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Posts Tagged ‘Salvation of Souls’

dont judge

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“Don’t judge me” is probably one of the most common phrases thrown out there by humanity. People do not like to be judged by others because they feel like others lack real insight into their own personal situation; and for the most part, this is absolutely true. Even the bible admonishes us about judging in scriptures such as Mathew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye may not be judged” and Romans 14:13 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more.”

But the reality is, we all judge. Insomuch as you declare, “do not judge me” you are judging; you have judged those you believe are judging you.

Judge: To form an opinion about something after careful thought; to regard as either good or bad

There really is no escaping judgement- neither giving or receiving it. So what are these scripture in the Bible about? Let us look at the amplified version of Matthew 7:1-2:

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

A problem arises when we sit on a pedestal, believing ourselves to be more special or deserving than the hypocrite, the murderer, the thief, the adulterous, the one who disobeys… We cease to see our own spiritual infidelities. Our hearts become unrepentant. We forget that we are all made of the same dirt and will all return to that dirt. Thinking we have judged rightly, we will find in the end that we have misjudged our own position before God. This also carries over to putting some people in higher esteem than others.Love3

You see, the one condemned in your eyes, is the one Jesus Christ died for. The one whom you think yourself superior too, this is the one that “God so loved, that he gave his only begotten Son” for. That one that you have disregarded? That is the one that Christ is seeking to save.

Most people believe they are not judging. But let us consider some trigger words. What sort of thoughts come to mind when you read these words. Ponder them each individually and slowly:

Homosexuality. Muslim. Abortion. Christian. Jesus. Buddha. Science. Family. Gandhi. Mother Theresa. Baptism. Salvation. Heaven. Hell.

This list could be infinite. Each word will conjure up something within your heart, and for each word, you have a personal judgement made about it. The problem does not lie in what your personal perception and understanding of these words is. The problem lies when you attach these labels to people and consequently praise or condemn, befriend or avoid them.

dont judge meOne of the most damaging thoughts out there in our time is the thought of “toxic people.” Many quotes are being circulated in our world about staying away from these toxic-humanoids. Yes, you may as well call it something different than human. This thought process is loaded with judgement and condemnation, because as soon as you have labeled somebody “toxic” you have judged them.

Does that mean that staying away from someone that may harm you or pressure you to go against your own conscience is wrong? No! That is healthy. But, remember, those that deserve our attention the least, may need it the most. If we must, for our own safety, put distance between us and another person, do so with love, praying that this person may get the healing and help they so desperately need. But pushing people out of our lives just because they are different, difficult or not what we expected, is harmful.

Life is not easy- no matter who is in it. This life is meant to teach us lessons and lessons are not learned through ease. We all have a powerful inner-critic at work all the time. Let us not be found guilty of strengthening the inner critic of others.

“Don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes.” 

Too many wear this like a badge of honor, yet do not honor this in others. We cannot sit a critic and condemner and love at the same time.

Most of religion is set up with walls- enclosing people, codes, regulations, laws, hierarchy and tradition inside walls and judging and excluding those who stay without them. There was a letter written to the Galatians dealing with this very thing in chapter 2 we read:

Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really[b]—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. . . 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? . . . And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. . . I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[e] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Many times those who sit in judgement get angry when you highlight these scriptures, because they have turned the Bible into their God and have dissected its words and created another system of laws which was never the purpose of Christ. His purpose was to come and light the way of every man. His purpose was to turn us away from the incessant struggle of habitual fleshly sins, and to allow his light to come into our hearts and lead and guide us.

“Don’t judge me!”

This is impossible. No matter how you live your life, someone here will judge you and condemn you. But as we allow the light of Christ to illuminate our hearts and draw closer and closer to this unconditional love, we will no longer feel the need to defend ourselves, nor to judge others. God’s grace and love will suffice us!

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brass serpent

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. (John 3: 14_15)

Jesus is referring to an old testament story of told in Numbers 21 of a time when the Israelites grew weary on their journey out of the land of Egypt and began to complain against God and Moses. The Bible says that God sent serpents that bit the people and many died. The people asked Moses to pray for them and when he did, God told Moses to take a pole and then to make a bronze snake to put at the end of it and set it up for the people. Then when one was bit by the snake, if they looked at the bronze snake lifted up on the pole, they lived.

So here, Jesus is likening himself to the bronze snake in the old testament. He is to be lifted up and when He is lifted up and people look to Him they will live. This is so important, and really so missed by religion.

Many times the pastor or dynamic speaker is lifted up, the bands and entertainment are lifted up, the religious doctrine is lifted up, the rules or the way a certain denomination holds things are lifted up, the works of a church are lifted up, the arguments of what is right and what is wrong are lifted up, etc . . . and CHRIST is lost in the background.  God has even witnessed to me that much of what goes on by way of  “praise” today are crowds gathering together and working themselves up into a frenzy shouting and getting “high on the moment” and not even realizing that Christ is not being lifted up at all, that the reality is, they are full of  themselves.

How will you know if you are lifting up Christ or not? Christ said himself- “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32  Now here He is speaking of his crucifixion, however he states the purpose of lifting the Savior up is to draw all people to HIM! Its not just about saying his name either. Its about really seeking him with all your heart, reading his words, talking to him with a prayerful heart and listening to his leading in your life. Its about desiring to be a proper representative of him in this world, because when you say you are a follower of Jesus and you misrepresent him, you dishonor his precious name.

People wonder, why they are dying spiritually? Who is being lifted up in your life? Turn your eyes fully upon Jesus, lift him up in true praise and worship and you will come alive. This “alive” will be to the things of God- the souls he loves and wants to see healed, and to reconcile to himself. God sent Christ to seek and save the lost. God sent Christ to teach people the way of righteousness. God sent Christ to show us how to love each other. God sent Christ that whoever would believe in him would be saved – saved from sin and the condemnation, and separation from God that sin brings. God sent Christ because He loved us. He loved us so much he gave us himself in his Son Jesus Christ.

God help us daily to remember that Christ suffered horribly, was lifted up on a cruel and torching cross, that we who have been bitten by the serpent might be redeemed from an otherwise certain death. We need to keep our eyes on Christ alone. He is the one we worship. Not our pastors. Not our church affiliations. Not our reputation amongst “brethren.” But we lift up the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we do, we live and souls will be drawn to him.

lift up christ

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A few years ago, in response to a visiting ministers message, I began to earnestly pray that God would take any religious spirit out of me that was not of him. The results have been astonishing.

lihjt

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 

Christ is teaching us two very important and key things here; 

1. The Kingdom of God is within

2. Do not follow after ones that come to you and say, “Come here or go there to find Christ.”

Yet these very two vital points have been overlooked even I must confess, by myself. I spent almost 20 years serving a religion that had told me I was to find Christ within their system alone, and yet I became further and further away from him and more and more religious and pharisaic and blind until God was able to send a spiritual earthquake into the very core of my soul and I realized as was taught in Revelations:

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:17-19

Believing I had purchased for myself quite a lofty place in the heavenly realm, I had laid aside the outward garments and jewels, movies and  taken on every rule this system had required of me- teaching me to diligently obey whether or not I understood and that I would be rewarded for my obedience. I was like Saul of old before he became the apostle Paul, zealous of my nation and all its laws, a Pharisee of the Pharisees.

But Christ arrested me one day and stripped me of all my self-righteousness and opened my eyes to the hurting, hungry and bleeding souls all around me that were being trampled beneath the feet of the self-righteous. I repented and fled that state.

When I was younger and looking for an honest “church” to worship with, I was studying my Bible and not wanting to be “deceived.” And yet, I still feel I fell victim to just another religious system and the reason is simple- I quit looking within and followed those that said, “low he is here” or “low he is there.” I did not trust myself. Part of that was because of the preaching. Truth was definitely mingled in the message that was preached. But the message was also heavily inundated with fear and threat. I was taught right away that I must always be there to listen to every message- systematic brainwashing.  Then I was taught I should never leave and if I did, I would be better off to go back into sin than to ever go somewhere else looking for God. If  I tried to look for God elsewhere, I would be self-deceived.

These messages locked me into their system and their rules and their leadership which was never to be questioned or criticized. When people left it was because there was something wrong with them and their connection with God. But one day I read somewhere that when a church has a long list of spiritual fatalities, that really is a bad reflection on them, not on the people who left. That was a pivotal, awakening moment for me. Christ said, “Look at the FRUIT Liz. LOOK! Open your eyes!” I began to see things as they really were. This was not God’s special people in all the earth. These rules and regulations were dividing and hurting people and causing prejudices and harm.

One day, God told me it was time to leave. It was very difficult and has not been easy. But I have been blessed and helped all along the way and I have had my faith renewed. My God is within and always has been. I do not have to “go” somewhere to find him. I can “gather” with just one other believer and there he is in the midst of us. “Church” does not have to happen between four designated walls.

“Men choose a religion, but a Christian is chosen by Jesus Christ.” Iranian martyr Mehdi Dibaj

“Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery.” Robert Ingersoll

“All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.” Cathy Ladman

“The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.” Richard Francis Burton

“The Institutional Church (ecclesia) has killed only two kinds of people: Those who do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and those who do.” Will Durant

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction.” Blaise Pascal

Since I left the religious sect I was so long tied up in, if I ever had any inclination to return, it has been completely sucked out of me by the treatment of those who were once my allies and friends. Shunning is not fun nor right, especially when one has done no wrong. I have spoken to others who left before me. One woman said she didn’t stop crying for a month because of the way she was shunned by the “church” and another woman said she felt like she had leprosy or something- she felt like she was a disease. Even now, over a year later people from the “church” that run into her act like they do not know how to act around her.

I was so surprised that after almost 20 years of faithful, consistent service, not one person, not even my closest friends, would even call to see how we were doing. It just solidified the message Christ gave to me from Revelations about lukewarmness and indifference.  I was once a part of that and have had to contact other souls I affected and apologize if ever hurt them by my actions.

Today I am free- free to live for Christ according as he leads me on the throne of my heart. That is true freedom- having him back as my Lord and Savior- knowing he will never leave me nor forsake me.

Many religious people read Matt 24 like this,

Enter in thou good and faithful servant

for you went to church four times a week

you paid your tithes of all that you had

you always wore a skirt and you never wore jewelry

You never questioned the pastor and always obeyed him

Instead of what he really said,

For I was hungry, and you fed me

I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink

I was a stranger and you took me in

I was naked and you clothed me

I was sick and you visited me

I was in prison and you came to me

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one

of the least of these my brethren,

ye have done it unto me.

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new wine

“[No] one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.”

(Luke 5)

“They say the old wine is better” – Jesus said this after preaching from a boat, touching a man with leprosy, telling a man his sins were forgiven, sitting down to eat and drink with a roomful of tax collectors and sinners, and being questioned and ridiculed every step of the way because it was not according to the “customs of the day.”

Sermons were supposed to be preached in temples by “anointed men of God.” People with leprosy were to be kept far away from. No one but God had the right to pardon someones sins. The righteous were not mingle with sinners and furthermore, they usually spent their time fasting and praying, not eating and drinking.

Earlier in this chapter we read that Jesus went out alone in the wilderness and took time to pray. There, all alone with God, Jesus was given new wine to drink and new wine to share when he came back into the crowds. He had something fresh and life-changing.

If all you are drinking is the “old wine,” then all you will be doing is complaining whenever you see the new wine being poured out; you will be blinded to all the good the new and fresh wine is doing.  You will have one solo message; “THE OLD IS BETTER” and all around your eyes will only see that the old is not being adhered to- the old ways of doing things, the old religious systems.

Go, take some wilderness time with God alone, and let him pour forth some new wine into your soul! Let him give you something new and fresh- something relevant for today’s needs. Get out of your religious rut and back into the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let go of the old so God can bless you with something new!!!

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If you judge people

Years ago a visiting minister to our congregation would not sing along with us several of the songs from our hymn book because they were written by what he believed were false christians, though why he set himself up to be their judge I have yet to understand. However, I remember our pastor later mentioning the absurdity of that kind of thinking, and well it was. The songs were very edifying and godly.
Yet its strikes me funny that we see this type of thing going on amongst us all the time in other ways. I see perfectly good sound and edifying articles posted on face book that hardly anyone hits the “like” button on and I know it is because of “WHO” wrote the article rather than anything to do with the “content” of the aritcle. The people are already judged and condemned and so is anything they have to offer. How sad. It reminds me of the parable that Jesus told:

And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself; “God I thank you that I am not like other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give tithes of all that I possess.”
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.  Luke 18:9-14

Many people said of Jesus that he had a devil. But others said, “Can the devil open the eyes of the blind?”

Jesus said, if you are going to judge, at least judge righteous judgement. If what you read is good, it is good. Give God glory. Be thankful for the vessel that was utilized to bring forth a good word in due season. God has even used a donkey to bring a message to a man once. If we refuse a message because of the vessel it is delivered in, even though the messsage is perfectly sound, we are a respector of persons and God says if we have respect of persons we are sinning.

If we are claiming to be living a “sin-free” life, then we should not be having respect of persons. Respect of persons is holding someone up so high that they are almost God-like- unreproachable.

You can gossip all you want about the person who “left your congregation” but woe to the one who says anything about the mighty one in holy robes who stands behind the pulpit. That is respector of persons! That is not right and God will bring judgment upon that.

People are people. Gossip and slander is wrong no matter who it is about. And if someone has left your “congregation” if you are the true body of Christ, your burden would be to see that person reconciled with the body. But cutting them off and treating them as if they are no longer part of your family is not right. That is pushing them further away and sealing them out permanently because you are not showing love but rather wounding them so deeply they will never be able to trust you again. Even God said to his back slidden church, “I am married to you.” (Jeremiah 3:14)

Our message and burden to every soul should always be reconciliation. But reconciliation never comes through the pompous, proud religous minded groups. They either lock you in to a religious system or lock you out because you wont bow to their written or unwritten creeds. Jesus would not be locked in and so was locked out.

Lets stay free! Free from sin, free from Pharisee thinking, free from religious pride, free to love souls so we can truly help them be reconciled to God and/or his body!

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My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  1 John 2:1

Advocate: one that pleads, defends, maintains, supports, promotes the interest of another;

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. . .

Sinful woman seeking Jesus' mercy

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  (John 8)

And behold, some men carried in a bed with a man which was sick with the palsy: and they looked for a way to lay him before Jesus, but they could not find a way to bring him because of the multitudes, so they went up onto the housetop and lowered him down right in front of Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

sick of palsy
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason within themselves, saying, Who is this which speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them saying, What is this that you are reasoning about in your hearts? Which is easier to say? Your sins are forgiven you or to say, Rise up and walk? But to the intent that you now understand that the Son of man has power upon earth to forgive sins, (and he said unto the sick of palsy,) I say unto you, arise, and pick up your bed and go your house. And immediately he rose up before them, and picked up the bed that he was laying upon and departed to his own house, glorifying God. (Luke 5)

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15)

And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat to eat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabastar box of perfumed ointment, and stood at Jesus feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and to wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

washed his feet with her tears

Now the Pharisee which had invited him saw it, HE said within himself, if this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what manner of woman is touching him; for she is a sinner.
And Jesus aswered him saying, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
And he said, “Master, go ahead.”
And Jesus said to him, “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: One owed him five hundred dollars and the other fifty. But when they had nothing to pay him he gratiously forgave them both their debt. Now you tell me, which of the two will love him the most?”
Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave the most.”
And he said unto him, You have judged rightly.”
Then Jesus turned toward the woman and said unto Simon, “See this woman? I entered into your house and you gave me no water to wash my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
You gave me no kiss, but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with precious oinment.
For this cause I say unto you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
And he said unto her, “Your sins are forgiven…your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

And it happened, while Jesus sat eating in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
But when Jesus heard that, he said to them, “They that are whole have no need of a physcian, but rather they that are sick.
But you go and learn what this means, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matt 9)

And one of the evil doers which were hanged with him, railed on him saying, “if you are the Christ, save yourself and us.”

remember me

But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God? Seeing you are in the same comdemnation? And we indeed justly are receving our due reward for our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss.”
And he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”
And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Come every soul by sin oppressed
There is mercy with the Lord
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His word

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

~J. Stockman

There is no shame to admit when you sin. Jesus paid the price for sin. It is okay to tell him when you feel lost. For Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Christ said, “For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beleiveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

The world is already under condemnation. Christ came not to condemn it but to seek and save those that would be saved. Jesus is our saviour, our friend, our advocate. We need only to go to Him.

“My little children, I write unto you that you sin not, and IF ANY MAN SIN, we have an advocate ~ JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS!”

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Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The Kingdom of God would advance a lot faster and with more power if the subjects of this kingdom would really take time to understand what our weapons are and what they are not. Much damage is done and battles become more difficult to overcome because of a lack of this basic understanding.

Problems arise when people begin to fight this battle without understanding the word or recognizing the true leading of the Holy Spirit. In the beginning of the New Testament, God’s people were instructed first to wait unit they were given power from on high- wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Don’t run out and begin working out of your own strength, and your own ideas. Wait! And in the meantime, they prayed. They gathered together, worshipped and prayed for that power and then for the next step they were to take. And when the power came down, many souls were saved. The Kingdom of God advanced rapidly.

When we do not wait for God, when we allow fears, or the pressures of other mens opinions and expectations of us to cause us to move forward without knowing that we are right in the center of the will of God, we are headed for a long,weary, and pretty fruitless path.  We will not be fighting the “spiritual” battle, but rather a “carnal” battle- a battle against flesh and blood. The battle will be with people, without power, and we will become disillusioned and discouraged and eventually may grow completely cold in our love for God and his work. It is so imperative to “tarry until you are endued with power from on high.”

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 2 Corinthians 10:4

How do we know if we are using carnal weapons?

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1Corinthians 3:1-6

When the fruit of our warfare is not advancing the Kingdom of God, but rather producing a lot of strife, envying and division, we can know beyond a doubt that we are fighting a carnal battle. When men are being lifted up and hailed instead of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are leaning on our own strength and understanding. If people are not being saved and delivered from the strong holds of Satan, we are fighting with carnal weapons. Chances are great that our message has become carnal. There is no power in carnality. (Isaiah 26:18)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18

Our battle is against the devil. We are not fighting against people, but seeking to rescue them from him. Our strength is in the Lord; our power is in HIS might;We wrestle against principalities-a territory ruled by a prince; In this case the prince of darkness. We are wrestling to take spiritual ground from him- to take souls back for Christ. We are wrestling against “spiritual wickedness in high places” -people who have set themselves up as a “mighty one” or a “spokesman for God” but in reality they are power-hungry liars! We are wrestling to take souls away from their damning influence.  (Matthew 23:15)

Our spiritual armour is an earnest desire to know truth; It is a heart that is purified and full of righteousness; It is preparedness everyday in the word of God and prayer before we head out into the world or to our daily duties; It is faith that what God has promised he will fullfill; The helmet is knowing that we have been saved from sin, we have been changed.

Our weapon is the word of God–  Christs word dwelling in us in abundance (Colossians 3:16)- and always praying; always seeking God’s help and power and resources and direction.

A lot of problems would dissolve in the Kingdom of God and a lot of progress could be made, if people were more careful to make sure that the weapons of their warfare are not carnal. Conversely, so much damage has been done throughout time because of ones who claimed to be fighting the battle of the Lord, but in reality, were only fighting carnal battles with their own self and their own understanding leading the way.

Its so easy to start fighting a carnal battle because we are living in a carnal world and a carnal body. But Christ made the way for us to be FILLED with HIS spirit and to fight this battle on His terms and His way.

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