Fighting For Truth 29th June
Fighting For Truth 29th June
1 Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Ga 5:16-18 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Becoming a Christian is the beginning of a life of warfare – of spiritual conflict! We cannot escape it! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour we enter into a 3 pronged spiritual war – the flesh, the world, and the devil. It is real and it cannot be avoided – in fact if there is no battle then maybe we are actually overcome. If we think we are safe then we must take heed unless we fall. – I think one of the many ploys of the devil is to make us think we are okay -- so we stop fighting!!
But we are called to fight the good fight – it is a good fight a necessary fight, it is a fight for eternal life. Everything around us conspires to pull us away – The flesh – already fallen and broken with all its carnal desires and appetites constantly tempts us to give in – it lusts for comfort and peace and pleasure – it looks at the world and what it offers – you know no matter how spiritual we are the flesh loves the world – it is the nature of the world! Ambition, greed, power, knowledge, sensuality.
Materialism, possessions and entertainment are attractive – if they weren’t they wouldn’t be the dominant influence they are over the lives of men! So the moment we become Christians and receive the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ, that flesh lusts – it rises up and tries to find a way to overcome this new Spiritual influence – and the Holy Spirit jealously, strongly desires to keep us in Christ – to keep us following the truth – the new TRUTH we have accepted in Jesus!
This alone is an enormous battle that never stops no matter how mature we might think we have become. So the first battle we have is the one that takes place internally, as it were – it is right inside of us in our hearts and minds. – We have enthroned Christ in our hearts by faith and everything of the flesh and world wants to reinvade that space and occupy it again. To push the Spirit out. Then we have the 3rd battle front led by the commander of the world and the flesh Satan!
1 Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
This is reality! It is part of our lives now in Christ – Satan is not stupid, he is not weary and tired – he never sleeps or slumbers and is always looking to capture souls – your soul and steal you away from Christ! We know the devil has schemes and plans and sends out fiery darts to wound and deceive – Jesus tells us he is a liar and the father of lies – God is not a man that He should lie – no lie is good, there is not even a good white one! ----Turn to Ephesians 6 : ---
Eph 6:10-11 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.
Once we come to Christ we are no longer our own, we are a purchased possession and we belong to God – “it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me” “in Him we live and move and have our being” But when it comes to spiritual warfare we seem to think it is up to us somehow – that we must fight this battle – but the weapons of our warfare are not carnal – they are not the things we might choose to use – but they are mighty in God – See what we are told here in Ephesians –
Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might – our fight is the good fight of FAITH – of trusting God, of believing on His Word – our good fight is to absolutely KNOW whom we have believed and stand persuaded that He is able to keep us until that day – fighting for eternal things!
We have no ability to fight the devil – but we have all authority in Christ – it is the Lord and His might we must place our confidence in – this is the first part of spiritual warfare really – fighting for the FAITH – standing in the Faith of the knowledge of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us – you know one of those things is to not allow circumstances to dictate what we believe – the whole thing of Christian joy and peace and prosperity and success --- true joy is this –
Jas 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
See if it is the Lord and if we are safe in Him then whatever happens to us is for the good – there are 2 very real examples before us right now : --
1) – Elim College disaster and the way the parents and school handled it – FAITH and Trust – testimony and witness – and it will work together for good!
2) – Father of girl killed in Christchurch by angry driver – bitterness, anger, vengeance – no longer believe in God – it will destroy him—(pray)
The first fight is the good fight of faith – in the Lord and the power of His might – then if that is our strength – the Lord and faith – then we can put on the whole amour of God – not your armor, not your strength or might or power not even your will – but God’s armor – the very protection He gives us to stand against the wiles of the devil. When we resort to using our own strength – our own plans, when we think we are doing okay we don’t need God’s armor – we move away from faith.
But it is only Gods armour that can protect us against the wiles of the devil because the devils war zone is firstly spiritual – it may be outworked in the physical fleshly realm – but it is planned and strategized and implemented in the spiritual places of wickedness. – Don’t ever think the devil is going to give up, or that we have some victory that is so powerful and complete it cannot be touched – we are all still fighting our sinful nature and will do so until that day we are taken home.
Eph 6:12-13 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.
These are real, literal, organized spiritual beings – they rule the darkness of this age – they are wicked and given over to perform every Satanic wish – we need Gods armor to protect us – we cannot do without His armor for it is designed to handle this battle! There has been so much carnal teaching on this whole area of apostolic authority and power and all manner of fleshly things – but this is a wrestle that takes place spiritually not carnally as though it were flesh and blood!
Eph 6:14-15 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
See this, stand – not attack, not raise up an army, not take an offensive action – but STAND – having already girded your waist with truth – the picture here is of a Roman soldier dressed for battle – the belt holding all the other garments and armor in place and providing a place to hang the sword. Truth is the primary defensive weapon – not just the truth of salvation in Christ – but more a good conscience and clean heart and giving no place to the devil.
Eph 4:25-32 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
This is the truth that is referred to, this is what we must gird our waist with – see anything less than compliance with this, is grieving the Spirit of God – and then we have no defense at all – How many of us are carrying things of unforgiveness and bitterness and anger and are trying to stand and yet we have grieved the Holy Spirit already – do you know the devil doesn’t even have to worry about us when he knows about this --- but I think he is far more clever and crafty than we think he is,
and Satan knowing we have grieved the Holy Spirit because he knows our sin and our self lies, because he knows if we have Gods armor on or not, he knows if we are fighting the good fight – so knowing we have grieved the Holy Spirit – he makes us believe we are doing okay – he reassures us and comforts us and maybe even counterfeits the anointing? I know that is a radical thought but many Pentecostal pastors have fallen even though there has been power?(expand?)
1 Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 Ti 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Having our waist girt with truth is to not have anything in our lives that the devil can lawfully use against us – Gods armor is biblical truth applied to our lives all of the time. Having short accounts and living in repentance. So many of us think repentance is the thing we do to get saved but it is a lifestyle because we live in this good fight of faith and we are all falling short of the glory of God all the time! Oh church how we must LOVE the truth – not just to know it but to live it in obedience!
I truly wonder as I look at what is now called revival – whether we have not allowed the devil to sneak a very subtle little lie in here! Do you know if we literally tried to live out this passage of scripture in Eph 4 – we would be living a revived life! We would be displaying and moving towards an ever increasing holiness – and if we are going from glory to glory then Gods Presence, the Fear of God would increase – it must - for without holiness no one will see the Lord –
so with increased holiness we must draw closer and closer -- But see we have turned revival into an experience and an event, not an obedience and a humbling of ourselves before God – we have made it a mockery of holiness and the Holy Spirit – ( NZ HERALD Friday video) – Church this is not truth, it is error because it does not hallow our wonderful, glorious God and Saviour. So this is not standing, girded round the waist with truth, so already we are entering into battle unprepared
in fact, we are already deceived having believed a lie – and every lie is from the pit of hell! And if we are entering into this having grieved the Holy Spirit and believing the lie, we are not fighting the good fight of faith – and everything that is not of faith is sin, without faith it is impossible to please God – so we conjure up and create an atmosphere of spirituality and it creates its own power – and imagination begins to take over – don’t ever think this imagination is not real – it produces!!
Ge 11:4-7 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose/imagine to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
I need to make this clear first – this is more than an O.T. story – this is more than an illustration, it is a type and a shadow for us to know and learn from – the O.T. is not done away with, as many are saying these days – “but that is only O.T. and we don’t obey all of those laws” – but the spirit of those laws remains – the type and example is just as relevant in Christ as before. Church this is very important for us to hold onto – because if we discard it we are rejecting the TRUTH.
1 Co 10:6-12 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
See this too, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul states clearly that it was Christ they tempted in the Wilderness, it was Jesus – Oh Church we must not divide the W.O.G. wrongly to suit our own purposes – see at Babel they wanted to make a name for themselves – they wanted to build a structure that would exalt them all over the world! They wanted to build a revival centered in man so they gathered everyone together and inspired an imagination – a corporate imagination –
And that corporate imagination was potentially so powerful that God said We have got to stop this! “Come let Us go down” He said – Jesus is all the way through this W.O.G. He is never left out, never not a part of it – it is about Him – you know everything is about the revelation of Jesus Christ – we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world – how can we discard this O.T. as though it didn’t apply to us – He is in it! – But see then God came down and stopped this thing –
But now we must fight the good fight of faith! Faith – we might never “see” Jesus or angels or the invisible God – but we have faith – that faith given us by God, faith shaped and molded and empowered by the W.O.G. – so God is not now going to stop our imagination – we have the Holy Spirit in us and Jesus has made us acceptable to God, we can approach Him boldly – we have the TRUTH revealed and so we must gird ourselves with this truth!!
If we are going to know the Holy Spirit and be used of Him for the glory of Christ then we must first of all fight the good fight of faith and KNOW the truth – and then we will not grieve the Holy Spirit.
Re 2:1-7 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
Bitterness, anger, wrath, are you convicted this morning about anything??
Is 6:1-4 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
Jn 12:41These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
Is 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.