Running my route through the neighborhood
You look at another’s spiritual walk and get upset with their success- but are you willing to do what it takes to get where they are?
I would say most people are not willing to do what it takes.
I am not talking about worldly success- I am talking about spiritual success and being able to overcome every trial and temptation- to be an overcomer in every area- to praise Him in the storm
“Our spirit hungers for more and more. We are designed for a great capacity for God; but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin- we have to deliver ourselves from individuality.” Oswald Chambers
This spiritual battle that we are in is real. You should take it seriously and you need to take your walk with Jesus serious. Your relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship that you can have, it needs to be treated with the utmost seriousness and earnestness, not in any kind of haphazard or disinterested way.
It takes a measure of self-control and discipline in order to truly be spiritually successful.
You can live your entire Christian walk in the desert, grumbling and complaining, never going into the promised land and getting by with just enough. BUT WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO?
To the Corinthian church, Paul makes a very sobering statement
1 Corinthians 10:23 NKJV
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify.”
Paul wrote this letter to address concerns and questions that the Corinthian church was asking, mainly concerning meat offered to idols and idol feasts
He had to correct the Corinthian church on several other grave problems: sexual immorality, divisiveness, secular lawsuits, not separating from the highly pagan society that was surrounding them, humanistic thinking, the Lord’s supper
By “all things”, Paul is referencing “all things which are indifferent in themselves”, that which is of an indifferent nature (like what you are eating and drinking); otherwise everything is not lawful to be done
Let’s get this clear- all food is good and lawful to eat.
The Corinthian church erroneously applied their Christian liberty to that which was inherently sinful
making their liberty a cloak of sinfulness.
Go back to 1 Corinthians 8:8-10
We have no right to even that which is innocent, if it be disadvantageous to the highest interests of ourselves or others.
St. Augustine “He alone does not fall into unlawful things who sometimes abstains by way of caution even from lawful ones”
“all things are not edifying”, expedient. When the doing of them destroys peace, comfort, and edification of others; when it stumbles and grieves weak minds, and causes offense to them
1 Corinthians 6:12
“i will not be brought under the power of any”
On the one hand- offend his brother
On the other- bring himself into bondage to those things he has been set free of
EX: alcohol, these are many of the reasons I do not drink and if you tell another Christian that they might want to think about their drinking and how it might be affecting them or others- they attack you.
I have a history with drugs and alcohol. My mom has a history with alcohol.
For the life of me- I do not understand how I can speak on a subject that I am very familiar with, that the Lord has dealt with me on, and I try to give instruction to another Christian and they fight me and defend their position of why they can drink.
Well you can- as long as it is not if is leading you back into bondage- if you have any kind of a history with drugs or alcohol, you should not drink. You will be put back into bondage
or causing another to stumble
“It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will” Chambers
Ex: my book, someone said to me, “I am so happy to help you with your dream”
I gave up all my dreams. I gave up my right to my own life. I just want to be a vessel for the Lord to use me as He sees fit
My “dream” goal in life is to enter heaven and hear, “Well done good and faithful servant”
Simplicity of a child- “because you told me to drill sgt”
This is so contrary to what the world teaches.
WIIFM?-The Family Man- What’s in it for me? Where’s my Mary Jane’s?
So, when you look at another that a measure of spiritual success and you can see the Lord’s hand upon them; are you willing to do what it takes to achieve that kind of grass?
Do you have that same kind of resolve as the apostle Paul?
In the beginning of Galatians, Paul says he spent three years, conferring with no man, but seeking the Lord’s will to be prepared for ministry.
I read this and spent 3 years doing the same
Matt spent a year in Egypt
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert
If the Son of God needed to fast and pray- how much more do we in order to be spiritually successful?
What does it mean to you?
- Have you given up your right to yourself?
Are you willing to give up your life for the gospel?
How much time do you spend in prayer and fasting? The depth of your prayer life will determine your spiritual success.
Much prayer=much success. Little prayer=little success
Little prayer=little power. Much prayer=much power
Jesus was in much prayer.
Now I read that 2 ways-
FAITH that moves the spiritual only develops in us by prayer and fasting
some demons only come out by prayer and fasting
Do you live in peace?
I find for myself that when I try to push my way, I am not at peace. I find myself at odd with the Holy Spirit
The spirit and the flesh war against each other
- Are you controlling your thought life?
Wrong thinking is a killer to spiritual growth and success
KJV says “receive the engrafted Word”
We must be constant in receiving the Word of God into our hearts. The term “engrafted” means “implanted”, implying that the Word must become a part of our very nature.
Our minds must be renewed to God’s Word.
Will you just take God at His WORD? He says what He means and He means what He says.
Stop twisting scripture.
Receive correction and instruction from those in which God has placed over you-
Stop arguing and twisting scripture!
Ex: KH word to me
- Do you realize there is a spiritual battle taking place?
Angels are real. Demons are real.
Ex: my freshman year I hung out with satanists
Their is a real spiritual battle and every thing you do, say, go, has some kind of a spiritual consequence; for good or for evil.
Going back to Paul and the Corinthian church, there were demons associated with the idol temples
1 Corinthians 10:20-21
Paul addresses a concern of the desire of the Corinthian Christians to eat meals with their pagan friends “in the idol’s temple”
The idol temples functioned much like restaurants do today, it was a place for friends to gather and to eat. They did this before their conversion and wanted to continue this practice.
Paul proclaims, “all things are lawful” meaning these pagan gods do not really exist, therefore it’s not unlawful, but the demons associated with them do. They risked opening themselves up to demonic activity.
It is not EXPEDIENT- useful, beneficial, advantageous, a means to an end
Why would you do something, first that can cause a weak brother to stumble because they believe you to be in idolatry and second, open yourself up to demonic influence?
Back to alcohol- there are demons associated with alcohol. There are demons associated with other religions. There are demons associated with idols. We may have changed the name of the god, but it is still idolatry. Anything that intoxicates is witchcraft, Greek “pharmakia’, it is associated with demons
If you go back to a life of sin of which Christ has brought you out of, you are in a worse spiritual condition.
Ex: dream about the deer and the lion
Luke 11:24-26 the demon cast out brings with him 7 worse spirits
Satan doesn’t stop attacking you after conversion. The battle is real. You should take it seriously.
If you do not keep our house clean and swept, renouncing all sin; we can leave a crack for more evil influence to come in. And then we are in a worse state.
2 Peter 2:20-22
Why would go and sit in a bar, and have a drink and say, “I’m just fellowshipping?
You are free to do that, but WHAT GOOD IS IT and how is that edifying you or anyone else?
Why would you play with an Ouija board? It’s just a game.
Why would you go and pray in a Mosque and bow down at their prayer times? You know it is a false religion. “It won’t affect me”
There’s a spiritual battle going on for your soul!
- Your conduct should never imply to an unbeliever that you are casual or indifferent about you commitment to Christ.
What if I was sitting in a bar alone, without my wedding ring on, flirting with other men. How would that look? I would be treating my marriage indifferently. I would be saying to others I am casual about my marriage.
Christ must be lifted up in every circumstance, even if this is sometimes inconvenient.