Friday, 14 December 2018

T The restoration of God's people

How sin enters our life

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Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;

As we all may know, there has been an attempt for a coup in heaven, which is an attempt to (over)take the existing authority. In this case that was satan, who tried to overtake the authority of God. He even succeeded in getting a third of all the angels on his side. Talking about betrayal. Fortunately enough he failed in his attempt and God knew all along what he intended to do. It was the first sin of the entire universe. As a result, satan and the fallen angels were banned from heaven. More than that, in Ezekiel 28:19 we can read how God took the identity of satan away, when He literally said: “There is no more you”. Not only did that left him identityless, but because of that it also left him powerless. 

Knowing all of this, we also know that satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We also know that we need protection in order to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. I have heard people say that we shouldn’t talk about the devil, because that would cause him to attack us or give him legal ground to attack us. Let me ensure you that that is a deception. The enemy is always out to destroy you and there is only one cause that gives him legal ground to attack us: sin. The worst thing we can do is to ignore the enemy. We must know what and who we’re up against. The Bible gives us many keys on how satan works and how we can overcome. 

As long as we are obeying God, we are under His protection. That means that we do what He says and that we trust that what He says is true. Everything that goes against that is considered as the sin of witchcraft, which is rebellion. Witchcraft can only gain control by letting you accept a lie as the truth. When that happens, the enemy partially gains power over you and over all the authority you have on that area. This is how satan and the fallen angels gained power again. 

The process of making you believe a lie starts indeed with your thoughts. The enemy will never come with the obvious lie, but always with a lie that lies so close to the truth, that it sounds very plausible. Here is how that works. At one point you receive a thought in your mind. That thought tells you something. At that moment you have two choices: to do nothing or to do something. When you do nothing, the thought will keep coming back, until you do something with it. When you do something with it, you have again two choices: to accept it as the truth or to reject it. 

When satan presents one of his lies in our minds, we can only defeat it with the Truth of God, in other words: with His Word. That can be the Bible or it can be a Word that the Holy Spirit gives you directly. Receiving a Word from the Holy Spirit can be a bit tricky to some people, since not everyone knows how to distinguish what is from God and what is not. It can also be that you receive a word from someone, on behalf of God, while not knowing how to test it. Let me give you three ‘checkpoints’ that the word has to meet.

  1. Agreement with the Bible
  2. Agreement with circumstances
  3. Peace / Shalom

As for the first point, it is good to always remember that God is never in contrary with His Own Word. There are no exceptions. It may be that our understanding of His Word needs to change and that we need His revelation and insight in order to get it right. But that understanding always comes by revelation, not by someone laying his or her opinion on you. Still God will never be in contrary with His Own Word. Secondly, when God has spoken, the circumstances will line up. This may not happen all at once, but there needs to be agreement with the circumstances. It has to ‘fit’. If not, go back to God and do nothing. And thirdly, when God sends His Word, His peace comes along with it. No God, no peace. If you still doubt, but do it anyway, you are committing a sin. An example of that can be found in Romans 14:23. But when you have found the truth or know the truth, you can simply start to proclaim it, while you are rejecting the lie that satan presented to you in your thoughts. 

The other option is that you know that the thought isn’t in line with God’s Word, but you start to consider it as an option. After all, it’s just thinking, right? That’s what most people think. When the thought isn’t rejected, it will start to take possession of your thoughts. When a sinful thought is not rejected, it increases and is able to grow bigger. The ‘seed’ of this thought is now planted in your heart and starting to grow there. It becomes a desire. From this point it will start to influence your way of speaking and you have already committed a (hidden) sin in your heart. 

At the point where the thoughts are converted to words, it starts to become powerful in the spiritual realm. This is the part where the enemy can hear the harvest of what he had sowed. Our words are causing things to be put in motion. Words are extremely powerful, mainly because of the authority God has given us (Luke 10:19). Our authority will cause our words to have more “weight” in the spiritual realm.  The words will cause to influence our circumstances, in order to prepare the circumstances to convert the words into deeds. When the circumstances have been prepared, because of our words, the deed will follow. At this point you have carried out the sin. 

This is how easy it goes. The tricky part of it all is that it is not hard at all to fall for sin. It is way too easy. The Bible also acknowledges that in Hebrews.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

The main key here is that loosing focus on Jesus leads to vulnerability. As we can see, the Hebrews were encouraged to keep looking unto Jesus, for He is the author and finished of our faith. He has to do the work is us. There is nothing of ourselves that is able to withstand the traps of the enemy. But when our focus is on Jesus, He will lead us through it all victoriously. So you can understand that besides giving you a thought, the enemy will also try everything to rob your focus. But even when we get stuck in sin, we can focus on Jesus again.  

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Psalm 25:15

At the moment we lose our focus, the darkness will immediately start to surround us and try to infiltrate our lives. Therefore, hold on to your focus on Jesus, and if you have lost your focus, it is not too late to lift up your head and to focus on Him again. Like David, trust Him that He will pluck your feet out of the net of sin. 

Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.
Psalm 25:16-21

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