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Flesh vs. Spirit, part IV

god stuff 4

Hebrews 4:15 (NAS): For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Matthew 16:24 (NAS): Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Romans 9:6-8 (NAS): For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Homosexuality is a huge debate these days; should they marry, shouldn’t they marry? The problem is that we’re focused on the sin (flesh) which leads to condemnation instead of the God (Spirit) who brings freedom. Instead of God’s holy people acting in outrage, condemnation, bigotry, and hatred (all equally sin), God’s royal priesthood should be led by Holy Spirit in our conduct. We need to deal with the nature of the flesh which is hostile against God instead of individual sins. To be tempted by anything ungodly (homosexuality or anything else), is NOT sin lest Christ is a sinner.

Since Christ established that temptation alone is not sin, we must address the nature of hostile flesh as a whole. For one who desires to “take up his or her cross and follow Christ,” they must actually deny any desire that is set against God. Old and New Testament Scriptures speak against homosexuality, therefore, any person who is tempted by homosexuality must understand that they must deny the sexual urges so as to truly follow Christ. It does not mean that they suddenly desire the opposite sex, but rather that they choose the way of Christ over their natural urges; they choose to be a eunuch unto God as written in Matthew 19. In this, it isn’t a matter of homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but unholy vs. holy.

This is where we need to understand how to “count ALL as loss” considering the magnitude of the Kingdom of God. Counting all as loss debunks the whole “God wants me to be happy” theory. I can’t think of one account where God directs us to fulfill the desires of our flesh so as to be “happy.” That theory was born in the flesh and is death; it has zero to do with holiness. Imagine if we all did whatever we wanted, whenever, however, to whomever. This is not merely an issue of morality but of holiness.

God’s people led by emotions of any kind are not in obedience to Christ. Those operating in hatred, wrath, gossip, malice, rage, perversion, thievery, gluttony, etc. – the same rules apply. If you love God and desire to follow Him, your “cross” is giving up whatever fleshly temptation you may have that is against God. If we would begin to teach holiness instead of hatred and condemnation, I’d imagine that we’d all walk closer to God!

Whatever your temptation, God is sympathetic. He understands. He has no desire to shame you, but to heal you from the inside out. The flesh will always desire that which is contrary to the cross and the Kingdom of God. Don’t be surprised or ashamed in your temptation (whatever it is), but in it, walk away from it toward the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

 

I Peter 1:16: Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

Philippians 3:8 (NAS): More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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Flesh vs. Spirit, part II

god stuff 4

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

 

Self-discipline is a huge part of spiritual warfare. We have been given authority over demons, absolutely, but too often we focus more on that than learning to simply discipline our bodies so as to “make them a slave” as did the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 9:27). After all, the first place one should take authority is over their own temple.

Time and time again we read that self-control is an attribute of the fruit of the Spirit. Just because we’re tired, angry, sad, mad, stressed, or whatever, does not give us license to sin. In fact, it’s in these tricky situations that God is actually at hand. He allows us to be tested so as to reveal to us our remaining ungodliness – not for condemnation, but for further refinement. God is not punishing us, He is perfecting us.

First, we need to correct an untruth. Many say, “Followers of Christ have two natures.” This is false. God’s people have one nature – God’s – Holy Spirit. Though we (the spirit) temporarily dwell in a compartment made of flesh, its nature does not belong to us. It’s like living in your house; you are not the house, you merely dwell there temporarily. If the house is old and creaky, that does not me you have to be. You must upkeep the earthen temple in which you dwell, but it isn’t who you are. It’s our downfall when we think, “Well, that’s just who and how I am. I can’t help it when I act this or that way.” Likewise, if it’s our downfall, it’s equally the downfall of the Kingdom of God because we represent the King and His Kingdom.

Secondly, emotionalism will always dictate “do whatever makes you feel better.” Truth will dictate the polar opposite. When I walk with God, I choose self-control when otherwise I want to use profanities, lash out at someone, or anything of the like. When I give in to emotionalism and conduct myself in a fleshly (evil) manner, I cease walking with God. Everyone’s trigger point is different and we need to be aware of what they are and purpose to surrender them to Christ.

It’s simply being pro-active by knowing who we are in Christ and allowing Christ to overrule the flesh in everything. No one has perfected this, I certainly haven’t, but we need to purpose to strive toward the mark of Christ choosing to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ always and in everything. When we falter, repent, receive forgiveness and begin again. His mercies are new every day! 

 

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:14-25, NAS).”

 

Stay tuned for next week’s part III! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

 

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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Delight yourself in the LORD


by Neil Anderson

July 1

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
 
Jeremiah said, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick”
 
I had very little desire to read until I came to Christ. Now I read volumes. After I received Christ, I wanted to serve Him full time. I had completed engineering school and was preparing to do anything God wanted–except go back to school. But within a year, I could hardly wait to get to seminary. It was the best educational experience of my life and the only one I enjoyed up to that point. Since then I have finished four more degrees. If we delight in the Lord, He changes our desires!
 
We struggle between the desires of the flesh and the desires of righteousness. Jesus told us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Do you believe that? I guarantee that if you try to satisfy the desires of the flesh, you will never satisfy them. The more you feed them, the greater the hunger.
 
When we first come to Christ, nothing contests our will more than the lusts of the flesh: “For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another” (Galatians 5:17). Our will is like a toggle switch, but it’s initially spring-loaded to the flesh. As we delight in the Lord, it becomes spring-loaded to the Spirit.
 
Prayer: My heart’s desire, Father, is to be totally responsive to You and to delight in whatever gives You glory.


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Kingdom Power and Authority, part III

     god stuff 4

Ephesians 4:3-6 (NAS): Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

We are never to war in the flesh. Satan will send his demons to coerce the unsuspecting to lash out at you. Resist temptation to verbally or physically defend your honor: for it is not your honor at stake, but God’s. With this mindset grounded in the Kingdom of heaven, you will be more self-disciplined when confronted with insults hurled at you. God WILL contend with those who contend with Him ambassadors – every time, but in His timing, not ours.

We must be patient to wait upon the Lord. Knowing this and the wrath that will be unleashed toward the unrepentant, we will more quickly intercede in prayer for mercy for our human foe. We should never wish destruction for mankind; God loves them and expects His people to intercede whether we want to or not. Again, as an ambassador, our personal opinion and desires are irrelevant. God and His desires alone are our motivating factors.

John 19:10-11, NAS: So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over me, unless it had been given you from above…”

Here in John 19, we see where, without using pride behind His words, Jesus spoke plainly and with Kingdom confidence that Pilate had zero authority to do anything with Him lest God the Father granted him access. Jesus, even in the face of death, did not waver, but stood firmly in the knowledge and power and authority of God. This is how we, those filled with the Spirit of the Living God, should conduct ourselves at all times. This is Kingdom of God conduct. Anything less is earthly, of the evil one, and full of pride – that conduct will destroy you and it will chip away at God’s Kingdom.

 

I hope you’ll come back next time. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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Kingdom of God: Power and Authority, part II

god stuff 4

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly…not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and everycircumstance I have learned the secretof being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:10-13, NAS).”

“But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you (Matthew 12:28, NAS).”

 

What Paul is saying in Philippians four is pure power! Through choosing to recognize that his flesh was dead and he daily consigned it as such, he was allowing the Spirit of God within himself to be sharpened.

Peace and self-discipline in Christ in any situation are key to accessing Kingdom authority that unlocks the power of the Kingdom of God. Though the fleshly part of all people is to want more of whatever turns us on, Holy Spirit seeks only His kingdom. When led exclusively by Holy Spirit as was Paul, the only desire we will have is Kingdom expansion and all that goes along with that because that is God’s desire.

In this condition, Paul was equipped with supernatural power over fleshly desires, be it desiring more in his poverty or pride in his abundance. Basically speaking, Paul operated in neither shame of lack nor pride of abundance – Christ was his all-in-all – he was grounded in Christ regardless of circumstance.

Paul became the epitome of the unshakable Kingdom of God spoken of in Hebrews 12:28-29 which reads, “Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Paul was not shaken by hunger, for his trust was in The King. He was not moved by boasting in his bounty, for his praises to the Giver never ceased. He had single vision, Kingdom vision, God’s vision.

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the POWER and the KINGDOM OF GOD and the AUTHORITY OF HIS CHRIST have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10, NAS).”

“But of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom (Hebrews 1:8, NAS).”

Satan is a defeated foe though for a season he is allowed to torment, kill, steal and destroy we who are created in the image of God. We must keep in mind at all times that Satan must contend with the King who sent The Ambassador (Jesus) to earth. We, God’s ambassadors filled with the High Priest are merely the messengers of the High King. Knowing this, God has given us every tool necessary to defend ourselves to war against the evil one, not to wage war against one another.

The sooner we understand and begin to walk in the peace and self-discipline of Jesus as did the Apostle Paul, we will be able to access all the King has provided from His Kingdom of righteousness. In this, we will most certainly begin to do greater things than Jesus as promised by Jesus Himself – we will subdue the earth!

I hope you’ll come back next time. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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YIELDING CONTROL

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 5
2 Corinthians 2:11 
For we are not ignorant of his [Satan's] schemes
 
We generally agree that Christians are vulnerable to the enemy’s temptation, accusation and deception. But for some reason, we hesitate to admit that Christians can lose their freedom and can surrender to demonic influences. However, the evidence of Scripture is abundant and clear that believers who repeatedly succumb to Satan can come under bondage.
 
Demonic control does not mean satanic ownership. You have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, and not even the powers of hell can take your salvation away from you (1 Peter 1:17-19; Romans 8:35-39). Satan knows he can never own you again. But if he can deceive you into yielding control of your life to him in some way, he can neutralize your growth and your impact in the world for Christ.
 
Since we live in a world whose god is Satan, the possibility of being tempted, deceived and accused is continuous. If you allow his schemes to influence you, you can lose control to the degree that you have been deceived. If he can persuade you to believe a lie, he can control your life.
 
The term demon possessed never occurs in the Bible after the cross. We lack theological precision as to what demon possession constitutes in the church age. But don’t come to any conclusion that you can’t be affected by Satan. We are more a target than we are immune to his strategies. However, we have all the sanctuary we need in Christ, and we have the armor of God to protect us.
 
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the armor You have provided to protect me from Satan. Keep me aware of his schemes today and help me resist him in the power and authority You provide.


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IDENTIFYING A CHRISTIAN LEADER

By Neil Anderson

 banner_secondary_who i am in christ

January 10
 
2 Peter 2:1 
There will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves
 
What comes to mind when you hear the terms false prophets and false teachers ? Many people tend to thing of Eastern mystics and gurus, the spokespersons for nonbiblical religions or dynamic cult leaders–people who are recognizably outside the boundaries of the Christian church. But the apostle Peter devoted an entire chapter in one of his letters (2 Peter 2) to false prophets and teachers who operate within the church. False teachers may operate in our churches disguised as workers of righteousness.
 
Notice that the lure of false teachers is not primarily their doctrine: “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned” (verse 2). What does Peter mean by “follow their sensuality”? He is talking about Christians who evaluate a ministry based on the outward appearance and charm of its leaders. We say, “He’s such a nice guy”; “She’s a very charismatic person”; “He’s a real dynamic speaker”; “She’s so sweet and sounds so sincere.” But is physical attractiveness or a syrupy personality a biblical criterion for validating a ministry or a teacher? Of course not! The issue is always truth and righteousness . A Christian leader should be identified by his commitment to the truth, his righteous life and his servant’s heart.
 
Prayer: Dear God, keep me from playing to the grandstand; I want only to live for You. Keep me accountable as a person of truth, righteousness, and love, ever fearful of discrediting Your name.