Each Christian must be prepared for conflict. Paul calls this wrestling with wicked spirits
(Eph 6:10-20). No Christian can hope to enter the warfare of the ages without first learning to sit with Christ
and rest in what He has done, and then, thru the power of the Holy Spirit within, to follow Him in a practical , holy life here on earth.
If the Christian is deficient in either of these, he will find that all the talk about spiritual warfare remains only talk; he will never know its reality. We sat and rested with Christ
and are learning how to walk with Him before the world
but how are we to conduct ourselves in the presence of God's adversary (and ours)?
God's word is STAND. Put on the whole armor of God that may be able to STAND against the schemes of the devil.
The Greek verb STAND with its following preposition AGAINST really means HOLD YOUR GROUND.
This is a truth found in God's Word. It is not a command to invade a foreign territory. Warfare would imply a command to march. Armies march into other countries to occupy and to subdue. However, God has not told us to do this.
We are not to march but STAND.
The word STAND implies that the ground disputed by the enemy is really God's and therefore ours. We need not struggle to gain a foothold of it. Jesus' victory on the cross was offensive. He won us back from satan. That mean's our warfare is, in essence, defensive. We war against satan only to maintain and consolidate the victory which Jesus has already gained. In Christ, we are more than conquerors.
In Jesus, we STAND. Thus, we do not fight for
victory; we fight from
We must not ask the LORD to enable us
to overcome the enemy, nor even look to Him
to overcome, but praise Him because He has already done so. He is Victor.
It is all a matter of faith in Him. If we believe the LORD, we shall not pray so much but rather we shall praise Him more. The simpler and clearer our faith in Him, the less we shall pray in such situations and the more we shall praise. In Christ, we are already
Do you see what it means to STAND? We do not try to gain ground; we merely stand on the ground which the Lord Jesus has gained for us, and resolutely refuse to be moved from it.
The Christian life then, consists of sitting with Christ, walking by Him
and standing in Him. We begin our spiritual life by resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. That rest is the source of our strength for a consistent and unfaltering walk in this world. And at the end of a grueling warfare with the hosts of darkness we are found standing with Him at last in triumphant possession of the field.
This post is adapted from the book, SIT, WALK, STAND
by Watchman Nee.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."'
One of the accusations made by the religious leaders of Jesus' day was that He partied with undesirables. It was unacceptable in their minds to associate in any way with undesirables. That would make you 'unclean'. But it was particularly unacceptable to party with undesirables. Then, as now, religion was thought to be very serious business, much too serious for the kind of celebrations that Jesus enjoyed. Religion was supposed to be about intellectual abstractions and theological detail - not about going to dinner parties with unsavory characters.
In His teachings Jesus draws extensively on the Old Testament themes of the Sabbath, the Jubilee and the messianic feast to make a point. Jesus told many stories about God's love for celebration. When the lost is found, the finder throws a feast. When the prodigal returns, the father has a party. When a single person repents, the angels rejoice. And on and on. Jesus, the man of sorrows, was also a man of celebration and joy.
Like the religious leaders of Jesus' day, we may sometimes find ourselves resistant to joy. We may resist joy because we fear disappointment. Or we may resist joy because it doesn't seen congruent with being a serious minded person of faith. We may resist joy because we have been shamed or even punished for being overly enthusiastic as a child.
It is a risk to make room for joy in our lives. Joy requires that we be open to the possibility of experiencing conflicting emotions. If we wait to experience joy until our anger, grief and self-condemnation are completely gone, then we will wait a long time. But it is possible to experience joy without denying or avoiding other more painful emotions. We can follow Jesus' example of joy today. When joy comes, we can receive it. It is a good gift from God.
Lord of joy,
Lord of celebration,
Open my heart to the possibility of joy today.
Help me to tolerate the confusion that comes when sorrow and joy
live side by side in my heart.
Give me the courage to
joyfully celebrate life.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian Recovery
When I first started this blog, I had an entry that precedes this present entry. That one is to be read in conjunction with this one. Click here to read that entry.
After I posted the other entry, a Lt Colonel friend of mine responded about my impressions about the Colonel picking up a piece of trash. My friend said, "in God's eyes, a Colonel has no more value than any one else. A private is just as valuable as the Colonel. Remember that military folks have ingrained in them that they should pick up garbage!"
His statement made me think of how God desires immediate obedience. When I told that to my friend, he replied, "Wouldn't it be great (santification does it
) to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we would do the "right thing" not because it is a challenge, but simply because it is ingrained within us? " When he said that, someone popped into my mind.
I am thinking of someone who comes from America's greatest generation.
Actually, he's a tad bit young to fit into that generation; however, he embodies many of those qualities. Better yet, he embodies the quality of "immediate obedience." Since this is Memorial Day, we are to remember those who have fought for our country to retain our freedoms.
If you look at that picture above, you will see my father-in-law. When I think of a soldier, I think of this picture. Then I think of the gentleman that he is and of the example he has provided for me over the last 28 years of knowing him. I am a much better man because of his willingness to be "immediately obedient" to God's working thru him.
So today, this Memorial Day, take the time to honor someone who has taken the time to show you what being a real man is like, being a gentleman's gentleman. Let him know now before you don't have a chance to tell him. Tell him that he is your inspiration.
Thanks, Dad! (yes, he let's me call him that)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Sexual sin once robbed your heart of something very precious. Every little boy sees the fight for right and desires to be an agent of good, to be the good guy who saves the day.Every little boy has dreams and visions of one day being someone great and doing something great, but sexual sin often steals these dreams away. God wants to recapture those dreams and restore them for God's man on the battlefield. Victory restores these hopes and renews the dreams that were once vaporized in the midst of sexual sin.The dream lives! Now, with a sanctified heart, you know what you can do in Him. You feel it. You're a fighting machine, confident as you approach any battle. You've proven that your Command Officer can trust you with much as long as you abide in Him. And He's proven that you can trust Him to supply all you need in battle.Battles test and transform soldiers, and this test revealed the depth of your love for Him. You're stronger, and you're changed. God is a strong God, and He wants strong, confident soldiers in His kingdom who are good in a fight, even when facing daunting odds that seem overwhelming.Taken from Every Man's Challenge, pp 33-34.