John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
A good question has been asked about our place in the Lord. How can we abide in the wonderful glory of Jesus while earnestly fighting a dark wickedness?
As you can see from the above scriptures, both are valid. The question remains however, how should we dwell in the Holiness of Jesus and yet actively engage in what is full of evil? Abiding in Jesus brings light and peace, fighting and understanding the devils schemes is hanging out in their territory-darkness. Let’s take a look at how we can abide in Him and literally enter the darkness as we fight.
First, The True Light
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
There is nothing like abiding in the Presence of the Lord. Through prayer and praise, both personal and cooperate -experiencing the Glory of God fulfills our hearts like no other encounter. I can honestly say I under estimated this command more that any other area of my Christian walk. Abiding in Him means everything; we should spend our lives striving to fulfill this command. In fact, the Lord in His wisdom made this His greatest commandment
Luke 10:27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Same command, just more defined. To abide in Him, we have to leave self. To accomplish this, it takes a sincere thorough searching of the soul. Only after we start this replacement process can we begin to give His love to our neighbors.
After the Lord finally deals with sin (Rev. 22:3), we will spend the rest of eternity discovering infinite truths about Him. We will continually find new and glorious ways of ‘abiding’ in the Lord our God. (Ps. 103)
Until this time however, we are in the middle of a battle. It’s ugly! The more you fight, the more you get bloody. The Lord did not choose the example of a soldier, battle and military weapons by accident (Ep.6:10-17). The battle against evil and the devil is real with eternal results. Many of you know the verse.
2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
This battle has to be genuine and without a fight there may not be victory. We must fight to see our friends, family and even ‘prior’ enemies with us by the Lords side. To fight an adversary, we have to know about him, how he works.
The Lord understood this.
Ep. 6:11 Stand against the devils schemes above verse.
How can we fight the devil schemes if we are unaware of what they are.
Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
To ‘expose’ something means we bring it to light. If we don’t investigate what is hidden, we can never expose the darkness, putting the Lords light on it.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Being alert for a prowling lion means we have to be watching the lions moves so we won’t get devoured. I don’t know about you, but if a lion was loose around me..I would be praying and a watchen his moves lol …
Also, Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
The Lord knew exactly what the devils plans were (both how they originated and how they were activated-see above). With this knowledge, Jesus could counter with His Victory Plan. Jesus was fully aware the the devil schemes and thus prayed for Peters spiritual recovery. We are to be like Christ (1 Jn. 2:6). Jesus did not turn a blind eye to the devil or his schemes.
One Nature, Two Abilities
It is possible when the Lord created man and women (Adam and Eve) they were unable to obtain any knowledge of evil-causing them to enter into sin (Gen. 2:17).
After redemption however, we have a seal of the Holy Spirit and are truly called ‘sons of God’ Praise God! ( Ep. 1:13,). We have the inherited nature of Jesus, the true Son of God (Gal. 4:5-7). While we have the Lords divine nature within us, in this area He has commanded us to exercise both of our abilities. One of righteousness (abiding in Him Jn. 15:4) , another – to conquer evil without yielding to it. (Ep. 6:11).
Note: To conquer an enemy, it takes a Conqueror (Jesus) , army (body of Christ), a battle engagement strategy with an awareness of the enemies strengths and intentions. Rm. 8:31-37, above vs. Also, see first 4 articles on Kingdom of God
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
The Lord did not say, be like lambs and doves with half of an understanding of lions, wolves and serpents. He wants us to be ‘aware’ (1 Pet. 5:8, Ep. 5:11).
It is also interesting to see Jesus mentioned ‘wise as serpents’ first. Like Godly wisdom and Fear of the Lord, they usually are mentioned first so they direct us to His path (Pr. 4:7, Ps. 111:10). Heavenly wisdom, like GPS from above, keeps us on His path so we can work on becoming like Christ- our sanctified road in life (Gal. 5:22-26). Both types of wisdom are needed to give us knowledge of how to stay on ‘His path’. They keep up safe so we can work on acquiring His nature, a purity found in lambs and doves.
Some at this point may be ready to shout… ‘But the devil is sooo dark, depressing…going into darkness can dim His light…I have witnessed this for myself and others!’
This is sooo true, and I agree with you. The solution then is to correct the problem without correcting (changing ) the Word.
Let’s use an example. I was thinking this week of one of the founders of American Pentecost, William J. Seymour. He was a pioneer in the early 1900’s, bringing back the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to the church. He was a true follower of the Lord, earnest in seeking Him (Abiding in Him Jn. 15:4), but also had an incredibly humble spirit. He has such a passion for revival, in his time to bring the Living Spirit into the church.
If we could ‘transplant’ him to us now, I believe he would be just as zealous. As the direction for the Lord has changed to a prophetic call to the church, so would the direction in Seymour’s heart (Rev. 19:10 b).
I know I am taking some liberty in writing this, but because of his zeal, I truly think he would respond in a similar manner.
Dealing With Seymour
Ok guys, which of us is going to talk to Seymour. I know he is ‘nice’ and has a passion for the Lord, but he cannot continue to keep talking about this ‘prophecy stuff’, it is depressing. It’s making all of us look crazy. Sometimes he does engage in discussion about the love of the Lord and he seems excited about this too, but he just needs to tone everything down, especially this ‘devil stuff’. Wallace, you picked the short stick…your it.
There he is…he can’t seem to stop, witnessing again. Hey Seymour, please, take a break. We have something to tell you and it is important. Look bro, we all know how much you want to warn others and make them aware of an urgency that you believe the Lord has put on your heart. For the rest of us though, we simply want you to kind of…wellll tone it down and just talk positive. You know, it can be about the Lord when you do this, just more positive, the good things about the Lord. What is wrong with that?
To the surprise of everyone, Seymour eyes lit up with excitement. Guys, you are so right, I am so parched inside. I have been longing to find a move of God that I know can bring about revival, like the one they said brought back the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Brothers and sisters coming together daily, seeking the Lord, fasting and praying. They did not stop until the Holy Spirit broke in their lives.
Only today, we have a much greater opportunity. With Pentecost established, the Lord is enabling us to bring down the Kingdom of God for His final great call. A church walking as one, a mustard seed growing into the radiant church, a great City on a Hill. I am so excited you mentioned this. You are right; we need more of the Glory of Jesus, abiding in Him. I could use a Holy Heavenly touch right now. Where is this move of God?
Woe, hold the parade Seymour. We’re not about all than now…we just wanted you to chill out. You know, moderation. It’s make us all look a little fanatical.
I don’t understand guys. I admit to you, we need more of the Lord, truly seeking Him and abiding in Him. It is so true, more of the good things of God. The more light we have inside, the more power we have to stop evil, the darkness. Without this, it is so difficult to fight the devil, but I will not stop. Would you ask Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel or all the other prophets to stop because they had great difficulties. No! I do not deny I need more of Him, but you go about fighting the devil the way the devil wants you to fight him-dim the light of the Lord until we become ineffective! The answer is not for me to stop, but for you to increase the glory of the Lord in your lives, in your congregations. The solution is so simple. God wants us to abide in Him..and yes..I mean us. The united holy church seeking Him AND finding Him! When this happens, we will be seeing Him, hearing Him and following Him together. This is called being awake my brothers. You cannot divide the two, abiding in Jesus and fighting the devil. As our passion grows to see Him on His throne, as we thirst to be with Him in righteousness, our hatred for the evil that keeps others from receiving eternal life will explode within us. We have been given a great honor, having the heart of God. A passion for divine love with a vengeance to protect it. This fight will continue. You have to look at your hearts, right now-and decide if you want to change me or join me. I would love to have you by my side.
In real life, Seymour really did display this kind of dedication. He fought segregation battles daily. He lived and worked for the truth in many ways, not just Pentecost. We are blessed for his sacrifice.
The Glory We Receive in Worship is the Same Glory that Fights Darkness
No one is suggesting that there is not a balance. Some are called to be more active in the church, some as a witness to the lost. We can indeed be burnt if we ‘abide’ in darkness, thus new Christians should be cautious about going back to the realm of evil too early.
The solution however is to be more aggressive in both, abiding in Him and fighting the devil. Backing off of either one is simply giving the devil what he wants, his victory.
The Lord had to show me something in this area to help me understand. It was something similar to a chess game being played with Him and evil. As we know in the Word, He is allowing this game for a season because of His mercy. Once He comes back it will be as judge, and all without Him will perish (2 Pet. 3:9-10). When He moves, He wants us to be incredibly aggressive about finding out His moves. When the devil moves, He wants us to be completely aware of his moves. It’s that simple. A life, a church seeking after Him with their whole heart and discovering the devils schemes with all their ability, nothing half way.
May you be blessed the Lord brings His church together for His Kingdom.