Wednesday, March 19, 2014

God's Property ~ Part 4

Dear Friends,

I used to work with a woman who was an on-fire for God, Bible-thumping, Holy-roller, Baptized-in-the-Holy Spirit believer. She loved to talk about Jesus and witness to her co-workers. She’d come to my office and we'd always talk about our faith. Her entire countenance lit up every time we talked about Jesus. She truly loved the Lord! But there had always been an undercurrent of negativity, resentment and unforgiveness that she had held on to. Now, to the dismay of her co-workers, she was becoming increasingly negative and nasty at work. I was getting concerned about her reputation. Non-Christians often love to point out hypocritical behavior and I believed she could be doing more harm than good to the Kingdom of God. 

Then one day I asked her how life was going and was surprised that her negativity had taken on an even darker tone. She began an obscenity-filled rant about how bad her life was. Even her face looked different that day. The next month, we saw each other walking through the plaza. I smiled and waved. She turned away and avoided me by climbing up a grassy embankment so that she wouldn’t have to pass by me. I emailed her and asked what was going on. Her reply was: “The only thing you and I talk about is God and Jesus and I am so done with that.” This was a woman who had been saved for over 30 years and had been a worship leader for many years at her church! She wrote: "I am over the Jesus phase of my life. You're probably going to want to email me or talk to me about this but don't."   

I’d been friends with her and her husband for fifteen years and for many of those she considered me to be her pastor. The next day I tried to pray for her and my mind was a blank. I struggled to find words to pray. And the voice of God said, ‘No'. Immediately, the burden I had to pray for her was gone and I felt a release in my spirit. I'd always felt a spiritual responsibility for her and her family and now that too was gone. Had she crossed a spiritual line? Was she lost? “But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.” [1 John 5:16 nlt]

What happened? I believe that through habitual, continued and unrepentant sin, the devil was given a legitimate foothold in her life. And her once strong faith eroded to the point of rejecting God. The ultimate sin. "We know that God's children do not make a practice of sinning, for God's Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one." [1 John 5:18-19 nlt] 

That scripture, along with others, tells us that by avoiding habitual sins, we remove ourselves from the reach of the devil. But our continued and unrepentant practice of sin invites the wicked one to attach himself to us and that’s why demons are relentless in their harassment of believers. They want us back! Satan has a plan for your life – to steal your faith, kill your soul and destroy your relationship with his enemy, God. [John 10:10] And the devil does his best work in covert darkness. The demons love it when we are ignoring their existence and whining about how bad our life is.

Remember what Dr. Charles Stanley said, “Each day, we live in the midst of a real, personal battle that we must fight.”  We need to become warriors!

1. Affirm Your Faith in Jesus Christ. If you are not an authentic, born-again believer, you have no authority over the demonic. Read Acts 19:13-16.

2. Submit to God. Ephesians 6:10 says that when we go into spiritual battle, we need to be strong in the Lord with His power. We can’t fight this battle with our own earthly strength. The power of God is not available if we keep Him on the sidelines and are proudly in control of our own lives.

3. Confess and Repent. Those habitual, continued and unrepentant sins provide an open entryway for the devil to worm his way into our lives.

4. Forgive Others. You will continue to struggle without the forgiveness of God. If you don’t forgive others, God will not forgive you. Jesus made this clear in Mark 11:26. There’s no getting around it.

5. Renounce Occult Involvement and All False Religion. Go to: Steps to Freedom In Christ or contact me for a printed handout.

6. Renounce the Enemy! Take a firm stance. Take up the battle. God is already on your side. Never forget that YOU are God's Property.  You belong to Him.  So as James 4:7 tells us:resist the devil and he will flee from you. It’s just that simple!  Amen?

1 comment:

  1. Another way to be a warrior of Faith is to share our faith. The following is from the Links Daily Devotional, 3/19/2014 ...

    To share my faith is to speak openly and respectfully of who Jesus is, of what he came to do on the cross, and of how his blood covers our sins.
    To share my faith is to converse naturally about the way God infuses my days with his provision and blessing, even when my life is checkered with physical, economic, or relational difficulties.
    To share my faith is to demonstrate generosity and compassion, trusting that as I give away what I have been given, God will continue to provide for all my true needs.
    To share my faith is to intelligently address popular God-doubting worldviews with perspectives that assert God's preeminent role in all the matters of the universe.
    To share my faith is to show that while "physical training is of some value," we do far better to elevate spiritual pursuits above any fleshly course, because "godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Timothy 4:8).
    Indeed, to share my faith is to, in all words and actions, demonstrate how firmly I believe in that promise--the promise of eternity with the Savior who gave his life that I might gain it.
    It is in this sharing that God increases my greatest blessing, the blessing of knowing and being known by him--that is, the "full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."
    So let's go out there and fight with Faith in our Lord! Be blessed.