you will be blessed but those who do evil to you if they do not repent that evil will return to them. ( Genesis 12:3 Galatians 3:14-29)
That is why Jesus asks us to intercede for our enemies like he did to the Father. Unless our enemies repent they will end up being cursed which could result in eternal separation from God. (Luke 13:3-5)
Romans Chapter 7 is a chapter in which the struggle between the man under the law has with the sinful nature.
Paul who was a Pharisee under the law is revealing the battle a person under the law has with the carnal nature.
Right at the beginning of the chapter Paul makes it clear that he is speaking to those under the law. In other words those who are battling the carnal nature from a legalistic mindset.
Paul says that when we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are no longer bound to the law. Those under the law were and are constantly battling the nature of sin at work in the non saved person and the law of God.
While with the intellect a person can agree that the law is good they are if not saved powerless to perform it.
Paul points out that true Christians have been delivered from the law. Not from the truths set forth in the law but the law as a letter or theological theory abstract from the non redeemed nature.
While the law reveals sin it has no power to deliver from sin. The law is only a road map but cannot actually get us to our destination. What we need is a vehicle to get us there.
The law in and of itself is good Paul says but because the non redeemed have a carnal nature the no redeemed cannot obey the law in its entirety. That is why under the law God set up the sacrificial system of the blood covering of animals.
The person under the law is not quite the same as a full blown sinner. While the law keeper is a sinner the law keeper tries to obey the law of God in the non redeemed state.
Herein lies the problem. It is rather easy to detect a full blown sinner but not so easy to distinguish a person under the law from a true Christian.
A law keeper may even sometimes look to be more holy than the true Christian. This is because the law keeper is working relentlessly to serve the law while a Christian is looking to God’s grace and mercy for salvation.
There is according to scripture an intense struggle going on between the carnal nature of the law keeper and the law.
The law keeper actually hates the bondage that they are in. They want to serve God in their minds but cannot perform the law good enough to get God’s approval. It’s very tormenting to be a law keeper.
Is there deliverance for this struggle between the carnal nature and the law of God? Paul tells us that there is!
He tells us that through Jesus Christ we can have deliverance.
If we continue on to Romans Chapter 8 we find that those in Jesus Christ no longer have to be in torment battling the law of God and the sin nature. Paul says that there is now no condemnation of the law towards those who walk after the Holy Spirit.
In other words those born of God who are baptized into Jesus Christ and are in the Holy Spirit (because he is living in them) are now called to walk in the Holy Spirit.
Here is where some Christians get mixed up. Just because we are born again and have the Holy Spirit living in us does not mean we have achieved victory over sin. There is a part for us to play and it’s called walking after or yielding to the Holy Spirit. That is being obedient to the inner working of the Holy Spirit in us.
The difference between a law keeper and a true born again person is that the law keeper cannot perform the works of the law for justification while the born again person is justified by grace through faith and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey God.
God’s righteous is fulfilled in those who walk after the Holy Spirit Paul says. To walk after is translated in the Greek as; to be occupied with, to live with and to follow after.
Paul goes on to say that those who live after the flesh or earthly minded things will produce death that is a non productive spiritual life but those who live after the Holy Spirit will produce life abundantly.
Paul also says that one is proven to be a true Christian with the indwelling Holy Spirit by their putting to death the deeds of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit that is indwelling them and walking after the Holy Spirit which is indwelling them.
In other words when the body which is still subject to earthly senses is put under subjection or control of the Holy Spirit then life and liberty in Jesus Christ is the fruit produced.
Paul also says that suffering in the flesh or not giving in to its dictates will produce a far better eternal weight of glory for us.
One day the Christian’s body will be redeemed and the earthly part will be gone but at this time rather that keeping the sin nature contained by the law, those born of God have the Holy Spirit to control sin and produce fruits of holiness.
Christians are more than conquerors in this life Paul says because we belong to Jesus Christ. A conqueror is not a defeated in bondage to sinful desires and lifestyles person nor is a conqueror a twisted tormented law keeper trying to keep the law in the sinful nature.
A conqueror lives victorious in the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate the true Christian from the love of God if we really belong to God.
Sin has no more dominion over those who walk after the Holy Spirit because Jesus defeated the power of sin at the cross. Scripture tell us that “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteous of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.”
(2 cor. 5:21)
Therefore brethren we are under no obligation or compulsion to obey sinful desires for that leads to death but we are under grace and grace leads us through Holy Spirit power to live a life of holiness.
The greatest remedy for our sins, failures, bad choices, and mistakes is God’s unfailing love in which he demonstrated to us through the gift of the Savior Jesus Christ.
This love undeserved is called grace but did you know that grace and salvation stem from God’s heart of compassion in which he releases to the undeserved his mercy.
Mercy called chânan in the Hebrew means to bend in kindness to an inferior; to bestow favor upon. To have pity. Eleeō in the Greek means mercy is the divine grace of almighty God. Mercy is in effect the Lord’s compassion.
Mercy according to the Bible triumphs or is victorious over judgment. All sin is judged by God whose throne is established in justice and righteousness.
Legally speaking God’s laws when broken must be judged. That judgment always leads to death. Christians many times want to blame the devil for every thing but it is not the devil who activates God’s judgment upon us when we sin. It is in fact our own doing.
What the devil does is take advantage of a legal precedent. Sin is an open invitation for Satan to have access to a person’s life. That is why Paul said. Don’t give Satan any place!
Satan is always looking for some one to devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy in any way he can. So what can we do against this formidable foe who is a merciless devourer that takes advantage of our weakness?
Scriptures give us the answer! Yes, it is God’s mercy! When we confess our sins and ask for help in our weakness the Lord has a legal precedent that triumphs over the law of judgment.
Symptoms of emotional and physical distress often stem from sin and are projected through Satanic attacks. When we suffer from these symptoms we need to look into our hearts and find out how we let Satan get an advantage of us. Then we need to repent.
Whether personal or generational sin has a penalty. That penalty is death. Not just eternal death but non life or dark consequences both material and spiritual. These consequences are manifest through various kinds of torments, afflictions and lack.
Mercy does not need a price for it to bring the remedy for our sins. Mercy is bestowed freely to the contrite and broken heart of repentance from a loving God. Mercy is not given to the proud or self righteous but to the humble who recognize their weakness and desire help from an all powerful God.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Mercy from the Lord comes also when we are persecuted, misunderstood, and attacked by unscrupulous people.
Let me show you from scriptures how the mercy of God can be applied to our lives.
In our distress or trouble we can call on the Lord for his mercy and he will hear us and deliver us.
When we are weak and suffering with affliction we can call on the Lord for his mercy. When we are hated and persecuted we can ask for God to pour out his mercy. When we are poor, depressed and alone we can also appeal to God for his mercy for God’s mercy endures forever.
God’s mercy will bring us forgiveness and deliverance. His mercy sent from the throne of Grace will gives us strength and empowers us to live a life that pleases him.
God’s mercy will protect us and defend us from our enemies. God’s mercy will preserve us from trouble and keep us from the power of the wicked one.
God’s mercy will make us stand and be strong in his mighty power.
God’s mercy will teach us Biblical truth and cause us to walk in his ways.
Are you in need of God’s mercy today? Call upon him in your brokenness for he will bend his ear down to hear your cry. He will come to your rescue and save you out of all your trouble for whoever calls on the name of the Lord in sincerity shall be saved!
Psalm 4:1 When I was in distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 6:2 Have mercy on me in my weakness and suffering and heal me.
Have mercy when I suffer from those who hate me. Lift me up out of death. Psalm 9: 13
Through the mercy of the Lord I shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7
For your mercy’s sake don’t remember my sins Psalm 25:7
Remember mercy because I am desolate. Left alone. Forsaken. And afflicted. Depressed, needy and poor. Psalm 25:16
Have mercy. Be my helper. Psalm 30:10
Have mercy for I am in trouble and sorrowful. Psalm 31:9
Those who trust the Lord will have mercy. Psalm 32:10
Send forth your mercy to me from heaven. Psalm 36:5 psalm 57:3
Gods mercy has been my defense and refuge in trouble. Psalm 59:16
Your mercy and truth preserve me. Psalm 61:7
Show mercy and bring deliverence psalm 85:7
In your mercy give me strength and save me Psalm 86 :16
Let your mercy keep me and your covenant stand for me Psalm 89:28
Extend your mercy to my children psalm 103:17
Let your mercy deliver me because you are good. Psalm 109:21
According to your mercy teach me your word. Psalm 119:24
Deliver me from my enemies in your mercy. Psalm 136:26
In 1 Sam. 15:23 God told Saul that obedience to him is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of lambs.
The Lord made it clear to Saul that he wanted him to hear his voice and obey his commands and that was the way he was to worship.
The Lord made a command to Saul to slay every inhabitant of Amalek including their animals. Saul leaned on his own reasoning in the situation. Rather than do what he was told, Saul spared the king of Amalek and took the best of the spoil for himself.
The Lord took Saul’s disobedience as a rebellious act against his Lordship.
Saul said that he was going to sacrifice the sheep and oxen he had taken to the Lord but the Lord wouldn’t accept it.
Saul it seemed wanted to serve God Saul’s way. He knew better than God on how to serve God.
Saul even justified his action by saying he did everything that he was told to do but he took the best of the animals to make a big sacrifice to God. Plus Saul let the king or head of the Lord’s enemy live.
Amalek was a descendant of Esau. This lineage had no respect to God’s covenant. They were disrespectful of God’s holy ways.
By letting Amalek’s king live Saul was compromising with evil.
God’s view was that Saul by taking matters into his own hand was therefore in rebellion and operating in a witchcraft spirit. He in effect was denying God.
This story is really a parallel to the religious spirit that decides how God should be worshiped. The religious spirit comprises with things that disrespect God’s word.
Religion wants to make all kinds of obligations and ritualistic observations in preference to what God’s word has to say.
The religious spirit wants to perform feats that guise as worshiping God but in reality only exalt man’s ego.
God requires obedience to please him. Romans 6:16 tells us that obedience to the faith moves into righteousness or justification.
Obedience means attentive hearkening, complying with a command or request. Submitting to the authority and moral conviction of the religious truth of reliance on Jesus Christ for salvation. This is obedience to the faith.
God’s way of worship is by faith in Jesus Christ! Not rituals and all kinds of humanistic effort.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to demolish high minded reasoning that oppose knowing God and bringing captive the intellect to obey Jesus Christ.
In other words cast down any form of worship that is against what God’s word defines as worship.
What is obedient worship acceptable to God?
1 Peter 1:2 says that God the Father has chosen those who by his foreknowledge through sanctification (purified and made holy) of the Holy Spirit unto ( toward) obedience (hearkening to command ) and sprinkling of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ.
The only form of worship pleasing to God is through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and obedience to the gospel.
Those who hearken to this command will be received by God the Father and are well pleasing in his sight.
Anything added to that or taken from that is considered disobedience to God.