Identifying The Enemy

The Flesh

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Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (NKJV)

The believer will often struggle on a daily basis trying to walk and live in the spirit because of a powerful enemy called the flesh. This struggle can be an exasperating experience for a believer. It is a daily battle, and a lifetime of war.

The apostle Paul tells us in;

Galatians 5:16 and 17

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”(NKJV)

When believers allow themselves to be led by the Spirit, the Spirit guides us into truth.

John 16:13

“however, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come’ (NKJV)

When believers allow themselves to be led by the flesh, the flesh will lead that believer into sin by carnal and selfish desires.

1st John 2:16 

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” (NKJV)

Identifying the enemy, will help a believer with winning battles, and being victorious in a war. Often times when a believer makes a mistake or sins, the believer looks at the devil as the reason they have sinned. Often times the devil is given too much credit for a person’s behavior. Many times it is our flesh that has caused the mistake that has been made.

Galatians 5:17

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (NKJV)

One method of identifying the flesh is when a person receives instant gratification from what they are presently doing.

Romans 7:15 “ For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 

The flesh will not reveal the negative consequences that a person will experience at a later time for the sin they are committing at the present time.

Romans 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 

God can instantly bless someone when He chooses to do so. So one might ask the question “how do I know when what I am receiving is a blessing from God, or my spirit yielding to gratifying the carnal nature of the flesh?” The answer is found in the word of God.

Matthew 26:41

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (NKJV)

Believers have to be watchful about what is going on around them, who they are with, and where they are going. Praying for the leading of the Holy Spirit will always lead us in the right direction.

Lord Jesus, I ask that you help believers to see and identify the enemy our carnal flesh when it is trying to lead us into sin. Help us to walk by faith and not just by what is seen, in your name that is above every name…Amen!

Continuing in his service…Rev

Brokenness

Brokenness

“Re-member me”

Luke 23: 39 to 42 “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us”. VS 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him saying “do you not even fear God, seeing that you are under the same condemnation? VS 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing wrong. VS 42 “Then he said to Jesus, “Lord remember me when you come into Your Kingdom” [NKJV]

Brokenness can be many different things:

  • Not functioning properly; out of working order
  • Something or someone that has been interrupted, disrupted or disconnected
  • Incomplete
  • To be weakened in strength or spirit
  • Reduced to submission

The word “broken” is a verb meaning an action

The word “brokenness” is a noun meaning the name of something and typically refers to persons, places, animals, things, states or qualities.

In today’s world many times broken things are despised and discarded or thrown out. Anything that has been broken or we no longer need, we throw away. It is not uncommon for damaged or broken goods to be rejected, and that includes people. The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits and broken relationships. Fortunately, we serve a God that is in the recycling business, and God’s people are recyclable.

 Believers can experience two kinds of brokenness. The 1st is because of their own actions:

  • You break on your own by sin or sinning
  • Here are some areas in our lives that need to be broken

Examples

  1. Pride
  2. Self will
  3. Stubbornness
  4. Sinful habits
  5. The desire to do it our way and not God’s way
  6. Selfish/Self-centered desires

The 2nd kind of brokenness a believer can experience is to be broken by God.

Examples

  • The Apostle Paul – on the road to Damascus
  • The nation of Israel – 40 years in the wilderness
  • Jonah in the belly of a fish – trying to flee from going to Nineveh

When God puts a call on your life to serve Him, you either do it willingly, or God breaks you, and you still wind up doing what he has called you to do. Jonah had to experience brokenness, and then he did what God had called him to do

Make no mistake about it, God has the ability to take that which has been broken and make it whole again. God is able to: 

Re-make

Re-new

Re-store

Re-cycle and Re-member 

God can put back together that which has been broken. Not only can God make you whole from experiencing brokenness, God can remake (re-member to put back together) you into something better that He can use for His Kingdom and His glory.

There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes some of us to seek the Lord with a sense of urgency. King David was once a broken vessel and he prayed to God “create in me a clean heart, O God and renew (re-member) a steadfast spirit within me”. Psalm 51:10 [NKJV]

  • Vs. 12 “restore to me the joy of your salivation. And uphold me by your generous spirit.”
  • Vs. 17 “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a repentant heart-these, O God you will not despise.”

Often time’s people who are in the same situation that you are in, will try to or make suggestions to you to get both of you out of that situation. They got themselves in but will give you a solution to get them out.

Philippians 3:18 and 19 describes one of the thieves that was crucified with Jesus

  • Vs. 18 “For many walk, of who I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.
  • Vs. 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things”.

Notice what the thief says to Jesus in Luke 23 vs 39 “then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.”

Not only does this thief question Jesus’s deity, power and authority, he attempts to temp or use Jesus to get him out of his situation.

Philippians 3:20 and 21 describes the other thief that was crucified with Jesus

  • Vs. 20 “for our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Vs. 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed (re- membered) to his glorious body, according to the working by which he is able to subdue all things (putting back together) to Himself.

Notice what this thief says to Jesus “Lord remember me when you come into your Kingdom”

  • He acknowledges Jesus as Lord
  • He asks for salvation
  • He acknowledges that there is a kingdom
  • He also is asking to be remembered! He is asking that Jesus take all that brokenness that he has experienced in life and re-members that brokenness (put back together) with a glorious body like Christ’s

1st Corth 15 Vs. 42,43 and 44  So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

We as believers can take two steps to have brokenness re-membered:

  • Matt 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
  • John 14:14 “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it”

As followers of Christ, the reality of experiencing brokenness can sometimes happen on a daily basis. Because of our inclination to sin, sinning can assume a false authority over brokenness in a believer’s life. If we allow sin to dominate ours hearts and mind, brokenness will drain the joy of having a relationship with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

While brokenness is very real, through the grace of Jesus Christ, brokenness will no longer be our boss or have dominion in a believer’s life. Jesus has the power and authority to “re-member” us.

Matt 28:18 “and Jesus spoke to them saying all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth”.

Go to Jesus with brokenness, He has the power to “re-member” you…

“Lord Jesus, I believe that You have the power to “re-member” anything that is broken and heal brokenness. Thank you for putting back together that which has been broken. Thank you for sewing, mending and “re-membering”, in Jesus name…Amen!

Continuing in His service…Rev

Miracles

Miracles

Image result for picture of jesus walking on water

Matthew 14:25 “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea” [NKJV]

Webster Universal College Dictionary describes a miracle as: an extraordinary occurrence that surpasses all known human powers or natural force and is ascribed to be a divine or supernatural cause, esp. to God.

God is in the miracle performing business

God Himself will perform miracles

God will use the Holy Spirit to perform miracles

God will use people to perform miracles

God will use animals to perform miracles

God will use elements of nature to perform miracles

God will use angels to perform miracles

Jesus Himself has and will perform miracles

God can perform miracles because He is:

Omniscient –all knowing / knowing everything

Omnipresent – all present / present everywhere at the same time

Omnipotent– all power / having unlimited power; able to do anything

A person should not try to perform a miracle to impress others, to obtain notoriety, or for personal financial gain

Jesus did not perform miracles to be seen as theatrical sensations……

Jesus did not perform miracles to prove who He was or that He was the Messiah….in fact He clearly refused to work miracles as proof. Matt 12:38-42 Luke 11:29-32.

Jesus expected the disciples to do miracles and rebuked them for their “little faith” and unbelief Matt 17:14-21 (a boy is healed)

These are several miracles recorded in the bible

The birth of Jesus Christ Matt 1:18-25 Luke 1:26-38

The Red Sea crossing Exodus 14:1-31

The fiery furnace Daniel 3:14-29

The lion’s den Daniel 6:1-28

The burning bush Exodus 3:1-4

The Phoenician Woman’s daughter Mark 7:24-30

The raising of Lazarus John 11:28-44

The donkey speaking Numbers 22:22-31

The prophet Elijah on Mt. Carmel 1st Kings 18:30

The demon possessed girl Acts 16:16-24

The birth of Isaac Genesis 21:1

The woman with the issue of blood Luke 8:43-48

The feeding of 5000 John 6:5-15

The walking on water Matt 14: 22-33

Miracles are proof of God’s existence, His Power, His wisdom and His authority over demons, idols, sorcery, nature, life and death. Some may try to explain the experience of a miracle and how or why it happened, but find it difficult to find the words.

If or when we experience a miracle, let’s not try to understand or explain what happened, let’s have faith in God and just believe that it happened.

“Thank You God for Your display of awesome miracles that show that You are God and God all by Yourself, in Jesus name…Amen!”

Continuing in His service…Rev

The Heart

The Heart

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Life Application study Bible / NLT)

The (Life Application study Bible / NLT) translation instructs us to “guard” our hearts above all else, making sure we are watching and concentrating on those desires that will keep us on the right path.

Therefore we have to put “boundaries” on our wants and desires, and not go after “everything” we see.

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (NKJV)

To “keep” something is to make sure it is in a secure place so that it doesn’t get away, and that it is also safe from attack.

The Heart is our inner self that thinks, feels and decides. As we read scriptures in the Bible, the word “heart” has a much broader meaning than that it does to our modern mind. The heart is that which is central and connected to the mind. Many of the references to the human heart in the scriptures refer to some aspect of human personality.

The Bible gives several scriptures about our emotions that are experienced by the Heart:

Love and hate Ps. 105:25 / 1st Peter 1:22

Joy and sorrow Eccl. 2:10 / John 16:6

Peace and bitterness Ezek. 27:31 / Col. 3:15

Courage and fear Gen. 42:28 / Amos 2:16

Several thinking processes are also said to be carried out by the heart. Thus the heart may:

Think Esth. 6:6

Understand Job 38:36

Imagine Jer 9:14

Remember Deut. 4:9

Be wise Prov. 2:10

Speak to itself Deut. 7:17

Many decisions that are made are carried out by the heart:

Our purpose Acts 11:23

Our intention Heb. 4:12

Our will Eph. 6:6

Finally, the heart will often show a person’s true character or personality:

Purity or evil Jer. 3:17 / Matt. 5:8

Sincerity or hardness Ex. 4:21 / Col. 2:22

Maturity or rebelliousness Ps. 101:2 / Jer. 5:23

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (NKJV)

Lord Jesus, the bible tells us that you do not judge by a person’s outward appearance but You look at the heart. I pray that anything that is seen in our hearts that is displeasing in your eyesight be removed. Lord Jesus create in us a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. In Your precious name. Amen!

Continuing in His service…Rev