Tuesday Morning, October 30, 2001
Question: Hi! I don’t know you at all, but I can see that you have a heart for Jesus Christ and a deep desire to obey Him in your life. I have begun reading some messages and this one (“Train Your ‘Soldiers’”) speaks to me a lot, but I feel “stuck.” I want with all of my heart and mind and soul to be totally transformed—in every area of my life—by Jesus. (He’s already done amazing work in me, but there are still lots left to burn off in me.) Even though I give myself over to Him in every area I can think of (and I name them), I think there are still strongholds against me. Any suggestions on how to deal with strongholds?
The “small things” such as one of the “fruits of the Spirit”—“self-control”— are a huge part of Father’s Provision for our Deliverance from the enemy’s attacks in our lives. You CAN take control of the “small” thoughts. If we don’t deal with those, and we’re “never tempted beyond what we can bear,” then we are simply “painting a bull’s-eye for the enemy on our backs.” We do need to, and can deal with the “small” things. Erratic, foolish, bitter, and sinful thoughts of any kind…will make you fair game for the enemy, if you allow them to stay in your head unopposed. I’ll include Anatomy of a Spiritual Suicide below to give you more of an opportunity to know “satan’s devices”—so that you can lay your pain and weaknesses at the Messiah’s feet, and avoid the things that “feed” the enemy’s ploys.
Here is an essential Element, which is often all the difference between religion, self-will, and human life….and Life in Messiah’s Spirit and Fellowship with the Godhead, and sweet but humble Victories in Him:
Offer your temptations as a gift to Jesus rather than dealing with them “horizontally” and just relying on will power or apathy or guilt. Talk to Jesus directly about the temptations, and offer your obedience case by case, every new situation to Jesus personally as a Gift to Him. “Jesus, I want to cast this thought, this temptation down right now as a fragrant Gift to You. Please accept this Gift as a token of my love and devotion and my gratitude to You.”
Secondly, our Light-walking (Jn. 3; 1Jn. 1) relationships with others (Heb. 3:12-14) are a huge Tool in Jesus’ Toolbox for us. They are opposed and ignored by those with an agenda at times, but it is what God says, and the fruit, if done IN Him, rather than “for” Him…is immense. Our investment in one another, contending as one man; we being many are one; joined and knit together; never saying, “I have no need of you”…this is an incredible Tool in His Tool Box for turning victims into VICTORS over the years. That is why He could say, “I will build my CHURCH, and the gates of Hades will not prevail.” His plan is that we help each other (1Cor. 12) in such a devoted, daily way that “together with all the saints” satan is shoved out of our lives. Find some others to live your life with, spiritually. It’s God’s Plan.
“Confess your sins one to another, that you may be healed.” “Admonish one another daily, and you will avoid, for yourself and for them the hardening and deceptions of sin.” “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful unbelieving heart.” “See to it, brothers, that no bitter root grows up among you, defiling many.” “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ.” “This is how all men will know you are my disciples: by the love that they witness that the saints have for one another.”
This Promise of the Gates of hell not prevailing is not to “individuals” alone, but it is Jesus’ CHURCH that satan could not overcome. Jesus means to push us together as His Body. “Two or three” is a start, though visible local “Lampstands” (Churches) where, “from the least to the greatest they all Know Him” are His Plan and Desire. Some who welcome “leaven in the batch,” or who are “leaven in the batch” aren’t fond of these Scriptures, but it is what God has said about His Deepest Desire for us to be one, as He and His Son are one. “A hundred mothers, brothers, sisters”—intimate daily relationships. Korah hates this, as does Cain and Balaam and satan.
But it is the Heartthrob of the Son of God, calling to His Bride to be just like him, by the same Spirit that empowered Him and raised Him from the dead! Yee-hah! Look for a City whose Builder and Maker is GOD, and “accept no substitutes”! “Church” was never meant by GOD to be some “memorial service” of what He did and taught, but “God’s INTENT now, through the CHURCH” (Eph. 3:10) is to “make a public spectacle and open humiliating show” of the enemy, on the Cross and through lives living the Cross! And Father means to include you in that number who boast in Him, and worship—not as something to “attend”—but as the product of a Life set free indeed! : ) And the “Tool” Father has provided as one of the most potent…is deep, honest, vulnerable relationship with Him and with His Body, people with Treasure in that earthen vessel—His Church, alive in daily life with one another as His True Body always was and always will be.
Also, just as a practical application of the heart of what is above, in Ephesians 4:11 and following, there are a ton of Promises for individuals that any Christian would deeply desire that are directly attached to being in relationship with those who can equip you. Those promises are not attached to “pray and read your Bible more”—but to relationships that we give our lives into. And in that context, things that would have been incredibly destructive to our lives and our children and generations to come are overcome within Relationship, within His Plan, TRUE CHURCH that Lives Like HIM (Acts 2:42-47). Often it is just that simple—we’ve seen it hundreds and hundreds of times. And, we will pray for you. Ask others to do the same and we’ll ask others to pray for you as well. JESUS desires this Victory for you even more than YOU do. Now that’s Good News! : )
Thank you for your heart…. May God honor your honest pursuit of His Highest….
PS Again, keep reading and you will find some things that many have found incredibly useful in learning to “not be ignorant of satan’s devices”—and “girding up the loins of their mind, ready for Action.” Satan’s “power” lies in deception and what we let him do to us by our dabbling in wisdom from this world, “which is unspiritual, and of the devil.” TRUTH in Yesu sets us Free!