2007 Jan 29, 2007 Agree with God not the Devil Kathleen Maples Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Php 2:2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. If you have found your consolation or comfort in Jesus Christ, in trusting your soul and your life into His hands, and if you have found comfort in knowing He loves you, and you have experienced the compassion and merciful intervention in your life of the Holy Spirit, you are a very blessed person. If you have found the love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost, you are blessed indeed. Not only the love God has for you, but the knowledge you have gained of HIM that has stirred within you a fervent love in return FOR God. Paul is saying, if this is your experience in Christ, it would make my joy complete if you have that attitude, that intention, to show others that same comfort, that same compassion and mercy you have been shown in your failures. In your time of need when the Holy Spirit has ministered strength and comfort and love to your troubled heart, have that same mind toward others in the Body of Christ, and those around you who are lost and dying without HIM. Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Whatever you do for the Lord, or for others, do not do it with ambitious competition, striving to outdo someone else, and gain a reputation. Do not seek material gain, or men's praise as reward for your service. That is vanity. That's how the world does things. We are not to fashion ourselves after the world. We must serve with meekness, considering others and their needs before our own, trusting the Lord to meet our needs. It's a hard thing to say, and our carnal minds will not like it, but we must let the Lord help us realize He's already promised in Php 4:19 that He would supply all our need or necessity, and in Mat 6:33 we are told to seek first HIS kingdom, and all these other material necessities would be supplied. He wants to relieve us from that burden that consumes those in the world, and much of the church world, so we can concentrate on HIM and the abundant, surrendered life He wants us to have, one filled with the and ruled by the Authority of His Holy Spirit. We need our thoughts reprogrammed-if you will, to think as He would. Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. There are a lot of different ways this can minister to your heart. I believe this Word is going to step on my toes hard today. I pray as it cuts, that the uncleanness will be released to flow out of the wound as a lanced boil, and the Holy Ghost poured in as the balm of Gilead with purifying fire. To say I hate the way the (my) carnal mind works and rebels against the precious Word of God is an understatement. What do we do when we are presented with a need? When you are out among the masses of humanity, and you pass someone who is disabled, or perhaps you run into an acquaintance, or neighbor, or backslidden friend and they have an obvious need. Perhaps their child is sick and burning up with fever. Perhaps they have gotten bad news from the doctor. Or maybe you go to the hospital to visit a sick friend or family member, and while you are there, you see another family, people you don't know, and you hear the Critical Care physician deliver a stunning blow to this family, and you watch as they erupt in grieved cries, despairing over an impending loss of a loved one who is dying. You stand there, and the Holy Spirit of God in you stirs and urges you to approach them and offer to pray. Immediately, fear assaults your mind, and doubt on its heels. You stand there paralyzed with indecision, torn between wanting help and being afraid of looking foolish if nothing happens. After all, you are not Apostle Paul or Jesus. You've never worked a miracle. Maybe it's not that serious a situation. Perhaps you run into a friend, one you've been praying for, and you know their home is in turmoil, and their spouse is very much against them serving God and going to church and rocking the boat, but they are on the way to the hospital or doctor with a feverish child. That Holy Spirit stirs in you, urging you to ask if you could pray for the child. You look at the spouse, and see the dislike for you in their eyes, ( or perhaps that's just what the enemy wants you to think) and you feel like if I even mention it, he's going to get mad and she's got enough to deal with so let's not make it worse. What if you pray and the child doesn't get better immediately? They'll think you are a phony. You will look stupid. Why would God answer your prayer? You are pretty messed up yourself, you haven't prayed like you should, you haven't read your Bible like you should, so who are you to pray for their need, and expect God to come through for you? Fear and doubt causes you to waiver and it's over. You walk out the door, on your way to church, or about your business, with a "I hope every thing's going to be ok." and you are swamped suddenly with shame, and a sense of failure, and you hear the devil laughing in your mind, at your weakness and fear. Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Don't look at yourself. Don't look at your weakness. God already told you in His Word unlike the devil who uses the smart and tricky things of this world, the LORD uses the weak and foolish things to confound the wise. (1 Cor 1:27). And perhaps, in hindsight, that wasn't an "I don't like you" look the spouse was giving you, but a scowl of the enemy trying to intimidate you into doing exactly what you did, and the person whose face was animated was totally unaware of being used. He was just a worried and stressed father, lost without Jesus, trying to survive in a dreary world, trying to make it with the Divine Help he and his family so desperately need. Ouch. When you see a need in your family, in your community, in someone's life you know, and you are confronted by that need in an immediate way, the devil will try to attack your mind with fear and doubt because He doesn't want you realize the Word of God works, and God honors His Word when somebody believes Him and stands on it. Especially if that somebody is a blood washed saint of God, who has a sincere desire to serve God in truth and in spirit, and is battling powers of darkness they don't really understand. But Paul tells us in 2Ti_1:7 God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind. That fear and doubt that hits your mind and tries to cause indecision is NOT from God, it comes not from HIM that calleth you. This attempt at persuasion comes from a very devious adversary who is out to steal, kill and destroy any and every body he can. He doesn't want you or anyone else to know that God's Word really works! Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: In 1Co_2:16 we are told we have been given the mind of Christ. It's written in the Word of God. We've been given the Holy Spirit to help us understand it. We've been given the access we need to the Throne of Grace to find the help and the wisdom and the power to live and walk as He would, and did. In victory, not defeat. We have to let this mind be in us and we do that, I believe by devouring the Word of God, praying for understanding, and praying for God to perform His Word in us, which I know He wants to do. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? Eat the Book. I mean meditate and pray about what you read. Oh, God help us next time we are faced with a situation like that, where there is some soul in need of a witness of Christ, that we don't fret over looking foolish. We are not to make of ourselves a reputation anyway. Jesus didn't. He pointed all back to God, with humility and meekness. In 1 Cor 4, verses 9-10, Paul said God made us a spectacle to the world, to angels (including the devil) and to men. He said we are fools for Christ's sake. Every child of God is on display, whether we realize it or not. Others watch. And they hear the accusing voice of the devil when we mess up. If we let him provoke us to react in the flesh, with wrath, which never works the righteousness of God then he has grounds to accuse us not only to God, to our selves, to other men. He will mock and say 'yeah, where's your God? Where's all that power you are supposed to have?' Only when we are fully under the authority of God, can we ourselves have the authority OF God working in and through our lives. I've read that, I've heard it preached, and I believe it. Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: The Lord walked this earth in the flesh and knew He was still the Son of God, part of the Divine Trinity that created this earth and breathed the breath of life into man and made him a living soul. He worked miracles, He fed the poor and hungry, He raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out devils, cured leprosy, but He did not seek fame or fortune, or men's praise. NO. Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. He did not lean on the wisdom of men, He did not seek the advice or counsel of man, because He knew, just like He told Jeremiah in Jer_17:9, the heart of men is deceitful, and can't be trusted. The carnal mind will deceive even the man himself. He never promoted Himself or asked for money from the people. He never sold anything. When that woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of His garment and was healed, do you think He started selling pieces of His clothes to the poor and sick with the promise of healing? Not on your life. He gave freely to those in need, needing nothing from their bank accounts. He never sought prestige, though none was ever more worthy. He never sought to be honored, though He alone among them all was deserving. HE was and is our example, folks. 1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: When you look at these Scriptures carefully, you see Christ humbled Himself, and set the example, and then was exalted by God. Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: When we suffer, yet we patiently endure, as the Scripture exhorts, and we wait on God, trusting Him to work everything out and being content with how He chooses to work things out, then He can exalt us when it pleases Him. When we will be able to glorify Him in the eyes of others and not try to take the credit for what He does. Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? That's a great question. Who will you agree with? When you are away from church, and you're out on the job, or at home, at school, or at a family reunion, or something, it could be the office party for so and so's promotion. Whatever your difficult place is, when you are there, and you are on the firing line, and the enemy has his guns loaded and is shooting those fiery darts at you as you are faced with those around you who are lost and dying without God-because the wages of sin is death, and those without eternal life in them are walking dead people. Now you are faced with this trial, and you get the hard looks from the cynical unbelievers, who almost dare you to mention the Bible or Jesus to them and you sense it by their body language or expression, or they flat out tell you. Remember this: that devil already has them convinced there is no hope, which is why they often behave so badly. Inside they are pressed and desperate, and afraid. They feel alone, but put on a false smile, and lie and pretend to be strong when inside they are terrified and tired. They have been convinced there is truly no way out, nothing better for them, and no hope of being free from the chains that bind them. But, saints, WE have hope in us, we have CHRIST IN US their only hope of glory, and we too often give in to fear and don't let HIM rule from the throne in our hearts. We know the Word says we have been made acceptable in the Beloved. (Eph_1:6) That devil will tell us we are not because we have failed somehow, and we let his lies keep us from the One who died for us, and sustains us every waking hour. This must stop, and I'm preaching to myself, here, too. I know I am guilty and I hate it. I thank GOD for helping me see the light! He said awake, and shake thyself from the dust (flesh) and Christ will give thee light. He wants to give us a revelation of who He is and what He can do if we just let Him. The devil doesn't want us to step out in faith and obedience to the Word of God because when we submit to God, and obey His Word, then He is glorified. When we refuse to bow to the fear and doubt the devil throws at our minds, and stand up and say to those in need, "can I pray for you? God can help you. God loves you." When we can do this, without fearing that God will let us down and leave us in the lurch looking like we are crazy, people can see the glory of God, that hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. When we see this around us, this terrible needs of those who are lost, and desperately need HIM and we do nothing, we don't pray, we bow to the lies of the devil in defeat, and out of fear, don't act, we are consenting with the thief. We let the devil shoot down and discredit the Word of God in the eyes of those who need so badly to see the life of Christ in us, by our indecision, and timidity, which is the result of a lack of prayer, and lack of spending time getting to know God ourselves. Psa 50:17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. Psa 50:18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. If we never pick up His Word, if we never seek to understand what He had written, what cost the lives of many of the saints of old whose testimonies are there for us to read, and we don't stand up to the devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, and stand against his dark works and destructive power raging in the lives of those around us who don't know they can be free, who don't know their harsh taskmaster was defeated, and made a show of openly at Calvary, then we consent to his deeds. We are what might be called silent partners. We are consenting with the thief who would steal the glory from God and trick us into bowing before the fear and doubt he fires at us with, when we are faced with a need that God wants to move in. Remember His own deliverance in our lives, and know that He wants to do the same thing for others. He saved us when we couldn't save ourselves. He washed and cleansed His people when they could never have cleaned themselves. He snapped the chains and fetters that held us bound when we had no hope of ever being free. He wants to do that for those around us. We are His witnesses. And there is HOPE. Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; I find it interesting that Jesus gave the disciples authority to heal the sick and cast out devils in Luke 10. He sent them out to preach repentance for the kingdom of God is at hand. BUT when it come to being witnesses (martyrs, human sacrifices for the glory of God, by letting the Spirit of God walk and talk and minister through their earthen vessels) they had to be endued with power from on HIGH. That is what we need-to be filled with the Holy Ghost. That is not an optional suggestion-but a command. He would never have commanded this were He not willing to perform it because we cannot fill ourselves. Wait, wait, wait on Him. We must have this. We need Him. Agree with what the Word says about who we are and what we possess. When we don't understand it, I know He just desires we come to Him and let Him enlighten us. He knows we need to know. Jesus knew. We can know. The question is will we make time, and seek God for the answers and the revelation of who He is and who we are in HIM that we so desperately need? Will we present ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice and let Him burn up the chaff and make us meet for the Master's use?