(To keep this from getting extraordinarily long, I tried to put a lot of the Scriptures in links that can be clicked on to view. I hope they will not be passed over just b/c they’re not written out here. If, for time purposes you have to choose b/t reading my words or the Scripture references – go with the Scriptures! 🙂 )
Note 3 (links to 1 and 2 below):
After the Lord brought to mind the interview with the woman who had come out of the occult (mentioned in part 2), we questioned why so many are more passionate about and dedicated to seeking and serving satan than many Christians have been about seeking and serving the Lord. Jesse felt the Lord showed him that this is often because the path the enemy offers is all about SELF (selfishness). He offers all the temporary pleasures of this life that people desire in exchange for their worship and service (concealing from them their final fate). God’s true path, on the other hand, is all about becoming SELFLESS, laying down our lives and will in order to do HIS.
Due to the influence of the enemy, believers often fail to wholeheartedly seek God and do His will as we should. When this is not corrected, it can quickly result in us no longer truly remaining on God’s narrow path, but unwittingly ending up on that same broad road of “self” as those who have purposefully pledged their allegiance to the enemy. Though satan doesn’t plainly reveal it to us in the same way that he does to his openly-professing followers, he uses many of the same enticements to subtly and gradually lure us from God’s path to his. Since most would never intentionally accept a blatant offer to worship and follow him, he provides us with “idols” that are more socially acceptable and are not readily recognized as such. Yet our time, energy, attention, and finances given to pursuing them (to ultimately satisfy self) instead of God, still leads us on the wrong path away from Him. Though our intentions aren’t the same as those who openly follow and serve the enemy, placing any “other” on the throne of our hearts/lives is just as destructive ~ an abomination that will eventually cause desolation (as mentioned in parts 1-3 of “Preparations for the Promised Land”).
As the Lord brought these things to our hearts, He brought back to mind the eye-opening and disturbing message He gave us a few years ago about the first law of satanism. So… these increased supernatural manifestations of satan’s power which necessitate that the church arise in HIS SUPERIOR supernatural power, once again brings us back to the same message the Lord’s been emphasizing for the past several years ~ that it’s time for His people to repent of all that’s not of Him, to make sure that HE’s truly the One occupying the throne of our hearts/lives, and that we’re wholeheartedly seeking and following Him. We don’t want any to be like the sons of Sceva, attempting to charge into this battle with the forces of darkness when the enemy knows they have no legitimate authority over him (because they aren’t truly under the authority of Jesus and have no legitimate relationship with Him; Acts 19:13-20). To be able to effectively fight in this battle, we must make sure that we’re truly in the Lord’s army ~ genuinely walking in the Light with Him, abiding in Him and His Word, and remaining under His authority. Even for those who truly are in relationship with Him, as He’s continued to stress, He’s calling for a deep accounting in which we must clean out our “house” (the temple), reaching even places that have remained hidden from our view to make sure that we’re not giving the enemy even ONE ROOM in which to remain (as discussed in FB post Aug 20, 12). We must evict him, throw out all his “junk,” and refill “the house” COMPLETELY with the Lord and His Word so that there’s no vacancy when the enemy tries to return with his friends (Nehemiah 13:7-8, Matthew 12:43-45, and “Preparations…” notes).
For those who already know they need deliverance in an area and/or are frightened by the prospect of “possession” (fearing the devil could seize control of them against their will), we can hopefully remove some of the mystery and fear surrounding this subject by understanding that people get full of whatever spirit they yield to. This is why the Lord tells us to SUBMIT to Him (yield to Him/obey Him) and RESIST the devil (do not yield to him and his temptations) (James 4:7), and commands us to be ever continually filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 – present imperative Greek verb form, meaning this is a continual, ongoing command).
We make multitudes of decisions each day that give us the opportunity to put this into practice. We must choose to yield to the Lord in our decisions, to follow His way/will (as revealed through His Word and Spirit, which will not contradict one another). The more we yield to Him, the more ground He gains in us and the stronger we become in Him. Likewise, the more we resist the enemy, the more ground he loses in us and the weaker his influence (and that of our flesh) becomes. But unfortunately the opposite is also true. We do not want to diminish in strength in the Spirit by habitually resisting God (disobeying, ignoring, quenching, or grieving Him) and give strength and place to the enemy by habitually yielding to him. There are many other analogies we could use to describe this same concept ~ such as sowing and reaping. We must begin to look at each choice as either sowing to the Spirit ~planting seeds for God in our lives ~ or sowing to the flesh ~ planting seeds for the enemy in our lives ~ and understand that we can change our harvest by changing the seeds we’re planting (Galatians 6:7-9).
We could also refer to this principle in terms of recognizing whether each decision is feeding our spirit or feeding our flesh ~ understanding that the one we feed is the one which will grow stronger and dominate in our lives. We must make decisions that will feed our spirit and starve/crucify/kill our flesh (Acts 24:15-16 below, Romans 8:1-14, Colossians 3:1-14).
Having [the same] hope in God which these themselves hold and look for, that there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous (the just and the unjust). Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men. Acts 24:15-16
The Lord also reminded me about the word He gave from Gideon’s story about tearing down the “altars” to the false gods/idols in the land and rebuilding the altar of the Lord, and the answer He brought us from a pastor in Uganda when we asked, “HOW do we do this?!” (Forgive me if I’m not quoting this exactly right, but) Pastor Joshua talked about how the strength of the “throne” (and, therefore, the one sitting on it), is determined by the strength of the “altar.” This similar analogy can help us begin to see choices in our lives as either being worship at the “altar” of the enemy or at the “altar” of the Lord. Each time we participate in things that would spiritually qualify as either bowing at the “altar” of satan/demons or at the “altar” of God, we strengthen and empower that “altar” and “throne” in our lives (and, therefore, the one/One on it). Clearly we do not merely want to “worship” (through the choice to participate in sin) less at any altar to the enemy (“idols/false gods”); God wants us to completely tear those altars down, rebuild His altar, and worship and serve Him alone. He’s not asking to occupy one of many thrones in the “pantheon” of our lives; He’s not even content to share His temple with one other; He must be our One and Only.
Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God). I Corinthians 10:14
Attempting to do any of this in the power of the flesh is futile. The power to do this successfully can only come through abiding in the Vine (Jesus; John 14-15). When we abide in Him and His Word, and He and His Word abide in us, it’s His Power, Might, Strength, and Life that flows in and through us, supplying us with more than enough ability to overcome. In connection with this, He brought back to mind the word He gave us about the power of bringing “the ark” of His true Presence back into the temple of our lives; when we do this, the idols will fall and be broken (I Samuel 5:2-4).
Explaining this process does not negate the fact that people can still be instantly delivered. Through the total victory Jesus won over the enemy, no one has gone too far into darkness for God’s arm to be too short to deliver and set them free in one moment of repentance by the power of Jesus’ Name, His blood, and His Word. We would always advise people to employ these spiritual weapons of deliverance FIRST and continually. As mentioned in the first note, we need to be able to walk in this authority over the enemy to help others be set free. But even those who experience an instant deliverance must still know how to maintain their freedom and deliverance through the means described above. None of us gets an exemption from God’s call to crucify the flesh. It’s imperative that we learn to submit to Him, resist the devil, and stay full of God’s Spirit so when the enemy returns with the hordes of hell, he finds no room for even a foothold, much less a stronghold in our lives (Ephesians 4:17-5:18, II Corinthians 10:3-5). And those who do not experience an instant deliverance from any struggle need to know that God has still given us EVERYTHING WE NEED to overcome through Him, His power, and His promises (II Peter 1:2-12). He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will always provide the way of escape and give us the strength to overcome if we will come to His throne of grace for help and submit/yield to Him (I Corinthians 9:24-10:14). By continuing to abide in Him and His Word, and putting it into practice, He promises that even those who do not experience instant deliverance will still be set free (John 8:31-36, Romans 6:11-23).
Though it has often seemed that much of the church has followed the world, about an arm’s length behind, in their descent into darkness, we pray that these “new” depths the world is reaching (or rather “renewed” depths ~ back to what it was before the first destruction of the earth), where the enemy can no longer remain hidden, will jolt believers back to reality with such force that it sends every idol crashing to the ground and each one wholeheartedly running back to an all-consuming pursuit of and passion for the Lord, His Kingdom, and His will. We pray that through seeking Him wholeheartedly, abiding in the Vine, submitting to/yielding to Him and resisting the enemy in all of our ways, that the only spirit each one of us will be getting full of and staying full of is His Holy Spirit ~ that we are so filled with Him that when the enemy returns to test us, he will find nothing in us (nothing in common with us) ~ and that through this we all get our “Super” on, rise up in the fullness of the Spirit (both His fruit/character and gifts/power), bring in the final harvest, and transform the world.
Blessings and Prayers! (follow-up to this note here)
© Laura Jewell Tyree