Spiritual Warfare – Obtaining God’s Promises

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Obtaining God’s Promises

“This charge* I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare…”
1 Timothy 1:18

The word translated “charge” in the above scripture is actually a command in the Greek (see note below). The promises of God are given to His own that, by receiving them, they may war rightly to see them come to pass. The promises of God require warfare to be real and vital in the lives of His own.

“And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully
2 Timothy 2:5

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul uses the Olympic athlete as an example to observe and be instructed thereby. Paul follows this statement declaring:

“Consider what I say;
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things”
2 Timothy 2:7

There is a striving and a contending for the crown of the call of God upon us. Few of God’s people comprehend the strenuous effort required in “laying hold” of the prize of our call in Christ. The apathy and the complacency of many is a source of suffering for those who know God. The sum of all the energies of Paul were expended in his pursuit of laying hold of God.

“Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air, but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected”. (“Unapproved, unworthy, spurious, worthless. In a passive sense meaning disapproved”)
1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Paul says he fights like that! He is fully involved (spirit, soul and body) in the fight of faith. He has one resolve in the entirety of his being. He is fully persuaded in his press to obtain the Crown OF Life to which he has been called. His life bears evidence of the faith and fire of God burning within! There is no value in glibly quoting the scriptures if we lack the evidence of faith in our daily life. How it must weary God that there be contentment in the quoting of scriptures without the corresponding evidence; but rather families out of order, poorly handled finances, lives lived in pursuit of other things, and an inability to impart the power of faith into the lives of those around them. Paul, in the passion of the Spirit of God, cries out:

“So run, that ye may obtain”!
1 Corinthians 9:24

The Christian life is not about just believing, it is about obtaining!

“Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”
1 Cor. 9:25

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Thess. 5:9

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thess. 2:14 (what a staggering call)

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus…”
2 Timothy 2:10

“For by it the elders obtained a good report”
Hebrews 11:2

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…”
Hebrews 11:33

The list is too long and too precious to be listed without prayerful consideration of each one as a powerful truth. I am stirred this morning as I consider the grace and mercy of God, and the ethos of a generation who know little of the cost nor the power associated with the call of God. There is a generation who find contentment in words rather than a life of godliness.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ
Philippians 3:8

How few understand the cry of Paul’s heart, “that I may win Christ”. To those who do not pursue the person of Christ, this statement will be an enigma and a mystery. There will be an inability to see the pure truth contained within its wonder. The secret of the Lord is with them who fear Him, and it is to such that He reveals His Covenant (Psalm 25:14). The power of this Word ignites a hunger within and a thirst which cannot be quenched. Oh, the folly of words without fire, purpose without passion, and a powerless Christian gospel which does not birth a singular pursuit of Him! Life lived outside the grip of the fire of His love is meaningless and vain. He is the One Object of our faith; He is the Pearl of Great Price; He is the Fire which burns within.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1-3

Those who bear His Fire
Shine forth His Light;
For the Light without
Is evidence of the Fire within.

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“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”
Jeremiah 20:9

*NOTE:
parangelia (G3852), “a proclamation, a command or commandment,” is strictly used of commands received from a superior and transmitted to others. It is rendered “charge” in Act 16:24; 1Th 4:2, RV (where the word is in the plural); 1Ti 1:5 (RV) and 1Ti 1:18. In Act 5:28 the lit. meaning is “Did we not charge you with a charge? Vines New Testament Dictionary

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“If we want to pray well and get the most of our praying, we must look at our obedience. This brings us closer to God. Disobedient living produces extremely poor praying. No man can pray – really pray – who does not obey.
Our will must be surrendered to God as a primary condition to all successful praying. Everything about us receives its coloring from our innermost character. Our will determines our character and controls our conduct.”
E.M. Bounds

A Testimony of George Fox

A Testimony Of Life

“Now, as I went towards Nottingham, on a Firstday, in the morning, going with Friends to a meeting there, when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I espied the great steeple-house. And the Lord said unto me, ‘Thou must go cry against yonder great idol, and against the worshippers therein.’

“I said nothing of this to the Friends that were with me, but went on with them to the meeting, where the mighty power of the Lord was amongst us; in which I left Friends sitting in the meeting, and went away to the steeple-house. When I came there, all the people looked like fallow ground; and the priest (like a great lump of earth) stood in his pulpit above.

“He took for his text these words of Peter, ‘We have also a more sure Word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.’ And he told the people that this was the Scriptures, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions.

“Now the Lord’s power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold, but was made to cry out and say, ‘Oh, no; it is not the Scriptures!’ and I told them what it was, namely, the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the Scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all truth, and so gave the knowledge of all truth. The Jews had the Scriptures, and yet resisted the Holy Ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning star. They persecuted Christ and His apostles, and took upon them to try their doctrines by the Scriptures; but they erred in judgment, and did not try them aright, because they tried without the Holy Ghost.
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“As I spoke thus amongst them, the officers came and took me away, and put me into a nasty, stinking prison; the smell whereof got so into my nose and throat that it very much annoyed me.

“But that day the Lord’s power sounded so in their ears that they were amazed at the voice, and could not get it out of their ears for some time after, they were so reached by the Lord’s power in the steeple-house. At night they took me before the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of the town; and when I was brought before them, the mayor was in a peevish, fretful temper, but the Lord’s power allayed him. They examined me at large; and I told them how the Lord had moved me to come. After some discourse between them and me, they sent me back to prison again. Some time after, the head sheriff, whose name was John Reckless, sent for me to his house. When I came in, his wife met me in the hall, and said, ‘Salvation is come to our house.’ She took me by the hand, and was much wrought upon by the power of the Lord God; and her husband, and children, and servants were much changed, for the power of the Lord wrought upon them.

“I lodged at the sheriff’s, and great meetings we had in his house. Some persons of considerable condition in the world came to them, and the Lord’s power appeared eminently amongst them.”
– George Fox
(Reblogged from Tim Shey’s Website)

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“Beloved, believe not every spirit,
but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world”
1 John 4:1

Quote for Today – Herman Bavinck

Quote for Today

“A theologian is a person who makes bold to speak about God because he speaks out of God and through God. To profess theology is to do holy work. It is a priestly ministration in the house of the Lord. It is itself a service of worship, a consecration of mind and heart to the honour of His name”
– Herman Bavinck

Quote for Today – Francis of Assisi

Quote for Today

“All the darkness in the world
cannot extinguish the light of a single candle”
Francis of Assisi

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

Quote for Today – Jürgen Moltmann

Quote for Today

“God heals the sicknesses and the griefs by making the sicknesses and the griefs his suffering and his grief. In the image of the crucified God the sick and dying can see themselves, because in them the crucified God recognizes himself”
– Jürgen Moltmann

Spiritual Warfare – Peace

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

PEACE

“He hath delivered my soul in peace
from the battle that was against me”
Psalm 55:14

Warfare is the norm for those who are alive and growing in Christ; the world and all of its offerings are the enemy of the true pilgrim of faith. To the diligent of heart, the battles without are an indication of the warfare within. The daily battle is against the condition and weakness of the human heart. If we understand this vital truth, we can grow and develop our life in Him. While many seem unaware of the fierceness and urgency of this battle, there are many others who “fight the good fight” in the unseen world of spiritual things. It is to these that the promises of deliverance and the ministration of grace are extended. Grace is much more than just a sentiment. It is the power of God working within to bring victory and Peace. Peace is the offspring of spiritual victory.

“And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them”
2 Samuel 10:19

“For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer–sheba, all the days of Solomon”
1 Kings 4:24-25

The reason Israel had peace was because Solomon “had dominion” over all of his enemies!

There is a depth of peace which is the result of the victories of the Lord within the confines of our own hearts. There is a government of peace which is to rule over our hearts in every situation. This is a peace that the world can never know or fathom; a peace that will rule and reign over our hearts within the concourse of daily life. As the enemies within our lives are brought under the dominion of Christ, (wherein we labour through the workings of grace), we will find this Peace. The dominion of this Peace is the result of His victory being worked out in us,

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Peace is the fruit of the Kingdom of God. It is a life held in the dominion of Christ where every thought and motive of our hearts become fully obedient and subject to His majesty.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

It is vital for God’s people to comprehend the vast difference between having a Peace WITH God, and our knowing and abiding in the Peace OF God.

“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace WITH God
through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Romans 5:1

May the power of this truth enable us to rise up from every failure and every fear that hinders us from mounting up with wings as eagles. Our God is for us and we need not fear to take new steps of faith in our desire to walk obediently unto Him. Our peace with Him, secured by the offering of Christ, enables us to boldly rise to the place where His victory over sin and corruption becomes a reality in our own lives.

“For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…”
Romans 16:19-20

There is a life to be known in Him wherein we are held and kept by the very Peace of God; a peace of such dominion that the situations of life cannot disturb it, nor fear penetrate its wonder. It is a Peace beyond the words and formulas of men, for it is a peace secured by a life which abides in Him and is therefore free from self.

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God OF peace shall be with you…”
Philippians 4:9

It is in the doing of truth that we experience the God of this peace dwelling and ruling within our lives. May we as the One Family of God seek to encourage one another to grow and discover the rich rewards of obedience unto Him.

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry”
Psalm 34:13-15

Where evil dwells there can be no peace. Though we have been mercifully justified in Christ, if we give our hearts to sin, we lose the wonder of His peace. We see this same scripture quoted in the New Covenant:

“He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”
1 Peter 3:10-12

It is a false and foolish Gospel which presents peace apart from righteousness. Let us see that it is the “goodness of God” which leads us to repentance. The glory of true repentance is that it leads to the experience of the Peace OF God!

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body”
Colossians 3:15

One of the most powerful tools God has given us for warfare and victory is found in true fellowship with others; it is designed by God for our encouragement and His glory. When God’s people gather unto Him there is a ministration of His presence to strengthen, invigorate and motivate us to press the battle of the Lord in each of our lives. His presence is the secret to our spiritual victory. Let His love pervade our times together that we may stand shoulder to shoulder in this evil day.

Brian Troxel

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

Quote for Today

“The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer”
– Jonathan Edwards

Substantive Life

Substantive Life

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

God’s purpose has always been to make those who love Him, evident tokens of Himself. In things pertaining to the spirit there is a transpiring within whereby the thing believed becomes the reality of the life lived. In Hebrews chapter eleven we read that “Faith is the… substance…”; those in whom faith is real become the very evidence of things hoped for. The reality of Christ within must, by His nature, produce within an obvious revelation of Him without. It is inconceivable to have the majestic Christ within without radical and continuous changes to our walk in this world. The power of His Word infused with the wonder of His Holy Spirit is to the end that we would bear His image in this world.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as He is, so are we in this world
1 John 4:17

The reason for a confidence in the Day of Judgment is because we have allowed His Life to produce in us a likeness of Him in this world! The substance of His life developed in us what we are to impart to those around us. Peter declared to the crippled man

“…but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”
Acts 3:6

Spiritual substance is the result of our yielding to the power of His Spirit; the forming in us of the Pearl of Great Price! He is the precious treasure. In Him we are no longer barren, poor or found wanting. As the power of the Living Christ makes us One with Him, His virtues become ours through a vital and substantive relationship with Him.

“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life”
1 Timothy 6:18-19

Those who are rich in Christ internally, will be rich in the good works of Christ externally. The power of the good works is directly related to the substance of Christ internally. We can only distribute the substance of Christ in proportion to the substance we have.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another…”
Colossians 3:16

The depth of our teaching and the power of our admonishing one another will be according to the depth and power of His Word which dwells within us.

Let us be encouraged in His heart and His purposes for us. He has made a covenant with us to cause us to inherit substance, His substance, that we may be light in this world.

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

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“…that as He is
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel