Be Not Ignorant

BOTH RICHES AND HONOR

 The Perfect Will Of God

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:1-2

There are many doctrines of demons in the church today including “Once saved, always saved” as well as the Sovereignty of God which is a doctrine very common amongst the Muslims that God wills everything, good or bad, to happen to us. Andrew Wommack in his article THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD [v]writes:

The word “sovereign” is not used in the King James Version of the Bible. It is used 303 times in the Old Testament of the New International Version, but it is always used in association with the word “LORD” and is the equivalent of the King James Version’s “LORD God.” Not a single one of those times is the word “sovereign” used in the manner that it has come to be used in religion in our day and time.

Religion has resulted in the invention of a new meaning for the word “sovereign,” which basically means God controls everything. Nothing can happen but what He wills or allows. However, there is nothing in the actual definition that states that. The dictionary defines “sovereign” as, “1. Paramount; supreme. 2. Having supreme rank or power. 3. Independent: a sovereign state. 4. Excellent.” None of these definitions means that God controls everything.

It is assumed that since God is paramount or supreme that nothing can happen without His approval. That is not what the Scriptures teach. In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter said, “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This clearly states that it is not the Lord’s will for anyone to perish, but people are perishing. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matt. 7:13). Relatively few people are saved compared to the number that are lost. God’s will for people concerning salvation is not being accomplished.

This is because the Lord gave us the freedom to choose. He doesn’t will anyone into hell. He paid for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:10), but we must choose to put our faith in Christ and receive His salvation. People are the ones choosing hell by not choosing Jesus as their Savior. It is the free will of man that damns them, not God.

People virtually have to climb over the roadblocks that God puts in their way to continue on their course to hell. The cross of Christ and the drawing power of the Holy Spirit are obstacles that every sinner encounters. No one will ever stand before God and be able to fault Him for withholding the opportunity to be saved. The Lord woos every person to Him, but we have to cooperate. Ultimately, the Lord simply enforces the consequences of people’s own choices.

God has a perfect plan for every person’s life (Jer. 29:11), but He doesn’t make us walk that path. We are free moral agents with the ability to choose. He has told us what the right choices are (Deut. 30:19), but He doesn’t make those choices for us. God gave us the power to control our destinies.

Typical teaching on the sovereignty of God puts Jesus in the driver’s seat with us as passengers. On the surface that looks good. All of us have encountered the disastrous results of doing our own thing. We desire to be led of the Lord, and teaching that nothing happens but what God wills fits that nicely. However, the Scriptures paint a picture of each of us being behind the wheel of our own lives. We are the one doing the driving. We are supposed to take directions from the Lord, but He doesn’t do the driving for us.

Man has been given the authority over his own life, but he must have the Lord’s direction to succeed. Jeremiah 10:23 says, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” God created us to be dependent upon Him and our independence is at the root of all our problems. As if it wasn’t bad enough for man to try to run his affairs independently of God and His standards, it has been made even worse by religion teaching us that all our problems are actually blessings from God. That is a faith killer. It makes people totally passive.

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse makes it clear that some things are from God, and some from the devil. We must submit to the things that are of God and resist the things that are from the devil. The word “resist” means, “Actively fight against.” Saying “Whatever will be will be” is not actively fighting against the devil.

If a person really believed that God is the one who put sickness on them because He is trying to work something for good in their life, then they should not go to the doctor or take any medicine. That would be resisting God’s plans. They should let the sickness run its course and thereby get the full benefit of God’s correction. Of course, no one advocates that. That is absurd. It is even more absurd to believe that God is the one behind the tragedy.

Acts 10:38 says that Jesus healed all those who were oppressed OF THE DEVIL. It was not God who oppressed them with sickness. It was the devil. It’s the same today. Sickness is from the devil, not from God. We need to resist sickness and, by faith, submit ourselves to healing, which is from God through the atonement of Christ.

I know someone is thinking, What about the Old Testament instances where God smote people with sickness and plagues? There is a lot I could say about that if I had the space, but a simplified answer to that question is that none of those instances were blessings. They were curses. God did use sickness in the Old Testament as punishment, but in the New Testament, Jesus bore our curse for us (Gal. 3:13). The Lord would no more put sickness on a New Testament believer than He would make us commit a sin. Both forgiveness of sin and healing are a part of the atonement Jesus provided for us.

Deuteronomy, chapter 28, should forever settle this question for all who believe the Word of God. The first 14 verses of Deuteronomy 28 list the blessings of God and the last 53 verses list the curses of God. Healing is listed as a blessing (Deut. 28:4). Sickness is listed as a curse (Deut. 28:22, 27-28, 35, 59-61). God called sickness a curse. We should not call it a blessing.

Knowing that God is not the author of my problems is one of the most important revelations the Lord has ever given me. If I thought it was God who killed my father when I was twelve, and some of my best friends before I was 20, if it was God who had people kidnap me, slander me, threaten to kill me, and turn loved ones against me, then I would have a hard time trusting God, if He was like that.

On the contrary, it is very comforting to know that God only has good things in store for me. Any problems in my life are from the devil, of my own making, or just the results of life on a fallen planet. My heavenly Father has never done me any harm and never will. I KNOW that.

Andrew Wommack  also in his article The Believer’s Authority[vi] writes

The truth is, there is a battle raging every single day in the spiritual realm. That battle is for your heart and the hearts of every other person on earth. God is trying to influence people and draw them toward righteousness and toward Himself, to live consistent with Him so that His blessings can manifest in their lives.

Satan, on the other hand, is waging all-out war trying to steal the hearts of people away from God. He wants to fill their hearts with his trash and corruption. And honestly, although most Christians recognize this to a degree, I don’t think they realize how intense the warfare really is and how much their actions are contributing to it.

If I could sit and talk with each of you reading this, I would find that many of you aren’t aware of the spiritual significance behind what’s going on in your lives. You attribute much of what is happening to circumstances and therefore passively accept what comes your way. When you do that, you’re ignoring the intense battle that is being waged for your heart every single day.

The choices you make, the things you say, the actions you take, and what you believe about what is happening around you determines whether God or Satan dominates in your life. Satan cannot control you outside of your will. He cannot do anything without your cooperation and consent. But you need to recognize that you’re in a battle.

Many people choose not to believe that, but whether they do or not, the fact is that it’s taking place. Your unwillingness to engage in battle doesn’t mean that the battle isn’t raging; it just means you’re going to lose. But once you realize the battle is real, you can then learn to recognize what’s going on and take the proper action to improve your situation. You can resist the devil.

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Ephesians 6:10-12 reads, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

This is referring to demonic powers. There’s a chain of command, an authority structure in the demonic realm, and this is listing these different levels. But notice that it says you are not wrestling against flesh and blood. Much that goes on in your life is not just human.

I’m not going to get into this thing about, “Are people possessed, oppressed, or depressed?” I believe it’s useless to debate that. In the Greek where the Bible says a person was demon possessed, the word literally means “demonized.” It just means they were under the control of the devil. Christianity has tried to make something out of possessed, oppressed, or depressed. But it’s not in Scripture.

The fact is that people are being influenced and controlled and used by the devil; they really are. This needs to be said because there are a lot of people who honestly believe that all the demons are in Africa.

It’s not the person sitting next to you at work, it’s not your neighbor, and it’s certainly not your husband or your wife that’s the problem. Anyone who is not paying attention can be influenced and inspired and used of Satan to come against you. If you were to recognize that, it would make a huge difference in the way you respond to them.

…I can guarantee you that there are times that Satan is speaking directly to you through people. He is using people to get at you. Whether you recognize it or not, this goes on much more than you know. You are in a spiritual war.

I tell you there is a supernatural war waging today for your heart and mind. In fact, for some of you right now, the devil is trying to oppose the words you are reading in this letter. He wants to discredit them and cause you to ignore or reject them. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is bearing witness in your heart and trying to get you to open up and receive these words. It’s spiritual warfare.

To win in this war, you must know who you are and the authority you have as a believer. To help, I have a teaching series called The Believer’s Authority. Don’t go another day without understanding how to defeat the real enemy. You have the power and authority to do it, and now it’s time to use it.

Andrew Wommack  also in his article Dealing With Temptation[vii] writes

Before He was tempted by Satan face to face, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John in the Jordan River. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, full of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity for overcoming temptation. There are many Christians who received the Holy Spirit years ago and haven’t been full of the Holy Spirit a day since. It’s not about what happened to us long ago; we have to stay full of the Holy Spirit. One way of doing that is to speak in tongues on a regular basis. Jude 1:20-21 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

Praying in tongues builds us up on our most holy faith. How many times have you needed your most holy faith to take you through a certain trial, and yet you haven’t used this gift of the Holy Spirit? Verse 21 also says we keep ourselves in the love of God when we speak in tongues. Have you ever asked the Lord to pour out His love on you? I imagine you have, but this doesn’t say to pray that way; it says we are to keep ourselves in the love of God. We do that by speaking in tongues. We don’t ask God for that which He’s already given, we simply stir up the love that has already been commended toward us, by speaking in tongues. This is a powerful gift. Isaiah 28:11-12 says, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

Do you ever need rest or refreshing? I guarantee that you do, and this verse says speaking in tongues is the way to get it. We have a tremendously powerful gift available to us through the Holy Spirit, but few people take advantage of it. Instead, we ask God to do what He told us to do. We need to use this gift of speaking in tongues to stir ourselves up, or we risk sinking to the bottom.

You must also know who you are. Matthew 4 and Luke 4 record the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. One of the most amazing aspects of those temptations was that Satan began two of the three temptations with the words, “If thou be the Son of God.” Many people have missed this point. The real temptation was Satan’s attempt to get Jesus to doubt who He was. That’s the same way he attacked Adam and Eve. The serpent told Eve that if she would eat the forbidden fruit, she would be like God (Gen. 3:5). The truth was that she was already like God, but she didn’t know it. The first Adam sinned, because he didn’t know who he really was. The second Adam, Jesus, didn’t sin, because He did know who he was. Knowing your true identity in Christ is one of the greatest defenses you can possibly have against temptation.

Jesus had just heard His Father speak to Him in an audible voice saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

There was also a visible sign from God when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the shape of a dove. Jesus had to anchor His faith in who His Father said He was. But immediately, Satan came to Him saying, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matt. 4:3).

The real temptation was never about turning stones into bread. It was Satan’s attempt to manipulate Jesus into doubting His Father’s Word and doing something to prove who He was. Satan was trying to find and exploit any insecurity in Jesus.

When you were a kid, I’m sure someone at some time dared you to do something stupid. The real issue wasn’t whether or not you could do it but whether you were “afraid” to do it. And sad to say, many of us took the dare and did something that hurt us or shamed us just to prove that we weren’t. All we really succeeded in proving was that we feared their disapproval so much that we weren’t willing to do what was right. The truly fearless response would have been to walk away, secure in who we were, earning their respect through character rather than performance.

Satan was daring Jesus—”If You’re really the Son of God, if what You heard from the Father in an audible voice is really true, then prove it, and turn this stone into bread.” Turning a stone into bread would not have been sin. It would have been sin if Jesus had doubted the words of His heavenly Father declaring who He was by placing more faith in what a miracle could say about Him. You must know who you are if you want to overcome temptation. No matter what form Satan’s temptations may take, they are all directed at causing us to doubt who we are.

It’s also important to understand that all temptation is rooted in selfishness. In fact, our selfishness is really Satan’s beachhead. Jesus stripped him of his power two thousand years ago, so the only thing he can really do is deceive us through our own selfish desires. The Bible tells us exactly what they are in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

And in James 1:14 we read, “But every many is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

EXTRACT FROM Be Not Ignorant
http://walthope.tripod.com/ignorant.htm
https://walthope.wordpress.com
https://plus.google.com/u/0/100302133262254344211/posts

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