February 25, 2018
Tribe Recap of February 25, 2018 | Eph 6 | Gen 3 | Heb 4 | Is 40 | Rom 8 | Jn 16
Your spiritual walk and journey is going to be opposed. Have you felt the opposition and pressure to continue in your faith, obey what the Lord is telling you, and believe in the goodness of God’s character despite seemingly unjust circumstances or painful disappointments?
In Genesis chapter 3 we read that the ‘serpent was more crafty’ than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made. Our enemy is crafty in his words, and he comes to us with ideas and suggestions and thoughts that challenge God’s character. He parades the evidence before our minds as he contests God’s goodness. “Is God really good?” “Can God be good despite all these injustices?” “Can he really be trusted?” These are the statements of the serpent.
Our enemies are not people, they are the thoughts and ideas that challenge our framework of who we think God is and who he had made us to be. There is war in our minds as we go back and forth between trusting God and trusting ourselves - giving in to temptation, presiding over our identity, giving in to anger, ignoring God’s voice to forgive others and the list goes on. This is the spiritual war we are living in, and the ‘territory’ being contested is the ‘territory’ of our minds.
To whom and to what do we give permission to occupy our beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions? Eve handed over her trust in God to a suspicion that perhaps God was tricking her and that it would be better for her and Adam to take God’s place in having the final say over their understanding – a very bad choice.
So this spiritual war is over your mind – what you think, believe, hope for, despair of, and who you belong to. God is warring for your mind and eternity hangs in the balance.
Trust in God and learning to hear his voice are our best weapons as we proceed to win this spiritual war through the life of Christ within us. Only Jesus within you can win the battles you face in life. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that Jesus faced every temptation known to man yet without sin. Jesus trusted the Father and he rejected the passing temptations of the world.
To believe in Jesus is to trust Jesus, give him your entire heart and mind, and lean ALL YOUR CONFIDENCE upon Him. You can stop trying so hard to win because only trust that Jesus himself can do it will be sufficient.
Take a moment to look into your heart. Is there ANY area or territory that you are keeping back from the Lord? On a scale from 1 to 10, what number would you give your surrender to Christ? If you are 5/10 you may be on your way but you will not see victory. If you are a 9/10 the Kingdom may be near to you but you are defeated. Only when you surrender all, a 10/10 for Jesus, does Jesus come through 10/10 for you. This doesn't mean being perfect, in means holding nothing back. When you lay your life down for the Lord his blood will cover your sins 100% and he will win the war of your life 100%. In fact, he has already won.
The book of Revelation tells us how our story ends. Christ is victorious. Victory through Jesus means surrender to his ability. It also means attention to hearing his voice. Do you know what God’s voice sounds like? God’s voice is encouraging, clear, calls you by name, speaks truth, convicts (but not condemns) of sin, speaks supernaturally, challenges you, doesn’t compare you to others, give ample provision, and wants you to trust him (see the handout below – Discerning God’s Voice).
As we wait (trust) on the Lord (Is 40:31) we will rise up on wings as eagles. As we press onward in our spiritual journey we need to lean all our confidence on the one who said that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39). Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble but to take courage because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). As we lean on the Lord and hear his voice, he will be our victory. Do not fear the spiritual war you are in because there is a loving God who understands what you are going through and has already made a way – JESUS!