The Lost Battle: Written in the Name and Power of My Lord Jesus Christ to His glory for the Sake of His Elect
by Preethi David on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 10:53am
The lost battle with sin echoes within the minds of many as struggles are fought against a particular sin, lifestyles of sin, the cravings of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the boastings of what one has or does. Victories often times seem rare, somewhat of an ideal whose mystery lies deep within some hidden truth about God and His incomprehensible power. This power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, releasing Him from the snares of sin and death and seating Him at the right hand of God in heaven, is meant to dwell within His people, those who trust in His salvation and Godship. If this exact power is truly with us, why then does it seem that temptations run too far for us to resist, too deep for us to forgo? The very omniscient God who searches the hearts and minds of men and who understands the depth of our depravity, how is it that He would ask us to live a holy life in His power? Why would He put upon us a seemingly impossible task of being perfect as He is perfect?
The answer may be probed by examining the manner in which Jesus Christ lived as a man here on this very same earth. When He came to dwell here He was given a carnal body: flesh complete with its imperfections and frustrations. He was given an earthly body prone to sickness and decay. He was given a physical hunger which could be satiated by food. He was given a heart whereby He could weep and sweat tears of blood. He was given a mind that could grow in understanding and knowledge. He was given a spirit by which He could pray and pour out His soul to His Father, His God, the One with whom He was One. When Jesus approached the time of His ministry and departure, He was led by the Spirit into the dessert to be tempted by the devil. We note that Christ was tempted in every way as we are yet He was without sin. EVERY WAY. This means that not only were all temptations all humans have ever undergone delivered to Him but also the extent and intensity of those temptations as well. In this world the real hearts of men are visible to God. To the world, however, a less than accurate picture is given of our hearts before men. For any given sin there is a level of temptation at which some (most perhaps) would falter and some would stand firm in the power of their God which enables them to resist all temptations that come their way. However this utmost level of temptation is delivered to select individuals of the sin-fallen majority and many are left seemingly unscathed, left with nothing evident to the world but that minor sin which has been uncovered by more trivial temptations. Temptation is somewhat of a stripper of the mask that lays over our true nature. When the utmost temptations arise, the cover is completely blown off and our hearts are laid bare to ourselves as we acknowledge the extent of our wickedness and in many cases to those around us who observe our sin. Some day the hearts of all men will be laid bare before the One to whom we are accountable to, but even in this world, much of the sin reality within ourselves and those around us eventually becomes evident. Jesus, there in the dessert, faced hunger and fatigue. It is possible that the devil showed him all sorts of mirages to appeal to His visual lusts (e.g. all the kingdoms of the world). He was fasted; He was not in an earthly position to have physical strength to resist. BUT HE RESISTED EVERY TEMPTATION. Where did the power come from? It came from the Holy Spirit by which He lived, and moved, and breathed. Unless we live by this very same Spirit, we have absolutely no hope of resisting temptation. Why? Because apart from Him our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. Temptation of any kind will ultimately (though not necessarily temporarily in the sense that some of the lost seem to be able to resist some temptation) lay us bare. And bare we are, so very bare. We would die in our spiritual poverty if not for Him who was tempted as we are yet did not sin.
To address the matter of inner response to one’s own sin the matter of remorse versus repentance must be addressed. The law of God has been written on every man’s heart making it clear to all that we have broken His law to the utmost. However apart from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, there is only guilt or human attempts at justification of one’s own sin. To God, sinning is disobedience to His commands to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and to love to neighbors as ourselves, and to not do what we know is right. Apart from Him we are likely to become hardened (and perhaps are hardened this way since birth) into a state in which we would almost feel no sorrow over having sinned because we refuse to acknowledge God’s law written within us. Others are indeed filled with sorrow, but not the right kind. They are filled with remorse, a deep bitterness and fear of God’s just judgment, and yet a rejection of and even hatred towards the true mercy and grace of God. Sometimes some may discount the very power of God and its ability to cause us to avoid sin and walk in God’s light and truth. The right kind of sorrow, Godly sorrow, leads to repentance. Repentance is a change of mind and behavior and we CANNOT do it in our human selves. Many a soul has tried and failed to avoid temptation thinking they were calling upon the power of Christ when indeed they had all along been trying to conquer sin in their own “wisdom and strength”. IT IS NOT THE POWER OF GOD THAT HAS FAILED THEM. WE FAIL WHEN WE REFUSE TO RECEIVE HIS POWER. “But Lord how then” we would ask “do I use your power. How can I forgo my own attempting and rely upon the One and only solid Rock?” God would reply, “Live by my Spirit and you will not satisfy the desires of the flesh”.
“But how can I live by Your Spirit?”
“If you acknowledge that Jesus has come in the flesh you have been born of God. Put on My full armor that you may be able to take your stand against the evil one. For your battle, my child, is not against flesh and blood, but against evil spirits. I have given you armor and you must wear it. Put on My helmet of salvation. I have saved you. If you receive Me I have given you the right to be my child as you believe in My Name. My eternal promise of love to you will guard your mind as you take every thought captive to make it obedient to Me. Take My breastplate of righteousness to cover your wickedness in My sight and to protect your heart from evil. It is not because you have done right that you are able to stand before Me but because of My righteous white robe that I have given you to wear. Take My belt of truth. I tell you that if you confess your sin I am faithful and just to forgive you of your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. I tell you to forgive your neighbor as many times as he repents. I too will forgive you though you have repented of this same sin many times in the past and may commit it again later. I know all things. I know what you have done and what you will do and yet I give you My power and My grace. Put on My belt of trust. I know those who are mine. My Words and My power are true. Do not base your beliefs on what you see in yourself and those around you. Depend upon Me. Take refuge in Me. Look at what I have done for My people in My Word. I have removed hearts of stone replacing them with hearts of flesh. I have destroyed My enemies and upheld the cause of My beloved ones. I and not some other God has extended My own arm to work salvation for you, to draw you to myself. Believe in My power. It is true. I AM TRUE. Take up the shield of faith, My gift to you. Believe that every temptation is a lie from the evil one that may appeal so strongly to your earthly mind, flesh, and body. I love you with an everlasting love and I myself will draw you to Myself and protect you from the temptations you face. My child, do you believe Me that no temptation is too much for you to handle in Me? On your own you can barely stand. But in Me, do you believe that no temptation can rule over you? Do you believe this? Or would you shrink back in fear as you look at the wind and waves of your own past failure and fears of future failure. When you fail, I will lift you up. I will uphold your cause. I will honor you if you honor me. Do not fear the men around you who are but grass. If you seek your own approval before men I will humble you. Seek My approval and live. Have faith in My mercy and grace even in the face of the condemnations and accusations coming from others and from within you. I have given you My sword of the Spirit. As you come to know My Word and hold strongly to It you must use these Words to counter the temptations you face. First submit to Me, resist the devil by proclaiming that Words which My Holy Spirit will remind you of at the opportune time, and HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. I will train you to be free from evil. I will sanctify you and show myself as holy each time you come to Me. Do not look at fallen souls around you and lose hope. Look to Me, seek Me and live. Finally you must abide in Me to bear any good fruit at all. Apart from Me you can do nothing. Abide in Me and you will bear much fruit. You say that you seek Me. But do you truly seek Me with all your heart. Are you willing to give up everything for Me? Would you at least commit your entire life and all that it contains to Me that I may purify you completely in My time and remove from you every evil desire? Will you give yourself over to Me completely for My own working? Surely I tell you that your sin and this world with all its lusts and carnality will pass away, but I promise you that if you do MY will you will live forever. If you refuse to repent you will be destroyed. My demand is moral perfection and I am displeased with all forms of hatred, anger, malice, greed, lust, deceit, hypocrisy, and disbelief. If you follow Me you will be set free and become a slave to righteousness leading to holiness. Look not around and behind you, LOOK TO ME. I will fight for you. Your lost battle is a lost battle. You have lost and I have won. You will see that you have crossed over from death to life on the day that I return and your flesh is destroyed. The battle has been lost. But I have not lost. Sin and death have lost. The battle is Mine. I will be the Victorious One. My child, be on My side, and stay there. You are more than a conqueror in My Name. Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your soul.
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Rachel Edwards and Paul Chang like this.
Rachel Edwards absolutely breath-taking.
thank you for that beautiful reminder. we Christians should never lose faith because of lost faith in ourselves or other Christians..
it is God alone to whom we are accountable and God alone who will give us strength to accomplish all that He requires of us... reminding us always of the gift of salvation through Christ His Son ♥
January 14, 2010 at 12:31am · Like