Posts Tagged ‘victory’

Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Ephesians 6:13  This week Pastor Ron continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” as we explore the way we can be victorious in our spiritual battles.  Reality is that we are in a war, but the good news is that God has given us the tools to be winners.

Notes:

5.  The Formula for Victory V13                                      ephesians-613

a.  Take up…

b.  Resist…

c.  Stand Firm…

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

The Formula for Victory!

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Panic Buster

Now you can read my book Panic Buster for free.  I would welcome any comments or questions you may have as you study through this helpful book. May God bless you as you do so.

This book is in the .pdf format.  You can read it with Adobe Reader.  Please click on the link below to read. Or, you can right click and download.

panicbusternew9-16

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Do you know that when we become Christians we are finally complete in Christ?  At least from God’s perspective.

Before we were born-again we were on our own.  The Bible teaches that we were dead in trespasses and sin.  We were in the realm of Satan’s kingdom, and were subject to sin, death and hell.  Isn’t that an awful picture of those who live in the world today without Christ?

So, how are we complete in Christ now?  What does that mean?

Let’s take a look at Colossians 2: 8-15 to find our answer:  These are marvelous scripture verses and loaded.  I can only skim them.

Col 2:8-15 NASB See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

First of all Paul tells us not to let the world take us captive through philosophy or man’s worldly ideas and deception, and not to follow the traditions of men.

(9) For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

Wow!  In Christ, in His human body dwells all the fullness of Deity!  That is amazing.  He is complete!

(10) and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

If you are a Christian you also have been made complete!  Let’s try to see what that means as we read more of this passage.  Christ is also the head over all rule and authority.  Keep that in mind.

When we were saved we were completely saved:

(11) and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; (12) having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

This is talking about our salvation.  We were made spiritually complete in Christ when we were saved.  When He died on the cross we somehow joined Him.  At the moment we were saved, we were baptized with the Holy Spirit, (not water baptism).  And, we died and were raised up with Christ by God.  God raised Jesus from the dead literally, and He raised us from our spiritual death.

When we were saved we were completely forgiven:

(13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, (14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

We were spiritually dead because of our sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh.  But God made us alive with Christ.  He forgave us all of our sins, past, present and future.  He nailed them to the cross and canceled out the debt that we owed because of them.  God the great judge declared us to be free from the penalty of sin.

Joh 19:30 NASB Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

When we were saved we were given complete victory:

2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

(15) When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

When Jesus died on the cross He also went and disarmed all the rulers and authorities.  He was victorious over them and took them all captive.  That is great news for us because they no longer have any hold on us.

Heb 2:14-15 NASB Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Being complete in Christ means that we can live in this world without fear.  We are capable of being victorious over sin.  The sting of death has been removed so we don’t have to fear that anymore, and we do not have to worry that we will spend eternity in hell.  Satan has been defeated and he can not claim you as one of his.  I like that!

Eph 3:16 NASB that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

When we get these things settled in our minds, it is much easier to face life.  Trials and temptations will come our way, but knowing we are complete in Him, gives us the courage to face them head on.  God is always in control and sovereign over what happens to us.  We can trust Him to make our path straight and to take care of us in every situation.  He loves us as a dear Heavenly Father and will take care of his children.

2Pe 1:3-4 NASB seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Isn’t that an uplifting scripture?  We really don’t have to worry about things.  God has granted us everything we need that pertains to our life and to be a godly individual.  He gives us that through the true knowledge of Him.  As we study the Word we learn how to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and He also gives us the power to be successful in doing that. That power is in us because Christ is in us and it is the same power that raised Jesus from the grave.  Now that is power!  We can even escape the corruption that is in the world. I praise God for that. 

I pray we will all try to realize all that we have in our possession when we become Christians, and that we will know in our hearts that we can overcome anything that comes our way.

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My last post was titled “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear!”  In it we learned that God’s love perfected in Christians tosses fear  out of our lives.  What a marvelous thing that is!

Now, we need to take a good look at another scripture dealing with fear:

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his spiritual son Timothy from prison when he knew he was toward the end of his own ministry.  Timothy would have to carry on where Paul left off and Paul exhorted him not to be intimidated by the false teachers, the Romans, all the other hostile forces that would come against him.  He told Timothy to be of good courage and not fear those who came against him, because God had equipped Timothy with a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. 

“for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Do you have a spirit of fear?  Are you a believer?  If you realize what God teaches us in the Bible you will know that you should not live in fear.  In fact, it is sinful.  It is not only sinful, but it is selfish.  You may not like that, they are strong words, but it makes complete sense.  If our thoughts are constantly about ourselves, the way we feel, and our symptoms, then we cannot think about others.  Those unhealthy thoughts crowd out everything else.  That is not how God wants us to live.  He wants us to think of other people as more important than ourselves. 

Php 2:3 NASB  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

But, you might think, “That sounds good, but I just can’t help how I feel.  It’s just the way I am!  I can’t do anything about it!”  I’m here to tell you there is something you can do about it.  You can be free from fear!  You can think of others as more important than yourself!

However, if you are not a Christian, then, it is perfectly natural for you to live a life full of fear, anxiety, and worry.  You do have a spirit of fear, and I can’t help you.  That spirit of fear comes from our natural man. 

You see, fear, anxiety, and worry are a part of our old personalities that we had before we became Christians.  Remember, when we were saved we became a new creation and old ways became new. 

2Co 5:17 NASB  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

I think many Christians still live in fear because they do not know what happened when they were saved.  No one told them.  Or, they haven’t studied the Bible enough yet to have discovered this wonderful truth. So, I will tell you right now.

When you were saved you did not receive a spirit of fear because you already had that in your old self.  Instead, God renewed you and gave you a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind.  What does this all mean in a practical sense?

The spirit of power

The spirit of power is the Holy Spirit.  When we are made new in Christ the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.

2Ti 1:14 NASB  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

Rom 8:9 KJV  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

What kind of power does the Holy Spirit have available to us?  The kind of power that raised Jesus from the grave. That’s dynamic power!

Rom 8:11 KJV  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

You have that kind of power in you.  You do not have to live in fear any longer.  Be of good courage! 

The spirit of love

The opposite of fear is love.  God also gave you a spirit of love.  Now you can love in a whole new way.  People of the world know nothing of this kind of love.  The Bible calls it agape love.  It is a God kind of love.  It is the very highest love there is. God through the Holy Spirit in us gives us the power to love with agape love and we can reach out to others in a way we never could before. 

We are not to stay to ourselves.  We don’t have to any more.  We can reach out to others in love.  God gives us that ability. Step out in faith and try it.

I remember shortly after I was saved how I actually looked at people differently.  I saw everyone as one of God’s creations that needed to know Him.  My eyes were opened and I began to have urgings to tell others about Christ.  It was hard for me too at the time because I was so inundated with fear.  Slowly I reached out to others in love.  But, at first in very small ways.  I would send someone a card.  I would call and talk to an elderly shut-in on the phone.  After doing that a bit I began to visit people who were shut-ins, and another woman and I went to the hospital and visited sick people from church.  Little by little God grew the spirit of love in my life.

The spirit of a sound mind

God also gave us a spirit of a sound mind.  What does that mean for us?  Well, a sound mind is a rational mind.  We do not have to think all the “what if” thoughts, and worry about the future.  We do not have to fear man, and we do not have to fear God.  Fear has been broken.  Alleluia!

Once you discover these truths you will see how you need to change.  If you are still living in fear then you are still living in the old flesh.  You need to take advantage of the Holy Spirit living in you and walk in the Spirit.  You will have to work on changing your thought patterns as you renew your mind with the Word.  Old unhealthy thought habits can be replaced with new healthy godly thoughts. 

I suffered with panic attacks for many years and I did not know this teaching right away.  So, I continued on even after I became a  Christian thinking sinful fear filled thoughts.  I would blow things way out of proportion.  If it started to snow, I’d think we were going to get a blizzard.  If I had to drive somewhere that day I would obsess about the weather until I would have a panic attack.  If it was raining and the sky looked ominous I would be sure we were going to get a tornado, and I didn’t even live in a section of the country that gets tornados very often.

My panic attacks became so bad I became Agoraphobic.  I was afraid to leave my home.  I actually gave up driving for several years.  If I needed something from the store it was a major problem to get up the nerve to step out the door, get into the car, and go to the store.  Once there, it was a major effort to go into the store and get my groceries.  If I managed to get that far, then I still had to conquer the walk through the crowed isles, find my items, stand in the scary line as my legs shook, pay, and get back home.  It was exhausting!  Surely, that was no way to live, and certainly God didn’t want me to live like that.  I wasn’t much use to him at that point.

The only way I conquered my fears was when I discovered that I had God’s power within me.  I realized somewhere along the way that “I” could not do this in myself.  I needed help!  All the courage I tried to muster up in myself would not do it.  I had to rely on God.  I turned to God and I would pray. I’d ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit, to go and do whatever it was I had to do.  I prayed before I went, I would go and pray all the way, and I would get back home and pray again to praise and thank God for how He got me through my fearful situation.  It did become easier.  I prayed a lot!

I don’t even have panic attacks any more.  I drive, I’m free to do whatever I want.  God gave me back my freedom as I grew in Him.  I discovered scripture promises and applied them to my own life.  I now have a spirit power, of love, and of a sound mind.  It is a disciplined mind.  I’m careful what I think about.  If I find myself going in the direction of worry, I check myself, and ask the Lord to help me think on godly things.  It does take practice and I urge you to start today.

Where are you today?  Are you bogged down with worry, fear, and anxiety?  My friend, if that is you and you are a Christian, you are living in sin.  You need to realize that and confess your sin to God, then repent of it and learn to fill you mind with godly things.  Keep in the Word, study it, memorize good scripture promises, pray for others, and yourself.

God has provided everything we need to live a godly, holy life.

2Pe 1:3 KJV  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

He will help you.  Go to Him in prayer.  Pour out your heart.  Get right with God and then claim your benefits of the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. 

Please stop fearing the future, step out in faith and find your freedom today.  You can be sure that you do not have a spirit of fear anymore.

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Worry is another word for anxiety.  Do you worry?  We can worry about the past, the present and the future.  What do you worry about?  All of them?  I did at one time, but I’ve come a long way in that department, and pray you will too. 

For a long time I blamed my mother for my worry.  You see she was a great worrier, and I figured it was in my genes.  My mother’s sister was also a great worrier, and you know what, she died an early death because of it.  She literally worried herself to death.  She had every disease you can imagine. (At least she thought she did.)  She went to doctor after doctor and I’m aware of at least a couple of doctors that refused to see her because she was such a worry wort.  She would not take their advice, and took all kinds of medication, which of course, she knew more than the doctors about how much and how to take it.  I feel bad she died relatively young, but she did it to herself.  She was very hard to be around, as she was always crying over her kids problems, and worrying about everything.  She was so very self-centered and was a nervous wreak most of the time. 

My mom worried a lot too, and I think for me it was a learned behavior.  When you live with someone like that for 20 years you just kind of pick it up.  So, I started out that way.  Most likely that is what lead me down the trail to panic attacks.  The actual attacks started in my early 20’s.  But, all my life I remember how nervous I felt all the time and how I would worry over everything. I had to take care of my little sister a lot growing up while my parents worked, and that was a lot of responsibility for a kid to carry. 

It’s sad to think that people have to live that way.  In fact, the older I get the sadder it becomes.  I see people everyday who are ruining their health just because they worry.  It is such a waste of the time that the Lord has given us. 

Here is something I learned that is very important and I hope you will take to heart.   People in the world (unbelievers) have to worry.  Why?  Because they have only themselves to rely on.  Everything is all up to them.  They have to fight their way through life, figure all the angles and make sure things are going their way.  They have to worry about their jobs, food, clothing, health, and everything else.  They are just “out there” on their own.  Have you ever thought of that?  I hadn’t until recently. 

Christians, on the other hand, DON’T HAVE TO WORRY!  We really don’t!  We are living in an entirely different spiritual realm than unbelievers.  We have been adopted into God’s family.  He is our Father!  He is our Provider!He is our Savior! He is our Comforter!  He is our Guide!  He is our Counselor!  He is our Healer!  He is in control over everything in our lives.  We do not have to figure out every detail in life, and fret and worry about them.

So, why then, do we worry?  We shouldn’t.  It is because we were raised in this world and worry has become a habit we have learned along the way.  We need to learn new habits and put off the old habit of worry and anxiety.  We think we have to be in control of everything that effects our lives.  But, is that true?  No!  Not when we are a Christian.  God has bought us with a price and He controls us.  He is our Lord and Master.  We are His children and need to look to Him for every need. 

When we become a Christian we do not realize that God will take care of us in every way.  We still hang on to the worldly way of thinking.  That is our mistake! We need to stop thinking like unbelievers!   They have to worry.  We don’t!  We have been set free from worry when we were saved because Christ died and rose again and in doing so enabled us to become new creations.  We are actually new persons inside.  

2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

But, we still live in the old fleshly body and are constantly bombarded with it’s desires and feelings. Those old feelings lure us into the trap of worry.  We have a certain physical feeling, like rapid heartbeat, and right away our mind takes off on a worry trip.  We start with the “what if” thoughts.  “What if I’m having a heart attack?”  What if I’m going to have a panic attack?”  “What if I pass out?”  And, on and on it goes.  We are worrying and causing ourselves much anxiety.  Finally, if we don’t know how to stop this process we will end up having a full-blown panic attack.

Is there an answer to this?  A war rages as the old flesh fights our new spirit.  But, God says, He is greater. 

1Jn 4:4 NASB You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

God is more powerful.  He has given believers the Holy Spirit to live in us and gives us power to overcome. 

2Ti 1:14 NASB Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to

you.

 

Eph 3:16 NASB that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

2Pe 1:3 NASB seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

God has given us everything we need to live our Christian lives in a God honoring way. 

Gal 5:16 NASB But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Rom 8:13 NASB for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

God calls us to stop living according to the world.  We are to die to that when we become Christians.  The Holy Spirit which indwells us gives us the power to put to death the deeds of the flesh.  In other words, He gives us the power to stop worrying.  We can do it!

Below is part of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians believers:

Eph 1:19-20 NASB and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (20) which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Just what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe?   Paul is emphasizing that the extraordinary divine force by which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead is the same power at work in and through believers.  Isn’t that wonderful?  We have that same power in us!  We can overcome anything!  Believe it! 

to be continued….

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As I listened to a sermon this past week something stuck in my mind.  The speaker talked about how we think, and said, “Today the focus is on self, which is all about relief, instead of victory in spite of their circumstances.”  He also mentioned the fact that we are today a medicated society.

I’ve pondered that for a few days now.  “relief instead of victory.”  At first, I didn’t get it.  I thought relief would be victory.  Then, I thought deeper, and realized what he said is actually true. 

We are a society who want quick fixes.  We take a pill for just about everything that ails us.  And, we don’t want to wait for anything.  We have fast food, instant coffee, microwaveable meals, instant soup, phones on our ears, fast cars, instant news, the Internet, instant messaging, and fast texting. 

Everything is speeded up in our lives today, and when we have problems we want quick fixes.  We don’t think we should suffer at all.  We look for that magic bullet that will fix everything.  We buy the latest self-help books, videos, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s.  We go to the latest guru or therapist.  We simply want quick relief.  We pop whatever pill is in vogue. Have you noticed all the television ads for prescription drugs lately?  It seems there is a pill for every thing imaginable that could happen to us.  But, you’d better not listen to the disclaimers or you will not take anything. 🙂

We have problems with relationships, and we want things to be instantly fixed.  But, it doesn’t work that way.  So many times people turn to the wrong things for relief. 

I know a girl who lost her fiance in an accident.  This girl is in her 30’s I believe.  She took it very hard, and rightly so.  It is not bad to grieve, but how you handle it is another thing.  Two years have gone by.  

She desperately wanted relief from the pain of losing the person she loved and  was about to spend the rest of her life with. So, she began drinking even more and did not get the relief she desired so began medication for depression.  Alcohol and anti-depressants are a bad and dangerous mix.  She still hasn’t found the relief she wanted. 

What this person needs is victory.  But, how can she find that?  First, she needs to become a Christian.  Then, as she studies and learns from the Bible she will find that God will comfort her and give her a supernatural strength to get through the tough times. 

1Co 10:13 NASB  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

This verse is talking about trials and temptations that come into all our lives.  If we are Christians God will be in control of the situation and will not allow it to overwhelm you.  He will provide a way for you to endure.  Isn’t that a wonderful promise?  I loved it when I first found that verse.

Now, that would be victory for this girl!  We are not to eliminate the bad circumstances that come our way in life, but instead learn how to live through them with Christ at our side.  I’m sad to see this poor soul suffer when she could be praising God, and get on with her life.  God has something for her if she would only realize she needs to turn to Him.

Another example of how people want relief instead of victory is of a Christian married couple who have had many problems and they end up with a divorce.  Why does that happen?  They want relief from the misery they live in.   Relief instead of victory is not the answer. 

Victory would be if that couple who are Christians would get into the Word and apply it to their lives.  They could change how they see and treat each other.  They could fall in love all over again.  They could with God’s help have victory if they would only do it God’s way.  The man needed to become the leader in that home and the woman needed to step back and be submissive to her husband instead of trying to run him and bad mouth him all the time.  You see there is a difference between relief and victory.

Eph 5:22-25 NASB  Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  (23)  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  (24)  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  (25)  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

God knows everything.  Nothing happens to us that He doesn’t allow.  Everything that comes our way is passed through God’s grid.  Nothing happens by chance.   God is Sovereign, and He can allow bad things to come into our lives.  But, there is always a reason.  He is either teaching us or chastising us.  He wants us to grow more in the likeness of Christ as we mature in the faith. 

Rom 8:28-29 NASB  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  (29)  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Well, I guess it comes down to this.  We have a choice.  Do we want to live our lives our own way, living by emotions and feelings.? If we do we will find ourselves full of stress and anxiety and looking for relief, not victory. We will turn to medication, or something to numb our brains, perhaps alcohol, or illegal drugs.  We will say, “God, please just take these horrible feelings away.  I’m tired of the suffering.”  Instead we should say, “God, you know how I feel.  Please give me the wisdom to learn how to live in a way that I can handle adversity with you at my side. Help me Lord to see the lessons in this that you want me to learn.  Help me to judge my own heart and expose any unconfessed sin so that I may confess it and repent of it.”   

Or, do we want to live our lives God’s way.  Obeying everything He commands us to do in the Bible.  If we choose God’s way we will have victory in all our trials and tribulations.  God truly is good and I’m so thankful that He has given us the Bible as a standard to live by.  We live in an age where people want to say the Bible is out-dated, and that it is too hard for any of us to really understand.  Yes, we hear that. But, that is not true.  God is not a God of confusion, but of logic, and reason.  He is rational. 

The key to not merely find relief but to gain victory is when we choose God’s way and our focus is turned from ourselves and toward Christ.  Do you see that?

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Check out the messages by Pastor Bob in the Sermon section of this site.

If you want to hear the Word taught verse by verse so you can get a good understanding of how God wants us to live, these are for you.

https://hatchcreek.com/sermons/

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