Saturday, December 03, 2016

Lead Us Into Triumph

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. A victorious spirit affects every part of who we are. A victorious spirit effects everything related to us. A defeated spirit affects every part of who we are. A defeated spirit effects everything related to us. Let's see what the word of God says about leading us into triumph. In order for us to receive from God in a personal way so He can guide us; we need to be born again.
Being born again opens our life to receive love, forgiveness, wisdom from above and all the triumph that God has for us. 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"-- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. We were born with an old sinful nature, but when born again we have access to our new nature in Christ. 2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Understanding that we have a new overcoming nature in Christ is a tremendous step toward being a victorious person, but we still have to know how to handle our old nature when it raises its ugly head. Through Christ we have been equipped to overcome our old sinful ways. Our old sinful nature is not gone though; it can tempt us, overwhelm us and influence our thinking and behavior. We need to know what to do when that happens. Romans 6:6 says: We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Reading all of Romans chapter 6 will help you to grasp the life changing principle of how to overcome you (your sinful nature). In Romans 6 it explains what Christ has done for us. Who we are and what we possess now as Christians gives us everything we need to be over comers. Get to know and get to believing these truths. When you sin don't stew in condemnation, guilt, self pity or a myriad of other counter productive emotions. When you sin agree with God that you have sinned, you are wrong and you are out of step with your new nature in Christ. Then believe and receive the power to choose the forgiveness of God. God knows you cannot live the Christian life yourself. You need Christ and all He's done for you. 1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." God wants you to no longer be wagged this way and that way; to be controlled by your old sinful nature. He wants you to be the head not the tail. He wants you, through Christ, to bring everything under the control of your new nature. He wants you to know how to handle it when you sin. He wants you to enjoy the overcoming life He has made available to you. Pray for, ask for, seek and go after it! God honors a hungry heart, a heart that truly wants what God can give. Deuteronomy 28:13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. Another aspect of victory is overcoming the enemy that would try to prevent any spiritual progress in discovering God in a personal way. The enemy we have that tries to hinder and thwart us from being a part of revealing the kingdom of God on earth. Ephesians 2:1-6 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus This passage explains how satan (the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience) has control over us until we submit to the transforming power of Christ and take our position with Him in the heavenly places far far above the devil and his devices.
Satan is called the god (with a small g) of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Jesus said in John 12:31-32 that satan is the ruler of this world. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." Hebrews 2:14-15 says: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
This passage explains how Christ came, identified with man, became the pure sinless sacrifice and destroyed the devil's ability to control us through sin anymore. These truths are amazing and perhaps even hard to comprehend, that's why as stated earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:14 without 1st accepting Christ and receiving the Spirit of God in your life by being born again we are incapable of grasping the things of God in a real, personal and life changing way. Colossians 2:12-15: having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Yes in Christ our enemy has been disarmed, defeated. He now can only overwhelm us when we don't put on all that Christ has done for us. When we don't stand against satan by faith in these things Jesus Christ has already accomplished for us, we will fall. Ephesians 6:10-18 is a very powerful passage; get to know it. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints Let's add 1 Peter 5:8-11: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. The two above passages contain a similar truth. 1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith Ephesians 6:16 - In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one Just because you're a Christian and perhaps even more so, the devil will not stop trying to get you entangled in sin.
The fiery darts satan throws at you have your name on them. The devil knows your weaknesses, he knows your vulnerable areas and he knows which of your buttons to push to get you outside the divine protection of Christ. He knows if you give in to him or try to fight him without the armor of God on you'll lose. The word of God gives us light and insight about the schemes the devil has against us. 2 Corinthians 2:11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. A couple of his tricks are as follows:
 1. The devil will magnify an issue in your mind. He'll weave his destructive perspective into your thinking and try to get you to wrap your head around his ways, ways of anger, irritation, confusion, hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, self hurting and lots of other demonic goodies.
 2. The devil will plant the thought this stuff works for others, but not for me. This thought is usually planted in the negative rich soil of unworthiness brought on by people speaking into your life in a harmful hurtful way or by things that you have done that are really bad. Because of this soil and the devil constantly watering it, this feeling about yourself is very strong and has held you in bondage for so long you think this is who you are; you don't know how to be any other way.
You can escape this snare and you can experience life changing truth of God. Its not easy. It takes faith in what we've been talking about above. It will take effect, it will take time and it will take you constantly choosing truth instead of lies about you. Here are a couple of truths to start you off. You didn't do anything God can't forgive you for. Ask for it Go get it Its yours Don't let the devil steal it from you. You are not anything that God's love can't reach, lift you up and build you up into what He has for you. Ask for it Go get it Its yours Don't let the devil keep it from you. Below is a picture to illustrate this. Look up all the verses.
The devil has held many of us in many things in many ways, but Christ has come to set us free. The devil is strong, but Christ is stronger by far! In Luke 11:21-22 the strong man Jesus is referring to is the devil and the stronger one is Christ Himself, our Savior. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. So when you get blind sided by an enemy arrow and when thoughts are stinging you like bees remember Christ is with you. Cry out to Him; rely on what His truths say about you. Know your position with Him. Don't yield to the garbage of the enemy; eat what God has set before you. Psalm 118:12-14: They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 23:5: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Ok now let's look at 1 John 5:4-5. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. You see we overcome the world (remember the world here is referring to the ungodly ways of this world under the influence of the devil; Ephesians 2:2-3) by that that is born of God. So how does something like Godly strength get born in me? Whatever is born first needs a seed. God's truths are the seeds. By me believing and receiving God's truth that seed is deposited in my spirit. It takes faith for me to receive it and it takes my faith to water that seed so that the life of that truth is born within me. For example let's say for a long time I've struggled to believe that I could be forgiven for some sin I committed. This has caused me to feel less of me and made me think others also think less of me. This has caused me to feel unworthy, guilty and condemned. But now I've heard God really does love me and has forgiven me for all my sins.
I put my faith in this fact of God's forgiveness and indeed receive this truth in my spirit. Its a bit shaky and I find myself once again being overwhelmed with my old way of thinking about myself. The devil is trying to steal this seed of truth from me just like Jesus said he would in Luke 8:4-15. In the midst of this spiritual warfare I make a decision that God is real, God is right, I am forgiven and I can enjoy a new life in Christ. This decision of mine to choose this truth about God's loving forgiveness and Him wanting to bless me instead of choosing the lie of the enemy that says you are crazy, God doesn't really care about you, you are ugly, you are no good, you won't ever amount to anything and just forget this nonsense is my faith watering the seed of truth. {Please read that long sentence again. Thank You.} Right There in the thick of it when you make good Godly decisions to follow what God says about you, instead of the bondage the devil wants to keep you in, that's when you develop strength. By the way, once satan realizes something isn't working against you after a while he'll back off.
He will come back a bit later though and try to throw the same fiery dart at you to see if it works. Every time you hold up your shield of faith and quench his fiery dart you are birthing God's truths, God's strength and God's ways of thinking in you! Good for you! Hurray for you! Keep it up. No more are you being wagged around helter skelter by the schemes of the enemy. Instead you are under God's control, the control of the Holy Spirit in you. That's good. That's very very good. 1 John 3:8-10: Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Jesus Christ has done everything we need and has given to us every thing we need to stop continuing in a life of sin and start in a life of righteousness (living right in God). Revelation 12: 9-11: And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. the blood of the Lamb Satan has been thrown down, crushed, defeated and made to be powerless against us through Christ's death on the cross for me and you. by the word of their testimony.
As we testify or line up with the gospel truths in our words and conduct, which we can because the Holy Spirit now lives in our spirit , then we to can partake of the overcoming triumphant life. for they loved not their lives even unto death - Back when this was written someone professing to be a Christian was put to death. Today this still happens in some parts of the world but not as much, but we still have to be willing to die to our old ways, our old unregenerate, unborn again sinful nature. We must choose the new way of life through Christ, a life that can lead us into victory. This is what Mark meant when he wrote Mark 8:34-38. And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." When we hunger for God to work in our lives and when we allow Him to connect us to His purpose for us we will walk in His goodness. Psalm 37:23-24: The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. As we walk in the goodness God has prepared for us we will overcome evil. Romans 12:21: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I'll close now with two passages. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 2 Corinthians 2:14: But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

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