THE STRONGHOLD OF THE GODLY: HUMILITY

THE STRONGHOLD OF THE GODLY: HUMILITY

Satan fears virtue. He is terrified of humility; he hates it. He sees a humble person and it sends chills down his back. His hair stands up when Christians kneel down, for humility is the surrender of the soul to God. The devil trembles before the meek because in the very areas where he once had access, there stands the Lord, and Satan is terrified of Jesus Christ.

Who Truly Are You Fighting?
You will remember that, at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the judgment of God against the devil was that he should “eat dust.” Remember also that God said of man, “dust thou art” (Gen. 3:14–19 kjv). The essence of our carnal nature—of all that is carnal in nature—is dust. We need to see the connection here: Satan feeds upon our earthly, carnal nature of “dust.” Satan dines on what we withhold from God.

Therefore, we need to recognize that the immediate source of many of our problems and oppressions is not demonic but fleshly in nature. We must contend with the fact that one aspect of our lives, our flesh nature, will always be targeted by the devil. These fleshly areas supply Satan with a ready avenue of access to undermine our prayers and neutralize our walk with God.

It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves. We know who is in us, but we must also know what is in us if we will be successful in our war against the devil. Therefore, be specific when you submit yourself to God. Do not rationalize your sins and failures. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a perfect shelter of grace enabling all men to look honestly at their needs. Accordingly, be honest with God. He will not be horrified or shocked by your sins. God loved you without restraint even when sin was rampant within you; how much more will He continue to love you as you seek His grace to be free from iniquity?

Before we launch out in aggressive warfare, we must realize that many of our battles are merely the consequences of our own actions. To war effectively, we must separate what is of the flesh from what is of the devil.

Allow me to give you an example. My wife and I once lived in an area where a beautiful red cardinal kept its nest. Cardinals are very territorial and will fight off intruding cardinals zealously. At that time, we owned a van which had large side mirrors and chrome bumpers. Occasionally, the cardinal would attack the bumpers or mirrors, thinking his reflection was another bird. One day, as I watched the cardinal assail the mirror, I thought, “What a foolish creature; his enemy is merely the reflection of himself.” Immediately the Lord spoke to my heart, “And so also are many of your enemies the reflection of yourself.”

Before we have any strategy for attacking Satan, we must make sure that the real enemy is not our own carnal nature. We must ask ourselves: are the things oppressing us today the harvest of what we planted yesterday?

Agree with Thine Adversary
You will remember that Jesus taught: “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” —Matthew 5:25–26 kjv

Jesus is speaking here of more than avoiding lawsuits. In fact, He speaks in such a way as to indicate that, in regards to this particular adversary and this particular judge, we will always lose our case and end up in prison.

This parable explains God’s view of human righteousness. In the narrative, the adversary is the devil and the Judge is God. Satan, as our adversary, stands as the accuser of the brethren before God, the Judge of all. The truth Christ wants us to see is that when we approach God on the basis of our own righteousness, the adversary will always have legal grounds to “cast [us] into prison,” for our righteousness is “as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6 kjv).

When Jesus says, “agree with thine adversary quickly,” He does not mean “obey” the devil. He is saying that when Satan accuses you of some sin or flaw, if the devil is even minutely right, it is to your advantage to agree with him about your unrighteousness. If he accuses you of being impure or not loving or praying enough, he is right. The key is not to argue with the devil about your own righteousness because, before God, your righteousness is unacceptable. No matter how much you defend or justify yourself, you know inwardly that often the accusations of the devil have morsels of truth in them.

Our salvation is not based upon what we do but upon who Jesus becomes to us. Christ Himself is our righteousness. We have been justified by faith; our peace with God comes through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). When Satan comes against you, he tries to deceive you by focusing your attention upon your own righteousness.

The more we recognize that Jesus alone is our righteousness, the less the adversary can assault us in the arena of our failings. When the accuser comes seeking to condemn you for not having enough love, your response should be, “That is true, I do not have enough love. But the Son of God died for all my sins, even the sin of imperfect love.” Step out from the shadow of satanic assault and stand in the brightness of your Father’s love. Submit yourself to God and ask for Christ’s love and forgiveness to replace your weak imperfect love.

When Satan seeks to condemn you for impatience, again your response should be, “Yes, in my flesh I am very impatient. But since I have been born again, Jesus is my righteousness and through His blood I am forgiven and cleansed.” Turn again to God. Use the accusation as a reminder that you are not standing before a throne of judgment but rather a throne of grace which enables you to boldly draw near to God for help (Heb. 4:16).

A vital key, therefore, to overcoming the devil is humility. To humble yourself is to refuse to defend your image: you are corrupt and full of sin in your old nature! Yet, we have a new nature which has been created in the likeness of Christ (Eph. 4:24), so we can agree with our adversary about the condition of our flesh!

But do not limit this principle of humbling yourself to only when you are involved in spiritual warfare. This precept is applicable in other situations as well. The strength of humility is that it builds a spiritual defense around your soul, prohibiting strife, competition, and many of life’s irritations from stealing your peace.

A wonderful place to practice this is in your family relationships. As a husband, your wife may criticize you for being insensitive. A fleshly response could easily escalate the conversation into a conflict. The alternative is to simply humble yourself and agree with your wife. You probably were insensitive. Then pray together and ask God for a more tender love.

As a wife, perhaps your husband accuses you of not understanding the pressures he has at work. More than likely he is right, you do not know the things he must face. Instead of responding with a counter-charge, humble yourself and agree with him. Pray together, asking God to give you an understanding heart. If we remain humble in heart, we will receive abundant grace from God; Satan will be disarmed on many fronts.
Remember, Satan fears virtue. He is terrified of humility; he hates it because humility is the surrender of the soul to the Lord, and the devil is terrified of Jesus Christ. — The Three Battlegrounds, Chap 2

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Song of Songs 5: 1-16 ~~ Powerful Revelation of Jesus

Song 5:10-16 is one of the most powerful revelations of Jesus in Scripture. She starts with a general statement of His beauty, develops ten attributes, and then gives a summary statement.
10My beloved is white and [dazzling, NASB]…chief among ten thousand. 11His head is like the finest gold; His locks are wavy…12His eyes are like doves…13His cheeks are like a bed of spices…His lips are lilies…14His hands are rods of gold…His body is carved ivory…15His legs are pillars of marble…His countenance is like Lebanon…16His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend… (Song 5:10-16)

1. His head: His sovereign leadership over all
2. His locks: His dedication to God and the Church
3. His eyes: His infinite knowledge, wisdom, understanding, discernment
4. His cheeks: His diverse emotional makeup
5. His lips: His Word
6. His hands: His divine activity
7. His body: His tender compassion
8. His legs: His walk and administration of His purposes
9. His countenance: His impartation to His people
10. His mouth: Intimacy with Him
11. He’s altogether lovely: His comprehensive beauty
12. He is my Beloved and my Friend

THE CHRISTIAN PARADIGM OF GOD

This is not my writing, it was written by Mike Bickle from his study in Song of Songs…..

The Christian paradigm of God is founded on the revelation of God’s deep emotions of love. The revelation of God as a tender Father and a passionate Bridegroom was a new idea in religious history (see William Barclay’s commentary on Heb. 4).

In Jewish tradition, what was most emphasized about God was that He is holy in the sense of being totally separate from sin. They did not think of a holy God as sharing human experience. They thought of God as incapable of sharing it simply because He is God. In other words, they saw God as being “above” sharing the human dilemma by the very definition of being God.

The Greek philosophers saw God as emotionally distant from humans. The most prominent Greek thinkers were the Stoics. They saw the main attribute of God as being apatheia, by which they meant God’s inability to feel anything. They reasoned that if God felt something, then He might be influenced or even controlled by what He felt. They argued that those who felt sorrow or joy were vulnerable to being hurt and, thus, controlled by those they had feelings for. They believed that anyone who affected God’s emotions would be greater than God for that moment. The Epicureans (a school of Greek philosophy) believed that the gods lived detached in eternal bliss. They lived in the intermediate world and, thus, were not aware of events occurring on earth. They were, therefore, totally detached from human affairs as they lived in great happiness.

The Jews understood God as a holy God separated from humans; the Stoics, a feelingless god; the Epicureans, a detached god. Into this context of religious thought came the totally new idea of the Christian God who deliberately subjected Himself to human emotion, pain, and weakness.
Jesus came as the One who embraced human experience and was therefore, sympathetic.

15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)

8though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Heb. 5:8)

It was inconceivable to the religious mindset of the first century that a holy God would have capacity for tenderness, sympathy and affection, who even wrapped Himself in the garments of humanity and then experienced God’s wrath on a cross. It is difficult to realize how dramatic this Christian paradigm of God was at that time.

The capacity to deeply love is unique to the human spirit. It distinguishes us from even the most exalted angels. Nothing in Scripture describes angels as having the capacity for affection. They have joy, but never are described as having affection. This capacity for affection brings us to unimaginable heights in God’s glory, but it can also be dangerous by bringing us to agonizing depths of perversion, if we resist God’s grace.

“God loves us in the same way the God loves God” The measure of the Father’s love (affection) for Jesus is the measure of Jesus’ love for us. This is the ultimate statement of our worth. It gives every believer the right to view themselves as God’s Favorite”

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide (live) in My love” John 15:9

Truth …..think about it

The devil calls us hopeless hypocrites. The enemy wears down many with accusation and condemnation. He wants us to feel like hopeless hypocrites so that we give up. He wants us to confuse immaturity with rebellion so that we give up.

Many spend excessive emotional energy fighting the fires of condemnation and worthlessness. The baggage of condemnation and rejection takes a lot of energy to manage. This prevents us from effectively walking with the Lord because we are preoccupied with failure and shame.

Many focus on measuring their attainment of maturity instead of being focused on setting the intentions of their heart to obey and believe. When we measure our attainment of maturity, we become vulnerable to two spiritual problems. 

  1. If we measure up well, we can feel proud and criticize others who fail. 
  2. If we fail, then we feel condemned and thus, feel like quitting.

Our primary focus is to be on God’s emotions (beauty) and in setting the intention of our heart to fully love Him (obey and believe His Word). He will work mature victory in us in His timing.

13It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

Cherishing is the way a man changes his wife or children. All of God’s discipline occurs as He cherishes us. Parents often do not rightly interpret the budding virtues in their children. They see failure instead of the budding seeds of dedication and greatness.

Who am I?

Integrity – humility – love – a grateful heart – a giver…. these are the things that make a man strong.

The work place is such a major part of a man, his identity….it’s an important aspect of who a man is. But it does not define who a man is. I can make a TON of money working, I can be top dog month after month….can strive to be the BEST but if I am a man who is not showing love, not interacting with my co-workers, not making a difference in the lives of those around me including my clients I am NOTHING.

The most important part of the work place is not how much money you can make or how popular one is….it is how much you GIVE in your time, money energy, love….it’s about being humble and dealing with everyone and everything in total integrity. Everything else is just a blessing.

It does not matter if I am a pastor or a car salesman, or I clean bathrooms for a living….it’s about my heart and how I do it. My motives.

I am one very grateful man at this moment.