Good Lord we get to hear so many wonderful things.
Where God leads us is important, and the fact that your path crossed with us here is for a reason.
How many times have we heard about God delivering the 3 Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, or when Daniel slept beside hungry lions without getting one scratch, and that time Jesus walked on water and fed 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread? We get pumped knowing our Savior did all that and He will deliver us, too. Our faith and confidence soar.
Hold on to that faith with both hands, but as Elder LaFleur has been teaching in a recent series, we also need to get down into the weeds of everyday living if we are going to ever stand a chance at beating the carnal nature. Maybe these aren’t the messages that make us feel all cozy and warm inside, buuut … they’re what we need to dig our heels deeper in the fight to do God’s will.
Let’s just get it out in the open.
Overcoming is hard. Brother Darrell sings (beautifully) about it:
“He never promised that the cross would not get heavy, and the hill would not be hard to climb; He never offered victories without fighting, but He said help will always come in time.” (Excerpt from “Through the Fire” by The Crabb Family)
TRIALS TO TRIUMPHS
Having the eye and patience to see things beyond the natural is what makes this walk less challenging and more rewarding.
These services focused on tough love with ourselves, doing the work needed to improve, and how our effort affects how far we go with God. We heard about about how to live, how to think of ourselves, letting go of the past, keeping good conversation, our relationship with Christ, the way we treat each other, repentance, and forgiveness—in other words, no one was left out.
We learned resistance to God’s way doesn’t come from outside ourselves–spouses, jobs, kids, and each other. It arises from within. When we start working on the enemy within, other stuff miraculously falls into place.
The scriptures directed us to make our wrongs right and stop yielding to the carnal side so we can win with Christ. That’s where we grow the spiritual side–the mind that shows up despite rain, snow, or dark nights and slugs it out day after day. It’s like giving us a huge drink of water.
A BLESSED PEOPLE
Elder is a man of God who has our best interest at heart. His Bible teachings unlock barriers and give us what’s required to be part of God’s Kingdom—so having him instruct us, lead the way, be on our side, and root for us to make it is gold.
After almost 50 years in the ministry, he has seen more behind the scenes when it comes to people’s problems, natures, and struggles that result from carnal thinking—than most of us will see in a lifetime. His messages are too good to be skimmed, and by the end you’re thinking of giving the flesh a serious run for its money and striving for perfection because of his how-to scriptures and what-to-fight revelations. Combine that with God’s anointing and you have the resource on defeating sin and getting out of this world a live soul.
I encourage you to sit back, get a cup of coffee, and follow along if you’re either…
a) Planning on eternal life with Christ, or
b) Ready to start winning!
Danger is sometimes greatest when the finish line is in sight. Just as we’re trying our hardest and gaining ground, human nature knows we’re about to beat it. The carnal man hits the panic button. It wants to live, after all. Tempers, grudges, pride, gossip, envy, and all the others—marshal an assault and slam us with everything they’ve got.
Because of ongoing teachings, we are alert.
I’ll do it tomorrow. It’s easy to procrastinate overcoming and imagine we have until Christ returns to get it all straightened out—totally forgetting to factor in uncertainty involved with this life. Wagering something this big on having cushion time is too high a risk.
Remember, God has the final say in when things go down.
THE JIG IS UP
The enemy has been exposed. In the Bible, the carnal nature is responsible for taking down some of the mightiest, when it’s not restrained.
It delights in a good challenge against what’s right. It will reason with you like a lawyer. It will pledge anything to get a deal and as soon as your back is turned, double-cross you. It will assume any form. It’s broadminded, smooth talking, flattering, deceiving, clever, and will gladly hand you over to judgment and eternal death without batting an eye.
We aren’t amateurs. We’ve been taught to recognize the serpent’s voice in our heads–and with God on our side, we have the power to turn the tables.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE
Have you noticed wherever trouble is brewing that our carnal nature is smack dab in the middle of it?
Now we know that fighting everything and everyone else other than our own spirit only gives a temporary reprieve, and most often leaves us more exhausted than we already were—and with no victory.
But don’t fret.
Elder expounded on scriptures that one, give us a handle on what to overcome, and two, make sure our sins go before us (this is critical). He’s cautioning us to double check all around so we don’t leave a stumbling block out that will cost us down the road.
A SERIOUS ADVERSARY
The carnal nature will overcome us if we don’t overcome it. It means business. When it comes against our spiritual man, it is a war to the death. Our Apostle is sounding a warning for us to put on the armor of God and fight the right battle so we won’t be consumed by sin or the grave. We need everything we can get our hands on to help us win.
Which leads me to…
THE GAME PLAN
Elder has been drawing out the plan for overcoming all the way to victory—but instead of pounding the other team, we’re finding out the other team is in our mirror (..well this is an awkward moment). It’s the last place we want to look to pick a fight, but these teachings have proven it’s the only winning strategy.
If the carnal mind could not be beaten, there would be no 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
The recent services have been essential to our growth and ability to press on toward maturity in Christ. Our churches pay the price to hear God’s Word, so sharing a little from these segments. Hope they clear up any grey areas about what things we need to get crackin’ on 🙂
FROM THE ELDER’S MESSAGES, HERE ARE 5 WAYS WE CAN WIN!
1) GET ON THE RIGHT TRACK
These messages are serious and are to get us on the right track to what we have committed to. With mercy stored up, God will bless you. Have enough faith to say, God I know I’m on your team.
Whose sins are remitted, stay that way.
“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:23)
Reaching perfection is possible. Follow a faithful ministry and be faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:1-4)
Advice when you don’t know what to do: Wait three days. God can work–you’ll never know what answers you’ll get.
Two facts: You will meet God. He will judge you.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:25-29)
This is God speaking:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
The Jewish people worked in order, but they also laughed, danced, had a good time, and enjoyed life. When it came time for God, boom–they were there ready to work. (Hebrews 9)
You can touch the Word and know the spirit is there. I’m fired up. Why would you want to be a loser?
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
You offer up you. It could be the greatest day of your life, or a tragedy if you do it wrong.
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.“ (Hebrews 10:3-5)
2) SOME HARD-KNOCKS IN JOHN 6
Verse 53 was offensive language to the Jews.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
Verse 58, This bread from heaven–it’s the spirit, not like the physical bread (manna) from the Old Testament. It’s spiritual bread now.
“This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.“
Verse 59, Jesus was preaching all this in their own (Roman) church.
“These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.”
Verse 60, His own disciples said it was a hard saying.
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
Verse 61, Outside of the synagogue, Jesus asked them this question:
“When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?”
Verse 63, Jesus told them what His Words were.
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Verse 66, From that ONE experience hearing Him, they left Jesus. Many of His disciples did not walk with Him anymore. They lost Life.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
Verse 67, Jesus only asked this question to the 12 Disciples:
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”
Verse 68-69, They knew He was Christ and had the words of eternal life. There was no where else to go to hear this message.
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Verse 70, Whaaaatt?!?!
After all these things, Jesus stayed out of the way.
“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” (John 7:1)
3) FORGIVENESS AND OUR INNER JOURNEY
Keep moving ahead, not looking behind. If you could, you would do things better. You have to put these things behind you–it will kill you if they’re in front of you. (Phillipians 3)
Don’t think too far ahead. You’ll miss the boat. Look at today.
We have the privilege of living THIS DAY!
God has a law of forgiveness. You have to search your life and make sure you’ve been forgiven. The old man doesn’t want to bow down to God–it wants to compromise.
If you forgive others, God will forgive you.
If you don’t forgive others, God will not forgive you.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15)
God takes away your ability to be sneaky and deceptive.
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (Matthew 6:16)
Our spirit will never please Him. Common sense will send you to hell–spiritual sense will send you to heaven. (Romans 8:7-9)
Forget the things that are behind and reach for the things before you. Press, don’t push. Mark them that walk right and follow their example. Jesus can’t help you if you don’t hang around the right people. (Phillipians 3:13-15)
4) THE SPIRITUAL MIND
We could entertain angels unaware. Be nice to everyone–God could send someone by our church to help us with a talent. (Hebrews 13)
Suffer with people prayerfully–with effective and fervent prayer. Work at responsibility in your prayer. Small prayer can cause big things to happen. Big prayer can cause small things to happen. Faithful prayer causes all things to happen. (James 5)
Conversation = The way you live.
Be content with what you have.
Phoebe was good at talking to people and bringing them into church. (Romans 16:12)
Hymenaeus and Philetus were jealous. (2 Timothy 2:17)
Being spiritually minded is life and peace. Whatever or however I do things, it is for Jesus. You do your jobs as you’re supposed to for employment, whether you’re a scientist or a janitor. Being spiritually minded just means you make the right decisions. (Romans 8)
The carnal mind is death and the wrong decisions (e.g., financial, relationships) lead to unhappiness, divorce, and other sorrow.
When you get saved, readjust your life. The Words of the Bible will judge you. (John 21)
Overcoming is important. (Revelation 3:21)
Fear = respect. To help, we have angels encamped about us. (Psalm 34)
We’re in the City of the Living God! (Hebrews 12:22)
Let brotherly love continue. Washing each other’s feet is helping each other when a need arises. (Hebrews 13)
Get spiritual advice from someone who reads and knows the Bible.
5) BE DILIGENT. BE FAITHFUL. ENDURE.
God knows how to make a way, but you have to show Him you’re willing to work and gather in the summer if you want to reap the fall harvest. (Proverbs 10)
We must have a track record in God’s Church. Do your best at Church, for God, and on your job. Be diligent–we have to keep going. (Hebrews 12)
Beware of a root of bitterness against your brother or sister. It can cause you to lose your soul and destroy you. It grows DOWN, not UP. It grows deeper and deeper, so strong until you cannot recover from it until inside you, you kill that person. A root of bitterness will stunt your growth. It takes over eventually as a very strong hate.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
Be angry and sin not. Anger and a root of bitterness can overcome you. (Ephesians 4:26)
Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. MAKE THINGS RIGHT.
We have to endure good services and bad services. Learn to hold on, be brave, and know your abilities. Be faithful.
I am going to take care of everyone that comes through the doors. I’m not a miracle worker, but I will do the best I can.
Don’t be fooled by a foolish woman. People mimic all over the place. If we are going to win, avoid these things. (Proverbs 9:13)
Hatred and slander:
“He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18)
“The lips of the righteous feed many..” (Proverbs 10:21)
THIS CHURCH IS ALIVE!!