victory

What is overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil ?

These are the things that shape what we do, how we think and act…. and these are the things that draw us away from God.

The WORLD…. both people and things (like possessions) and the enjoyment of same…. we must be careful to discipline ourselves in the enjoyment of hobbies to make sure that they do not displace other responsibilities and priorities….. and we must monitor our interaction with people to see they are not corrupting us…. spend time with people who know the Lord and can encourage Christian living rather than those who will draw us away from God.

The FLESH…. this is the aspect of our own personality…. the desires of our own body for ease and comfort…. and sexual desires ….. as above,  morally neutral desires have to be disciplined so they do not displace spiritual priorities…. and sinful desires have to be overcome and defeated.

The DEVIL….. all evil spirits will use both the world and the desires of the flesh to DEFEAT the purposes of God in your life….. this is how they operate….  they are powerless to affect you except through your own desires…. you give them power in your life, when you follow through on their promptings….. the more you resist and refuse to give in then the less they will be able to influence you…. how do you know whether any particular desire is just your own flesh or the demonic ??…… words like OBSESSION and irresistible COMPULSION usually signify that a person is coming under the influence of demons….. God gave us free will and we can resist the flesh if we choose to….  when people have “irresistible” compulsions and obsessions that they cannot “help themselves” is usually a sign that demons have the “upper hand” in controlling their lives.

Revelation 12:11 – tells us we overcome the Devil by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Jesus overcame the devil by quoting the Bible at him (Matthew 4:1 – 11)…. and that will work for us as well)

1 John 5:4 – tells us that our faith is what overcomes the world

Galatians 5:16 –  tells us to walk in the Spirit and we shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh

faith

Let’s ANALYZE faith…. shall we ?

The Bible says, “now FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen”  (Hebrews 11:1)

So here’s how it works….. you EXERCISE faith when you speak….. for example,”BE HEALED in the name of Jesus”.

Only one of two things can happen….. it either works or it doesn’t ?

IT WORKS !

Your faith is boosted to “higher heights” and you are encouraged to continue with BOLDER “exercises” in faith……..  until…..

IT DID NOT WORK…… oh, ooh….

Now what ? how do you DEAL with this….. again, my friend….. two possible outcomes….

YOUR FAITH SHRINKS

in your despair you may say things like…. “God you let me down, big time”…… “Maybe it’s all just luck and chance anyway”….. “I KNEW this was too good to be true”…. “boy, ya see me an dis faith thing I dun wid dat”…. “waste of time”…. in any case, the possibility of using your faith with POWER may never happen again

YOUR FAITH GROWS

You fa real ?…. FAILURE, big time, how can faith grow ???

THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH

1.  produces other qualities that God requires in your character (James 1:3, 1 Peter 1:7)

2. ensures humility and prevents arrogance and pride. Humility is a very precious thing to God. (James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34, 1 Peter 5:5)

PROVES THE SOVEREIGNTY  OF GOD

If EVERY time you spoke it came to pass…. and WHATEVER YOU SAID happened…. then you would BE LIKE GOD…. Mark 11:23-24 is true…  BUT it is just as well (for the safety of our planet and the order of the Universe)  that no human (in our IMPERFECT state) has that “level of faith”…. because no imperfect human could handle that level of POWER.

CONCLUSION

Christians are called to EXERCISE FAITH….. NEITHER becoming DISCOURAGED or ARROGANT….. regardless of the outcome…… our FAITH is supposed to be IN GOD and the TRUTH OF HIS WORD – the Bible.

NO FAITH FOR AGNOSTICS

The “agnostic” is a popular fellow…… there are probably many more “agnostics” than they are either Christians or Atheists…… let me explain…

FAITH OF THE ATHEIST

The CHRISTIAN has “FAITH” that God EXISTS

The ATHEIST has “FAITH” that God does NOT EXIST.

But the AGNOSTIC is……. “sitting on the fence supposedly open-minded about it all”……. unwilling to engage with FAITH…… and (in most cases) oblivious to the IMPORTANCE or a decision…. or the RELEVANCE of the matter….  what can they hope to gain by NOT making a decision ?….. how can they escape judgement by neglecting to investigate such an IMPORTANT MATTER and come to some CONCLUSION about it ?

DOOM OF THE AGNOSTIC

The Perennial Procrastination…. and Indolent Indifference of the Agnostic leads to their damnation as surely as the Ravings of the most Rabid atheist !

“Be not deceived, God is not mocked,  for whatever a man sow, that shall he also reap”  (Galatians 6:7)

“How shall we escape, if we NEGLECT so great salvation…” (Hebrews 2:3)

blessing

EVERYBODY wants a blessing…. even heathen people want a blessing…..

The Jews had the ultimate earthly blessing….. 1 Kings 5:20 records: ” Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry.”

and YET…. just a short time later we see war, famine and captivity….. how come ?

IDOLATRY …. and it’s still happening TODAY…. when the LORD blesses people materially… here’s how it goes down:

1. First after a short time, the initial AWE disappears, the reverence and thankfulness that God has graciously given us blessings that we do not deserve….. in this phase, we get ACCUSTOMED to the blessing…… we get ATTACHED to it…. the “good life” becomes the NORM…. and it becomes IMPORTANT to us…..  so important to us, in fact, that we  “worship” it ….. we play the harlot after it….. and we IDOLIZE it…. we ENJOY it so much that GOD and His plans take “backseat”….. ANYTHING that threatens our “good life” is now an enemy.

2. The activity of the demons working through our own evil natures lures us into PRACTICES and INDULGENCE that offends GOD and so our “blessing” comes to an end…… because we are now more attached to the GIFT than we are to the giver of it …. and GOD simply will not allow such a “state” to persist indefinitely.

The BIBLE is written for our INSTRUCTION…. it is folly to believe that we are somehow “better” than the Jews and that this cannot happen to us.

The REAL problem is that we do not realize the subtleness of IDOLATRY…. and my beloved  Barbados, has now fallen into this trap (along with the rest of the world)…. read today’s NATION newspaper and see it for yourself all over the front page and also inside !

There are only 2 ways to avoid this trap:

1. Dependence on God. read Psalm 139:23-24  and Psalm 19:12-14

2. A constant willingness to SHARE our comforts and blessings with OTHERS, taking no thought for our own future but realizing that God who blessed us today is quite capable of blessing us anytime in the future also, according to His will

Finally, there is no need to SHUN blessings and earthly comfort, as some Ascetic people do, who prefer to punish themselves in the misguided notion that this is somehow  “holy”…… but rather, enjoy God’s blessing and GIVE THANKS…. ONLY be willing to sacrifice it all, in faith, if or when HE  asks you to do so.