Articles

The Real Way to Resist the Devil

Over the years, I have had many discussions with people about the devil… mostly regarding ways that they are fighting against him, or resisting him. I have heard of many different methods, from arguing with him, ignoring him, screaming at him, performing deliverance rituals. There are literally hundreds of unique ways in which people have come up with over the years to resist the devil.

The scriptures however, do not leave us guessing about the way in which to do so. You may be surprised that the many methods I have mentioned, have all been heard inside of Christian communities, and none of them have any real foundation in scripture. So what I want to share with you today, is what the scripture actually says regarding resisting the devil. And by seeing this, you can resist him with absolute confidence knowing that you already have victory in Christ Jesus.

Give Thanks In All Things

At one time or another, most of us have probably heard at least one sermon preached on the famous verse of 1st Thessalonians 5:18. This well-known verse says that we are supposed to “give thanks in all things.” It’s a tough pill to swallow for many people – not because the instruction itself is difficult, but rather because our interpretation of it makes it harder than it actually is.

You see, what I was taught long ago, and what many people still believe today, is that this famous verse says that we must “give thanks for all things”, when in-fact it doesn’t say that at all. And what I want to share with you today, is what this verse actually is saying, and why this in itself is a testament to Jesus Christ and your relationship with Him.

God’s Standard Has Never Changed

One of the most often recurring objections to the Gospel message is that people say that it lowers God’s standard, or that God has somehow “gone soft” on sin. They say that the Gospel message of Grace is an affront to God’s holiness, and they say because of these things, that it must be a false message, and that the Gospel of Grace must therefore be rejected.

You may be surprised how often I hear these things, and whenever I hear them, I respond with a simple statement: that no, the Gospel doesn’t lower God’s standard, in-fact His standard has never changed.
This doesn’t negate the Gospel message in any way, in-fact it strengthens the Gospel message one-hundred fold.

What I want to share with you today, is how the fact that God’s unchanging and perfect standard is actually a testament to His marvelous grace, and how in Christ Jesus today, you don’t need to be afraid of His standard, but you can honestly rejoice in it.

Jesus in Proverbs 15

The book of Proverbs is many things to many people. Some see it as a book of wisdom. Others see it as poetry. From one standpoint, it is both a book containing wisdom and poetry; many of the wisdom verses are written using Hebrew poetry. However while all of that may be nice, in the long-run, to be quite honest, it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t save anyone, or change anyone’s life, to know that Proverbs is considered a “wisdom book” or a “poetry book” – at the end of the day, it is just an interesting fact, just another piece of what I call Bible trivia.

Reading the Bible is more than just absorbing facts, scriptural knowledge or Bible trivia. The focus should never be on raw data retention or interesting tidbits . It’s not a what that we should be focusing on, but rather a who… it is Jesus. All of the scripture reading in the world, is all meaningless if we do not see Jesus in it; because He is the one who gives it meaning.

So today, I want to share with you, some beautiful aspects of Jesus, directly from Proverbs 15, and by seeing Him, you have a new way to appreciate and savor Jesus, in the book of Proverbs.

Present Yourself Properly

Anyone who visits here, or has listened to me teach before, has probably heard me mention our identity in Christ. I speak about our identity more than any other topic, simply because it is so very vital to understanding our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nearly every day, I end up meeting someone, or having a discussion with someone who fails to understand the reality of who they truly are in Jesus, and who He has made them to be. This literally breaks my heart to see people in such a state, because I know the pain of living that way far too well. I was stuck in that same spot for many years, and there was no one around to help me through it.

So whenever I encounter someone who needs to know this truth, I don’t hesitate to share it with them – and so I end-up talking about it quite a lot here as well in our studies. Yet I don’t always explain exactly why it is true. Most of the time, I mention it in passing, or as an aside to whatever topic we may be studying in-particular, and this sometimes leaves people wondering where exactly I am getting it from, or if I just made it up!

In light of this, today I want to share with you, how we are to truly see ourselves in Christ Jesus, and why it is true. And by seeing this, it is my wish (and God’s wish) for you to stand on the solid foundation of the finished work of Jesus Christ, for you.

How Jesus Changes Your Heart

As believers, we hear a lot about God in our heart; and I often speak a lot about God changing us from the inside, but it occurs to me that we haven’t studied how that actually happens, (at least we haven’t for a while); and this is another aspect of our identity that is vital to our proper understanding and of who God is, and living through the relationship with Him.

So since this question comes up quite often, today I’m going to share with you, how exactly God changes a person from the inside; how exactly a right relationship with Him, actually effects your heart, in the best possible way. And by seeing this truth, you will understand how “religion” has greatly sold your personal relationship with God very short… and how Jesus has done a much greater work than what you can possibly imagine, and He loves you more than you have ever thought possible.

What Message Are You Listening To?

I’m going to describe a scenario for you… this is a scenario that is played out literally millions of times every week. A person goes to a church building, faithfully, each week; sometimes even twice or three times per week, and dutifully listens to a message, from someone whom they have venerated, and allowed to speak into their mind… someone whom they have allowed to shape the most important part of themselves; the most important part of their lives, because it will affect their eternal destiny.

And since this is so important, you would think that precisely what message is being taught, would be of utmost importance… but for many people; the message is secondary, or even tertiary to other aspects of the “church” (and yes I’m using air-quotes here).

The people I have talked to, have told me that many enjoy going to a church building, for the social aspect of it; they get to see their friends, and participate in activities, and have food… the message isn’t even foremost on their minds – to them, it’s just another part of the social club experience – and my friend, that is dangerous.

It is dangerous because these precious people, are allowing their very beliefs to be shaped by a message each week, that they aren’t even examining against scripture… they let it slide, just because they like the people, they like the atmosphere, they enjoy the social club, and they feel like they “belong” and so they don’t give much thought to what they are actually feeding their soul – or just let it slide because to them, it just isn’t important enough.

So today, what I want to share with you, is what the scriptures say about the true Gospel message, and to show you the genuine article, so that you can know without any doubt, what the true message is.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

You Can Be Certain That God Loves You

It’s amazing how many people I have spoken with over the years who have said something to me along the lines of “I wish I knew that God loved me”, “I really wish He would just tell me!”. I know that feeling well, myself. I used to say the exact same things… I just wanted some assurance, I wanted some sign, to prove to myself that not only was God out there, but on a more personal level, that He actually cared for me, and that He actually loved me. So I absolutely understand and appreciate what people mean when they say this to me.

God understands it too, and there is nothing wrong with wanting such a sign, or a proof of God’s love! In-fact He has given us exactly what we have asked for… a sign of His love for us.

What I want to share with you today, is precisely how and why you can be completely certain of God’s love for you, personally. And by seeing this, you will be able to have a more relaxed, and open and free relationship with God, built solid on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Speak Victory, Not Defeat

Many people have heard the famous quote from Proverbs 18:21, that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”, and countless sermons have been preached over the years about the power of positive confession – even the secular world understands that speaking (and thinking) positively can have a benefit.

The scriptures however take it deeper than what most people realize. Positive thinking and positive confession without a foundation on the truth of Jesus Christ, is empty. It is just words without substance, it is clouds without rain if we don’t understand exactly why we can speak and think positively – and have it be more than simply nice words or pleasant thoughts.

Many people, including believers that I have talked to, are trying to get the benefits of positive thinking and positive confession, without the foundation… putting the cart before the horse; and without the basis of Jesus Christ, it all falls flat.

So what I want to share with you today, are some examples of how this was used by the people in scripture, about the very specific positive confessions that they spoke, and how they actually obtained results… and by seeing this, you will be able to speak and think positively, with confidence and substance, because you will know why it is true for you.