Daily Spirit & Word, 525: The Christian’s War Against Fatty Flesh.
“He Who is IN Us, IS Greater than he who is in the world.”
Good Lord’s Day, Sunday morning my friends.
Last week in church we celebrated Pentecost (The Church’s Birthday) and some of our members were baptised, but were you aware that long before the first person went into the water we were in a Battle? It was a fierce fight. You see my friends, the enemy didn’t want anyone to continue to trust in Jesus Christ and he definitely didn’t want anyone taking steps of commitment or giant leaps of faith. From the moment we first begin to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit, pulling us up out of the pit, our enemy takes note and does everything to prevent our coming to the ONE and ONLY SAVIOUR: The Lord Jesus Christ.
However, this morning I’m going to let you into a secret, so pin back your lug-holes (ears), come a little closer, make certain no one is looking and listen very carefully, because;
1 John 4:4 (NIV) “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
That’s right, that’s the secret, “The ONE (Holy Spirit, Jesus The Son and God The Father), who is IN you is GREATER than the one (SATAN and all his Demons and our Flesh and the Rebellion of the World) who is in the world.” not only is He greater, but we HAVE OVERCOME. We are victorious.
The moment we decided to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we entered into a battle. This battle will last for the rest of our life here on earth. We fight with an enemy, the enemy is like Israel’s neighbours that instead of defeating them completely, as they were commanded when they entered the promised land, they allowed them to live. This was against God’s express commands. Ever since then the chosen people of God, Israel, had to battle against them constantly. So too, we have been set free from our enemies by the Lord Jesus Christ. The moment we surrendered to Jesus, He came in and took charge of our lives, we submitted to His Lordship and with the Help of His Holy Spirit gained complete victory over all our enemies; the world, the flesh and the devil. Just like Israel’s enemies, ours are not completely killed, they remain, they’re looking to gain control and to dominate us all over again, but their ultimate aim is to destroy us forever.
Also, just like Israel, we go from moments of Victory to Defeat. We give in to: the world, the flesh and the devil: time and time again. Each time, when we cry out to the LORD, He sets us free all over again. This story should also serve as a warning to us today, not to give into our enemies.
This Battles Against Our Enemies is Dramatically Portrayed in the Old Testament Account of Ehud.
1 These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan
2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):
3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’S commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.
5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.
8 The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.
9 But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.
10 The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.
13 Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms (Jericho [God’s City of Palm Trees}).
14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.
15 Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab.
16 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.
18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it.
19 At the idols near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” The king said, “Quiet!” And all his attendants left him.
20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat,
21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly.
22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out of his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.
23 Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the house.”
25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.
26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah.
27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
28 “Follow me,” he ordered, “for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab, they allowed no-one to cross over.
29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped.
30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.
Ehud Is a DRAMATIC HISTORICAL Character. (A left-handed man). I.E. He couldn’t use his right hand, was crippled in some way, we don’t know how, but we know he was.
History Lesson: Each time the Israelites gave into their ENEMY (Flesh, Sin, World, Satan), (Doing EVIL in the Eyes of the LORD) they were attacked, conquered and then were subjected to SLAVERY. Notice the progressive nature of this Bondage: first EIGHT YEARS, THEN EIGHTEEN YEARS and so on and so on until they were eventually sent into captivity in Babylon for 40 years, then 70 years. (God was making sure that all who entered into captivity died before He brought His people home again, a whole generation was wiped out).
These times of Captivity / Slavery: reveal to us the seriousness of SIN and Rebellion. Also that the LORD will punish sinners severely: Unless they Repent.
They’d been subjected to SLAVERY for 18 Years and after Ehud’s Victory: Enjoyed peace for 80 Years.
(WOWzer! I’ve just had an awesome Spiritual Insight: The Punishment and Anger of the Lord: His punishments lasted longer with each rebellion, but His GRACE abounded more afterwards. It’s also true for us, we’re subjected to slavery to sin but, unless we REPENT we’ll be subjected to EXILE in Hell forever. However, when we come to the LORD Jesus, His grace doesn’t abound for a little while, but for ALL ETERNITY.).
Israel’s Enemies: (Know Your Enemies).
You’ve heard the phrase, “Never underestimate your enemy”. Well for us as Christians (followers of Jesus Christ’s Commands) this is quite true, but we must also always know, we can be VICTORIOUS over all our enemies.
Israel’s Enemies are a kind of example of the enemies we must fight against too.
- Moabites: Fat King Eglon: (The Flesh).
- Ammonites: Worshipped a false god and did evil practices (Satan; The Devil).
- Amalekites: Worshipped many false gods (The World).
Moab: Under King Eglon, is the perfect picture of the enemy flesh: He’s out of control. He’s self-indulgent. He’s fat, lazy and evil. He’s a bully-boy-king, wanting to dominate others. He’s full of pride. He’s also Defeated by Ehud
Amon: (Amon and Moab are grandchildren of Lot by his own daughters who got him drunk and had sex with him. The Ammonites and Amalekites had been Israel’s enemies ever since)… Ammonites worshipped false gods; and committed sexual sins and sacrificed children. (Perfect Picture of Satan).
Amalek: The Amalekites (Descendants of Esau: Jacob’s brother: who sold his birthright for a pot of stew) worshipped many false god’s and committed the same sins as the Ammonites. (Perfect Picture of The World). “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his very soul?”
Your Enemies Know You:
Let’s take the ‘flesh’ which is just one of our three main enemies that will come against the believer.
EHUD: was crippled: So are we: He was weak on one side of his body: We are weak (Spiritually in our Flesh). He posed no threat to a strong King. In our flesh, we pose no threat to Satan.
He could be easily beaten and controlled. (So can we in our own flesh).
BUT: YOUR ENEMIES HAVE FORGOTTEN.
However, your enemies have forgotten certain things about you that can and will enable you to be victorious.
By the way, the flesh knows you are crippled. (Like Ehud, the lefthanded man, who couldn’t use his right hand).
The flesh knows you lack the power to overcome it on your own.
The flesh thinks you are weak: “You’ve given in before, you’ll do it again.”
The flesh thinks it can control you and rule your life.
The flesh thinks it has nothing to fear from you.
Your Enemies Are Right!
Let’s take the enemy of our ‘flesh’ as an example again.
But, the flesh forgets some important truths:
The flesh forgets about the Spirit of God Who lives inside the born again believer. Your enemy thinks you are like everybody else it has defeated, but it forgets the POWER of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Romans 8 and Romans 8:11).
The flesh forgets that we have this promise from our Lord, 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” It’s like Paul is proud to be able to sing, “I am weak, but He is strong”.
The flesh forgets that, Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
The flesh forgets that, 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
The flesh forgets that I have been saved and I do not have to sin. (Romans 8)
The flesh forgets that I have been delivered from its power and I can walk in victory for the glory of God! (Ephesians)
The Christian’s Battle Against The Flesh:
In Ehud’s defeat of Fat King Eglon, I see a picture of the battle Christians are supposed to be fighting every day. Every one of us has problems with our flesh;
- Sometimes we win our battles with the flesh;
- sometimes we lose our battles with the flesh;
- sometimes we don’t fight against the desires of the flesh at all.
We are literally in a fight for our very spiritual lives every single day. It is a fight we must win, every time we get out of bed and start a new day, the battle begins.
YES! You can walk in VICTORY:
Thankfully, through Ehud’s Battle, we have a way of knowing how to defeat the biggest enemy that every Christian has; not the world, not the Devil, but our own Flesh: it’s greeds, weaknesses, desires for things that God says will only bring us harm. BUT: We can win this battle and LIVE in FREEDOM and VICTORY for the Glory of THE LORD.
Remember, the Bible tells us that “Faith comes by HEARING the WORD of God”: When we are in a struggle, a battle against the FLESH, when the flesh has been subjected to temptation from Satan, the world and our own sinful desires, we’ll need to shout or cry out again to the LORD. These Scriptures can help us to know our FREEDOM, so that our flesh will be defeated, and our own faith in the battle will be strengthened. FAITH: It’s God’s gift, it comes by hearing, so read the Bible aloud to your own flesh to subdue it. Stick an 18″ Dagger into your own FLESH. The Bible (Scripture), is described as the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.
We only need two things to DEFEAT all our ENEMIES:
- THE SPIRIT
- THE WORD:
Spirit & Word: We’ll defeat all our enemies (When used correctly)…
He (Holy Spirit) Who is IN us, is greater than He who is in the world:
That tells me we need the Holy Spirit. Ehud was given the Holy Spirit to Defeat Israel’s Enemies. We Have the Spirit to win.
Ehud delivered God’s Message: right into the belly of the fat King. We can deliver God’s Sword right into the heart of our own flesh. Tell your flesh who’s the King: Jesus. Tell your flesh that in Jesus you are greater than your flesh: Then deliver the fatal blow: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”…
You can win my friends, but we can only win by being connected with Jesus Christ, that happens when we’re filled with His Holy Spirit and willingly obey Him and come to Him as our KING.
Let’s get out our own Bibles every day.
Let’s get filled with God’s Holy Spirit every day.
Let’s come to Jesus Christ: The Way, The Truth and The Life.
Using the Sword of the Spirit YOU CAN DEFEAT Your Flesh and WIN the Battle.
God bless and keep you all. And I’m praying for you right now, that you are walking in victory over all your enemies. If not, I’m praying for you. Let me know and I’ll pray specifically for your battle.