Posts Tagged ‘fight the good fight of faith’

Sin’s Progress

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13)

Remind yourself that sin has a progress! It takes you further than you want to go, costs you more than you can pay… and it keeps you longer than you intended to stay. So give it no ground! (Jms. 1:13-16)
· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).
· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.
· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.
· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).
· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.
· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.
· It goes from action to repeated action.
· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).
· It goes from delight to new and various ways.
· It goes from new and various ways to habit. (idolatry)
· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.
· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.
· It goes from sacrifice to slavery. (bondage & dominion over me)

We can fight the good fight of faith: (2 Cor. 10:3-6)(Eph. 6:10-18)
1st) Pull down strongholds of the mind
2nd) Cast down everything that argues with the knowledge of God
3rd) Bring every thought into obedience to Christ
4th) Punish all disobedience, when obedience is achieved

Recognize that you do not have to open the door, when thoughts come knocking at your heart… don’t think about, meditate upon or even entertain evil thoughts, because they aim to rob you of your peace and joy in Christ! Hide the Word of God in your heart! (Psa. 119:11)(Heb. 4:12)

Blessing & The Face of God

“The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

The blessing that God commanded Moses to proclaim over Israel, contains the Father’s heart for His people. In these words we are introduced to the essence of relational blessing… the seeing of His face and the authentic joy of reflecting the light of His countenance. God loves for His face to be seen and His heart to be experienced. He loves for His Glory to shine upon His people. Why? So others see the reflection and are drawn to investigate! David adding this wonderful statement, “That Your ways (God’s ways) may be known upon the earth” (Ps. 67:2). It is one of the most important priorities of God… that His children shine with the light of His countenance and reflect the family resemblance.

“Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of Your countenance.” (Ps. 89:15)

Seeing His Face:

The face of God radiates with joy and reveals the power of unconditional love! When you see His face, the result is overwhelming. His joy captures the heart and creates within us the sound of joy. It is this sound, the joy of abounding love that enables God’s people to shine with the light of His Glory. Walking in the light of His countenance is the most effective way to conquer sin, overcome our frailties and fight the good fight of faith. God has made us in such a way that when we see His countenance through the “eyes” of our spirit, we reflect His very nature. We are invited to know His heart and experience His mercy, His goodness and blessing. In fact, this is the essence of the ministry of the Holy Spirit… to make the Glory of God visible in the face of Jesus for all men to see with spiritual eyes. The process of restoration, healing, deliverance and all that would accompany salvation… are all products of seeing the face of God with clarity. We are offered the opportunity to see who He really is… and who we can become when we walk in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). We then become a living testimony, a reflection of His countenance to others.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:6)

The 3-Fold Nature of God’s Blessing:

  1. Security – He promises to “keep” us! (Phil. 1:6)
  2. Grace – He promises to be “gracious” to us… to give us favor! (Rom. 5:20-21)
  3. Peace – He promises to give us “peace” (shalom)… nothing missing, nothing broken! (Heb. 4:9)


Becoming Believers

“Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.” (Mk. 16:9-11)

Did you catch that… the disciples didn’t believe that Jesus was alive! Even though Jesus had told them over and over again that He would be crucified and raised again on the third day… they still seemed to stumble over the news from Mary. No question, the disciples had faith in Jesus; they knew He was the Messiah. He was a trusted friend… their Lord, King and Master. To the best of their ability they knew Him as God, but they couldn’t believe He was going to do what He said He would do. It’s just like many Christians today. They have faith in God, but they don’t believe the promises of God… what He tells us in His Word.

Faith vs. Believing:

Is there a difference? In some ways there doesn’t seem to be much difference. We see the words faith and believing used interchangeably. Yet it is important that we see the difference, so that we can grow in our faith by enlarging our capacity to believe.

Faith, as the Bible tells us is the substance of things hoped for and the assurance of things not yet seen (Heb. 11:1). In this way it becomes a force that emerges out of your spirit man, based upon knowledge and hope. The Apostle Paul said faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It’s a gift from God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows as we learn how to overcome doubts and unbelief. In fact, Timothy was commanded by the Apostle Paul, his mentor; to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12).

Believing on the other hand is an activity of the soul, choosing to believe mentally or to agree with God – is what unleashes the force of faith. You might ask for an example… the best I can think of is Abraham’s faith. The Book of Romans tells of Abraham’s believing, against all the facts and natural limitations; that he and Sarah would have a son. It says that “he did not waver at the Promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). His believing was activated by his consistent praise and “giving glory to God”… and he grew in his conviction that God was able to do all that He had promised.

Unlocked & Released:

So we can see the difference between faith and believing, in that faith must be unlocked and released by our actions… our words and behavior. These are soul realities and activities of the mind, will and emotion. Believing is what makes faith the force that pleases God (Heb 11:6). If faith is the currency of heaven… then believing is the transaction that moves the heart of the Father. Faith itself may be available, but until it is acted upon, vocalized or passionately demonstrated; it is like wanting a trinket, but never getting the coins out of your pocket. Faith without works is dead (Jms. 2:20)… but Jesus said that if you believe nothing will be impossible (Mk. 9:23).

A Call to Action

The Bible declares that the weapons believers use to fight their daily battles, are mighty in God and have great power to sustain their spiritual position in Christ. Our warfare is all about spiritual discernment and confidence! Fear and frustration must turn into courage and faith, because far too much spiritual ground is being left unguarded, unwisely. We seem unaware that our enemy is like a “prowling lion in the weeds”, waiting to pounce. Weapons that are ignored, go unused and inflict no damage against our foes… and they don’t win wars. So, the will to use a weapon is as important as the weapon itself. It is not enough to say we believe that spiritual warfare is going on… we must feel the called to action!

Why Hesitate?

We need to realize that passivity is simply the response of the unbelieving heart! People who are disengaged from spiritual reality often walk as practicing atheists. They might say they believe in God, but never really develop an interest in His priorities for their future.  The realm of the spirit is the most powerful dimension in the universe, but it is not the most obvious to the natural mind. We seem to wage more battles in the natural realm, than in the spirit; and our discipline (as followers of Christ) must come from God’s perspective. The truth is that our enemy is out to destroy our destiny and steal our goods! What the devil wants, is for us to feel like we can casually go about our business, as if he doesn’t exist and disregard his sneaky deceptions. Satan’s goal is to cool our passion and lull us to complacency. The passive heart never recognizes the need for the resources established in Christ!

But We Are – Enforcers of Christ’s Victory!

Waking Up to Reality:

There is no neutral ground on the spiritual battlefield. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me” (Mt 12:30). The Word of God is against passivity and shouts to every soldier of the cross, “It’s time to advance…” to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12), endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Tim 2:3), resist the devil (James 4:7), put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:13) and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). “To wake up and see as God sees, means setting our gaze a bit higher than the natural horizon!”

We must blow the trumpet in Zion!

Like the Prophet Joel, we must proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears… Let the weak say, ‘I am strong (Joel 3:9-10). Today one phrase resounds in my heart…

“Wake up you mighty men!”

Our Enemy is a Squatter!

The devil is taking territory, he has no right to occupy. Its’ time for the people of God to put on strength and advance in the face of their adversary. Maybe you don’t feel mighty at this moment. But you are, whether you feel like it or not. We all are… if we’ve made Jesus the Lord of our lives! There is supernatural strength in you! The time has come for us to hear a call to action and start responding like warriors!

Complacency is hindering the work of God, harming saints and holding entire nations hostage. This is a call to action, because too few believers are using their Kingdom authority to actively, aggressively resist the thief. Church has never been about entertaining services or Sunday School pot-lucks… its war and the time has come for a company of Saints to take up arms. The Apostle Paul said it like this:

  • “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:10-13)
  • “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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:3-6)

Resisting Unbelief

Unlocking the "Promise"

Unlocking the "Promise"

“Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land; those very men brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord.” (Nu. 14:36-37)

We often believe partially… like having faith for breakfast, but stopping short of believing God to meet all of our needs.

Let’s look at what happened in the Bible. God had Moses lead the people out of Egypt. Then He said I’m giving you a Promised Land that flows with milk & honey. So Moses sent out spies to check out the land God promised them. Joshua and Caleb came back in agreement with God’s promise (the land is good). The other ten spies came back with a bad report, focusing on the giants in the land and doubting God. How you see… is more important than what you see!

Seeing & Believing:

I know how tempting it is to focus on the negative instead of believing what God has promised! You must actively allow God to shape your perception while you look at realities that seem contrary to the Word of God! Seeing and believing are two very different issues. The Bible says that the people believed the spies with the bad report and wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb. Imagine fighting to agree with lies… that is where doubts lead us. It is amazing to watch reason or “how we see”, bring people into complaining and away from belief in God and His Promises. Doubt requires no creative energy at all, in fact it is an open door for a spirit of unbelief. When we are struggling to trust God, we need to resist the spirit of unbelief, because it is stubborn and will lead us into deception and paralyze our vision. You must exercise your faith in God’s Word, if you want to see the “promise” in your promised land!

  • God is truth!
  • He is not a man who would lie.
  • In Him there is no darkness at all – He’s not even capable of telling a lie.
  • The devil is the father of all lies, he is the deceiver and thief.
  • God is good, and His plan for us is good.
  • God is faithful and will always make Himself available.
  • He will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Don’t Open the Door to a Plague!

Doubt is not something that God puts in us. The Bible says that God gives every man a “… measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). God has placed faith in our heart, but the devil tries to negate our faith by attacking us with fear and doubt. Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the Word of God. This is why it’s so important to know the Word, speak the Word and walk in the Word. If we know the Word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us. Realize that he lies in order to steal from you… he is after the “promise” of the Promise Land. He wants to undermine all that Jesus revealed to us in His life and purchased for us at the cross, through His death and resurrection.

Don’t let the devil rob you of your inheritance!

Encourage yourself in God’s Word and speak out loud who He is and what He has purposed for you. Give no room for the devil to deceive you. If you allow doubts to become a stronghold of unbelief in any area of your life, not only will you miss out on your “promised land”, you will end up living under a “plague”! The stubborn heart will make you feel as though you are dying in your personal wilderness. Fight the good fight of faith… and don’t entertain negative thoughts that contradict God’s Word. Take those thoughts captive and fight for fresh vision and promise (2 Cor 10:3-6)!

Faith opens the door to your spiritual inheritance! Remember the words of David, “no evil, no harm and no plague shall come near your dwelling” (Ps. 91:10), since faith comes by hearing, and hearing (breaks the spirit of unbelief) by the Word of God.

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