So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. – Romans 7:17-20 ESV
Are you in the FIGHT? Are you battle worn, or are you pretending there is no battle? Do you know your calling, do you know your word, do you know your way, do you know the WHOLE GOSPEL? If you are a CALLED OUT ONE, if you are part of the REAL ekklesia, then you are in a war. The word “church” is translated from the Greek ekklesia, meaning “called-out” or “assembly.” The “church in the wilderness” consisted of those called out of physical Egypt; the New Testament church are those called out of the spiritual Egypt of false belief and practice dominating this world. Without this knowledge, it is extremely difficult to understand that we are in a battle and if you don’t understand you are in a battle, then you are not carrying yourself in battle mode. If you are not aware, and acting AS IF, you are in a battle, then you are USELESS to be used by GOD and you are useful to the enemy to keep others from the same realization. The true Follower of Jesus Christ knows we are in a battle and understands that the BATTLE IS THE LORDS! This was one of the key understandings needed by those who were CALLED OUT FROM EGYPT to go to the land of PROMISE! Hear the Word of the Lord: And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. (Exodus 14:13-16)
Leader, the TRUE FOLLOWER of Jesus Christ has many battles, however they are truly GOD’S BATTLES, that are waged within each believer and without each follower. If you are a true believer then you have 3 enemies: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. These enemies have access through the Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the PRIDE OF LIFE! Hear the Word of the Lord: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17) This might sound scary or overwhelming, but it SHOULD NOT, because our God is a WARRIOR GOD, He fights for us, and we FIGHT FROM VICTORY! Notice even though we know the outcome- see Revelation 21, 22, we STILL FIGHT- THE GOOD FIGHT! We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name. (Exodus 15:3) The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. (Isaiah 42:13) Do you ever find yourself doing what you know you shouldn’t? You are in good company because so did the Apostle Paul. Today’s verse shows you his similar struggle. However, just as Paul fought from Victory, so do we. So, if you’ve got a battle, then you’ve got a choice- and you are in the GAME. You can either stand still and trust that God will fight for you, or you can freak out and possibly make it worse. Sometimes we just need to get out of the way and get under God’s will and then watch Him bring victory. When we choose KNOW His Word, we can then KNOW His will and this allows us to be still. Then and only then, we do begin to know, I mean really know, that He is God. One of the best parts of really knowing that He is God is knowing that WE ARE NOT. Like the Israelites in the Exodus, let us lay down our weapons and battle plans and be still, until He tells us to CHARGE, blow the SHOFAR, STOP, TURN, run, walk…trust in Him and His power and grace.
Conduit, we must READ the entire Gospel, not just half of it. We need to allow Jesus to be FULLY God and FULLY man. We must allow for the WHOLE GOSPEL, not just the half we life. We must allow for the LION from the Tribe of JUDAH, not just the LAMB OF GOD! The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. (Proverbs 21:31) “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. (Deuteronomy 28:7) Paul speaks in many warrior metaphors. Paul understood the battle when he says in Romans 8:1-10 that the Spirit is God’s work, not yours. So while we are to listen to the Spirit, it is God who does that work. Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit is in all Christians, and that God places the Spirit within us. However, as we all know from experience and as Paul describes it in today’s verse. While we are in this life there will be a war within us between the two. Consider Jesus became incarnate to wage this war in us, through us and for us! And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15) Consider Jesus’ own words; “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’” Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times’. (Luke 12:49-56) What time is it? The Time is NOW- to fight the good fight. Quit wanting to be liked by the world, fit in with the world, and explain to the world about a God that they mock and want no part of! The Time is NOW to know that GOD IS FIGHTING FOR YOU, with you and on behalf of you! Soldier on!