Spiritual Living – A Different Gospel

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“But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 This could be Paul writing to the church today. Satan has convinced the church that there is a different gospel. A gospel that is easy, a gospel that does not require anything of you. This is the gospel that we see preached in our churches today. “The plain truth is, within the space of our lifetimes, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it had great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive – in a word, evil.” (David Kupelian) Evil is being marketed not just on our media, but in our churches. Satan is trying to change the true gospel that Jesus gave His life on the cross for and Paul preached. Just what is evil? In his classic book, People of the Lie, Dr. M. Scott Peck reflects on what evil actually means: “It is a reflection of the enormous mystery of the subject that we do not have a generally accepted definition of evil. Yet in our hearts I think we all have some understanding of its nature. For the moment I can do no better than to heed my son, […]

Spiritual Living – Satan is Shrewd

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“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”Genesis 3:1 Satan loves to ask questions. This was one of those life questions. A question that will change your life. It depends on how you answer the question if it will change your life for the good or for the bad. “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.” (Genesis 3:2-3) This was Eve’s answer. Sure we can eat any fruit. The problem with a discussion with Satan is all we hear is we can do anything we want. We forget the last part of this scripture that we will die if we eat the fruit. “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5) This is the part that Eve heard loud and clear, you will become like God and you just did not understand what God said. This is the same story that Satan has been telling ever since the beginning and guess what; we have been believing this lie that Satan keeps telling. Why? Because it is what we want to hear. “There is nothing wrong with a small sin. God will not care.” It is what we hear in our churches today. Satan tells us that […]

Spiritual Living – Heavenly Battles

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“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.” Daniel 10:12-13 The dark powers of this world may feel that the future can be anything they want it to be and the spiritual forces of the heavenly realms may have no end of schemes and alliances, yet all that they do is already written, appointed by the holy covenant of the Living God.  It is so wonderfully reassuring to know that the history of the world has already been written and it is all in the Book of Truth, the Bible. Can we see that the empires and nations of the world are in a deep sense controlled by principalities and powers, not only from this world but also from the heavenly realms? We see in this scripture that when we pray and engage in spiritual warfare we are not alone.  We have the angels in heaven fighting our battles. It is so important that we understand that in this warfare it is not about us and our power but it is about Jesus Christ and the victory He won at Calvary. The heavenly powers might try to take charge of the nations, but the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, takes charge of His church. As we follow Him and abide in Him, we need have no concern about the devil’s schemes or the dark powers of this world or the […]

Spiritual Living – The Battle

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“But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!”  Isaiah 54:17 We are called to be in a war. This war is not a war that we can fight with our physical weapons. Our weapons are spiritual. This battle is raging and we must fight this battle on a daily basic. We are not just called to hold the fort down; we are called to be on the defense. We are called to defeat Satan so that we can bring the Kingdom of God to earth. I feel that I can write about this battle because I have fought this battle for years. God showed me that I must tell others about this battle that we fight. As I write about Spiritual Warfare, my battle gets harder.  In it getting harder, I know that I am getting closer to God and His will for my life. Satan does not fight if we are not invading his territory. What are we to do in this battle that we are in? If we are to be good soldiers, we need to have a close relationship with God. Without this relationship we will not have the power to defeat Satan. We need to enjoy God’s presence in our life. Walking with God is the greatest adventure that we can have in this world. I love to just sit and watch what God can do when we are in a close relationship with Him. Holiness! Without this you will not see God. Yes we are not perfect and we will never be perfect until we see God face to face, […]

Spiritual Living – God’s Kingdom

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“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 “There is a kingdom. The king lives in a palace on a hill. He can only maintain or expand the boundaries of his kingdom if he has an army to fight on his behalf. In the kingdom there are a number of large military bases. They spend hours singing praises of their king. A large number of soldiers spend their time telling the children of the king’s exploits in the past. The senior officers bustle around looking extremely busy. Some even move form base to base encouraging the troops. The bases are well equipped with provisions and regular newsletters are published. People are regularly recruited, because the bases are exciting places to be, but no one actually goes out to fight. The soldiers are so busy on their bases that they do not realize that enemy armies are invading the kingdom. Occasionally, someone comes down off the watchtower and raises an alarm. The soldiers respond by getting busy in their training activities. Sometimes a soldier fires a gun in the direction of one invading army, but because the shot is misdirected and fired in fear, it has no impact. One day the army wakes up and finds that their camps are totally surrounded by the enemy soldiers. The training camps have not been designed for defense, so they will have no alternative but surrender. Many will have expected the king to come out of his castle on the hill, and deliver the people from the enemy, with a new miraculous weapon. This is vain hope. The king remains in his palace where he belongs. […]

Spiritual Living – Our Mind

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“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 Satan attacks us in our mind more than anywhere else. He plants thoughts that are not true. He sends his host out with an arsenal of weapons; lies, threats and intimidation, questions, accusations, lust, and other enticements. Some of these attacks on our minds are: Extremely negative thoughts. “I am a failure.” “I am ugly.” “I am worthless.” Prideful thoughts. “I am better than others.” “I am smarter than he or she.” “I am more spiritual than others.” Rebellious thoughts. “I have the right to do what I want with my life.” “Nobody is going to tell me what to do.” Hatred thoughts. “I don’t like them because…” “I will never forgive them because.” “I want them to suffer the same way they made me suffer.” Suicide thoughts. “I am better off dead.” “Nobody cares if I die anyway.” “They’ll be sorry when I die.” Are all of these self-thoughts demonic? No, but many of them do have their source in the demonic. Are you a having a bad day? Does it seem that you cannot think? Do you feel that you cannot do the things that you have been doing with ease? It may just be a bad day, but it could be oppression from Satan. We must transform our minds to be more like Jesus Christ. I have found that when Satan begins to attack, we need to get into God’s Word and pray. Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

Spiritual Living – Be Alert

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“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8 Why is it that Satan is able to get a foothold in our thoughts and feed discouragement and defestist attitudes? Why is it so easy for him to get us to focus on our own comfort and needs? It is because of our self-centered nature and what we want or think that we deserve. In the process,  God is robbed of the glory. I like my comfort zone, but this is not where God wants us to be. He wants us always to be growing more like Jesus Christ. If we are in our comfort zone, we cannot grow. We don’t realze that this is spiritual warfare when we allow our comfort zone to be in the way of our growth. This is another lie of Satan. Satan works in the dark and he doesn’t want us to see that he is fighting us in our mind so that he can control us and lead us away from God. Scripture tells us to be alert over and over again. It tells us that we should be sober, serious and vigilant. That we must watch out for Satan. Members of an army battalion are most vulnerable when they think the enemy troops are nowhere near. If they think the enemy is miles away, they relax. This is what Satan wants us to do. Today’s Bible Reading: John 3:20-21

Spiritual Living – Victory over Satan

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“But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Isaiah 54:17 Scripture reveals a great deal about spiritual warfare but every reference is in the context of victory. We have the victory over Satan. He will fight us, but if we are walking in obedience to God, he cannot defeat us. The real battle is Satan’s opposition to God. He is jealous of God’s power and glory. He seeks to embarrass God through our failure and carnal living. Satan wants to destroy and defeat us, but we are pawns he uses in the conflict against God. He delights in thumbing his nose at God when we act with self–serving motives and indulge in lustful living rather than try to live the Christian life. Satan loves to watch us fail as we try to live the Christian life in our own strength. The only way that we can live the Christian life is by allowing the Holy Spirit to empower our lives for God. Satan wants us to live our lives in fear and uncertainty. He does not like it when we live our lives in faith and trust in God. Our victory over Satan is a sure thing. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, And He rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22:27-28) If we have studied the Bible, we know how the story ends, God is victorious and if we are trusting in God, we have the victory.

Spiritual Living – False Prophets

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“These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 We have been writing on spiritual discernment the last few devotions. We are going to move into one of the most important parts of living in the spirit, Spiritual Warfare. We are fighting a battle, not just for our souls, but for other people’s souls. It is a battle that is life or death. It is a subject that most church members don’t want to talk about. It has been a long time since I have heard a sermon on Spiritual Warfare. Most people don’t want to even think about there is a Satan and he is fighting all the disciples of Jesus Christ. Satan is real. Jesus won the victory over Satan at the cross, but Satan does not want to accept it. Yes, Jesus won the victory, but He has enlisted us in His army and it is our responsibility to fight Satan and defeat him with the help from the spiritual authority that we have been entrusted with. Spiritual warfare is not about Satan as much as it is about giving glory to God. Satan and his false prophets are out to deceive and lie to us. They want to convince us to accept things that are contrary to God’s truth. They want to steal the very things that God has given us. Our peace – John 14:27, our joy -John 15:11, our power and strength – Acts 1:8, Philippians 4:13, our victory – Luke 10:19, our […]

Spiritual Living – Spiritual Understanding

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“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 Only the spiritual discerning can understand the things of God. Paul tells us in the scripture just before this scripeture that he does not use words that are part of human wisdom, but the words are words that come from the spirit. “When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.” (1 Corinthians 2:13) God has revealed true wisdom to us by His Spirit. The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected enticing words of man’s wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really opposed to spirituality. The spirit empowered mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and acts of God. The spiritual man, only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power. And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known […]