12/29/16 Fleshly Battles
“When will you give up? When will it become too hard for you to continue, so that you quit proclaiming My Word? If everyone stood against you, decided that you were a liar, and became determined to destroy you because of Me, would you stop serving Me? What if you were falsely accused, condemned, and run from their company? Would you hold unforgiveness in your heart and strike back at those who knowingly or unknowingly came against you? When will you take the posture of the world and hate like they do, attempt to defend yourself like they do, and strike back out of anger just like they do? The moment that you do, I have lost a representative of Jesus. In that moment in time, you will have destroyed everything that I have worked in you. You will be no different than the world.
"Jesus never defended Himself, never struck back, and readily forgave everyone who came against Him. He even forgave those who drove the nails in His hands. He died for you. He died so that you would no longer hate Me. He died so that you and I could fellowship once more. It cost Him His freedom, His reputation, and even His life. I require you to do the same if you want to be endued with My presence.
"My child, you need to become mature in Me. Stop functioning in the ways that are understood by those who hate Me. They are looking for you to fight their kind of fight so that they can win. You come to Me. I will be your defender. I will be your strong tower. I will be your reputation.
"I need to see this in you, however. If I should not vindicate you for My own reasons, if you come home to Me hated, despised, and alone, will you still praise Me, serve Me with all of your heart; and lay down your life for Me without hesitation? I need to see that I can truly trust you before I give you My presence for your endtime work. Otherwise, you will be vulnerable to the ways of the enemy.”
1 Cor. 4:9-16 NIV
9) For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
10) We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
11) To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
12) We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
13) when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
14) I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children.
15) Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
16) Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
The religious leaders of that day hated Jesus because they couldn’t touch Him. All of the normal ways in which they destroyed anyone who usurped their authority or challenged their pompous arrogance failed miserably time after time. He challenged the very core of their lives and it exposed their true nature. They had such hatred in their hearts that they wanted to kill Him.
Goaded to their actions by Satan, the only thing they could do to stop the threat that Jesus had become was to kill the flesh. What is so fascinating is that by killing the flesh, they accomplished exactly what the Father had planned. The flesh of the first perfect man had to be put out of existence so that the new spirit man could rise in its place.
Standing before Pilate, Jesus had already willingly given His life. His surrender of His life, the only power that they held over Him, automatically caused them to lose the battle. In giving them His life rather than fighting for it, He did not participate in their kind of fight so they could not really be declared the winners - even if it looked as if they had won. Jesus won the spiritual battle in the heavenly realms, destroying the enemy’s tactics forever.
When you and I attempt to engage in fleshly battles, we are on the enemy’s turf. Whenever we go there, the enemy wins. We have no weapons to fight in that arena, no power to stand and glorify God, and no right to even be there. Our Father has already won the battleground of the flesh through Jesus.
Our battles are in the spiritual realm, where our Father engages in every one of them on our behalf. That is where we are to function. That is where we cannot be defeated. No wonder the enemy always wants us to engage him on his turf with his kind of war!
Your grace is sufficient!