These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.Colossians 2:23(NASB)
What the flesh wants is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to the flesh. They are opposed to each other. (Galatians 5:17 ISV)
These two are in age-long conflict, in antagonism. It is ever so. When you have a fresh experience of the Holy Spirit, the next thing you find is that you are in a new conflict against the old flesh-life in yourself. This rising up of the flesh within is provoked by the devil because he sees the inheritance in view, for when the Spirit comes, the inheritance comes into view. The Spirit has come to bring to the inheritance. So do not be surprised if after an experience of the Spirit the next thing you have to face is this conflict with the assertion of the flesh across the path to hinder your going into possession.
It is only when you have received the Holy Spirit that you know the conflict of the flesh and what is the withstanding of the flesh. Those who have not the Spirit have no such conflict of flesh and Spirit; they are not in that realm, but wholly in the flesh realm. The Holy Spirit has come in relation to the end, and the end is the inheritance in Christ, and flesh moved by Satan rising up to frustrate that end, and to rob you of the inheritance. The peril is that having begun in the Spirit, you might turn aside to make some compromise with Amalek, because of the hardness of the way, the greatness of the cost, by reason of the conflict and forgetting God's word - "utterly destroy Amalek" (1 Samuel 15:3). "Walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For … your life is hidden with Christ in God. § For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. § Brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. § Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.
Receive one who is weak in the faith. § Strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.
O you of little faith, why did you doubt? § Great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” … “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Increase our faith. § [Build] yourselves up on your most holy faith. § Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith. § He who establishes us with you in Christ … is God. § The God of all grace … after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. § Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
The plague of personal work is the quick, the easy, the maneuvered decision. No matter how long it takes, our Lord allows the necessary time for a heart to be prepared of the Spirit in order that it might be truly born of the Spirit. Adequate preparation before bringing the soul to Him will eliminate much disappointment and frustration (for all concerned) after conversion. Once we see that the Lord Jesus saves individuals with the purpose of making them His disciples, we will aim to be more thorough in our witnessing and subsequent soul-winning.
"The commission given to the apostles was to make disciples, not just converts,' of all nations; and we can never set aside our Lord's commands without laying up for ourselves a whole store of unnecessary suffering and frustration. I wonder how many promising converts' have been swept into the ranks of the sects whose teachings are based in error, because of this omission?"
"In our day we promote elaborate follow-up' schemes to keep our converts' in the right way, but I sometimes wonder if a little more time spent right at the outset in ensuring that these converts are properly born,' so that they can be receptive of the Spirit's teaching, would not save much heartache and make certain that God's work in their lives is done in His way." -J.C.M.
"Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock" (Zech. 11:17, ASV).
“Buried with Him … that … even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a "white funeral" - the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision. There must be a "white funeral," - a death that has only one resurrection - a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can upset such a life, it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him.
Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really? You cannot go to your funeral in excitement, or die in excitement. Death means you stop being. Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying - "baptized into His death."
Have you had your "white funeral," or are you sacredly playing the fool with your soul? Is there a place in your life marked as the last day, a place to which the memory goes back with a chastened and extraordinarily grateful remembrance - "Yes, it was then, at that 'white funeral,' that I made an agreement with God."
"This is the will of God, even your sanctification." When you realize what the will of God is, you will enter into sanctification as naturally as can be. Are you willing to go through that "white funeral" now? Do you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends upon you.
All things work together…. for good.. whispered Rachel to her husband.. as she boarded air-ambulance, to fly baby Caleb to Dryden hospital. Why had this happened on the final day of their visit to Brian’s unsaved family? Earlier the two parents had knelt beside Leah and Caleb pleading to the Lord.. (both of whom had a 4-wheeled buggy topple on them, during a fun ride) – before driving to the hospital – who airlifted them to a specialist hospital. A punctured lung, spinal injuries. or worse were some possible outcomes. And all this happened the day before the planned, two-day return drive to Alberta.
I will keep him and her in perfect peace – whose mind is stayed on Thee. Oh, it’s easy to say this with blue skies above.. but what about times of deep distress? The little family had spent 2 weeks, seeking to witness to Brian’s family.. knowing the return of the Lord is soon – even at the very door – and how much they desired their salvation. Their prayer had been that their visit would tell forth the gospel of Christ, and now Rachel and Brian were apart.. and their precious baby son was being rushed to a specialist paediatrics hospital. Thy will be done… they prayed.
Soon, air lifted to London, Ontario – tests starting to be performed.. and one by one scan results were favourable.. God’s healing touch on a little boy. Still with a neck brace and lung drain, the MRI required a general anaesthetic.. and then followed the hours of waiting – with 1 John chapters 4 and 5. As Rachel read through these precious verses – one by one God spoke thru them. Each verse, packed with a promise of love.. from a faithful God. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Each verse pointed out His plans and purposes.. Abide in ME.. we abide in Him, and He inread more
Be thou there till I bring thee word.
Is your heart restless? Are you kicking against the prison bars of your circumstances? Do you yearn for a wider sphere of usefulness? Oh don’t be discouraged or concerned. Leave the ordering of your days in His hands.. for your times are in His hands. He knows the plans He has for your life. He longs that you accept His leading and His guiding. Be patient in the dullness of the daily grind. Trust Him through all the routines of daily life.
Remain at your post and wait..
Remain at your post and just wait. Wait for the larger opportunity which God may some time send to you.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord,
Though I wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the ‘rank and file,’
Yes, I wanted to lead them, You know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where You’ve put me… dear Lord.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be fallow, and the stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Thine own, only give me the seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where You’ve put me. dear Lord.
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting Thee fully; when even has come
I’ll lay heavy sheaves at Thy feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely shall find
It was better to stay than to go;
I’ll stay where You’ve put me. dear Lord.