Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 101 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; Eph 6:10-18.
length: 63:29 - taught on Jun, 2 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 101 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; EPH 6:10-18.
Announcements / opening prayer: 2Co 5
Armor of God review:
As we have been noting, Satan seeks to frustrate the will of God in the believer's soul. The only power that is greater than his is divine power. For the believer not to live a life of slavery to the sin nature and the world and actually live the new life that Christ has given him, he must be filled with the Spirit and wearing the full armor of God at all times. It takes faith and dedication to trust the plan of God for our lives over and above our own personal desires.
"Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house."
We have the power to overcome these attacks because Christ bound up Satan at Calvary, and at the same time He has given us a superior, justified life full of grace assets.
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Think of the ways in which Satan attacks that we have just completed and think of how Christ has personally destroyed each one.
Deceit, using people to frustrate the work, projecting thoughts to produce MAS's, distracting focus, promoting lack of forgiveness, clean up the world, thorn in the flesh.
Apply a piece of the armor, or multiple pieces to each of these attacks. It's not hard to see that Christ faced all of these attacks during the incarnation and that He has more than overcome these assaults for all of us at Calvary. In faith we can appropriate them all and find ourselves wearing Christ and living in the strength of His might.
EPH 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
EPH 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
EPH 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
EPH 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
We noted that the shoes are a symbol of foundational stability. Our occupation with the finished work of Christ and the good news of all the assets that have come to us by means of His work gives us peace of the soul as we have eternal peace with God. But we must not forget that Satan has multiple strategies to blind the minds of the unbelieving. And so we are called to be witnesses, who by means of our own occupation with the gospel, are able through the power of the Spirit, to cut through Satan's lies and deceits with the accurate and clear presentation of the gospel. We are ambassadors in this dark world commissioned with the ministry of reconciliation, and by our words and our conduct, we are lights of the truth of the good news concerning the Savior of the world.
Our stability by means of our own occupation with the gospel enables us to be effective witnesses to the unbeliever as His treasure shines forth through our earthen vessels.
EPH 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.
EPH 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
EPH 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints
I want you to picture all of these as fully operational in your life, and putting them all together, the whole armor of God, see in your mind's eye the type of person that would be - Christ.
If you can picture such a person you are picturing Christ. You might then well conclude that you are not Christ. But then, after recalling the work we have done over the last several months, you might well conclude that though you are not Christ, you have been entered into union with Him, identified with Him through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that He has gifted you with His very life, the justified life of righteousness.
When you can imagine what type of person would be wearing the whole armor of God all the time then you can set about being that person by means of the Spirit.
The old man and the old way can't do it, but the new man and the filling of the Spirit can. If it couldn't then it would be a dirty trick by God to command us to be such a person. You might say, "I'm not mature enough yet." But I would respond, "When do you think you will be?" Are we only to start applying truth to life, walking in righteousness, occupy ourselves with the good news, live in walking faith, enjoy the fruits of salvation, and apply the word of God (I just summed up the armor) some day in the future, or does the word of God command to do so now? There is one mass of commands and they are for all of us, young and old, mature and immature.
What I am saying is to get about this life now. You may think that you are pretending, and I would say, rightly so, pretend away.
There are two types of pretending, and like so many things that come in twos, there is a bay way and a good way. The bad kind is when the pretence is there but the reality is not. It is the man who pretends he is going to assist you and is for you, but in reality he has no intention of either. But the good kind is when the pretence leads to the real thing. When you do not feel like loving another with divine love and doubt that you may even be able to, but you set about it anyway trusting in the Spirit to pull it off. You remember that love is kind and patient and so, though it rails against every fiber of your body, you set about being patient and kind. What you did was take a step of faith, and soon enough, more often than not, you find that you are actually being more patient and kinder that you thought you ever could be.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice [do] these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.
The Greek word prasso means to do or to practice.
This is why a real childhood is so important. Now a day's kids are surrounded by electronic entertainment all day. They don't leave the house. They don't know how to handle boredom so as to train themselves for a boring entry level job or boring waiting times that all adults have to deal with. They don't make close friends so that they can begin to develop emotionally in handling disappointments, disagreements, close bonds, loyalty, faithfulness, chivalry, defending a friend and so on. What are children really doing in a normal childhood? Pretending to be adults and by which they are training to be adults, or put another way, preparing for actual life where a person is fully responsible for their decisions and must alone bear the consequences of them.
The believer is to, by faith, dress up as Christ. The more he does this the closer the pretence will become a reality:
ROM 13:11 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
ROM 13:12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
ROM 13:13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
ROM 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Is this for the mature believer only? He may be more successful at it, but there is no exemption for the immature believer to remain asleep and behave improperly.
The immature and the mature believer must set his mind on it and, in faith, strive to walk in the way of a believer that is dressed up with Christ.
This means that the life you live, your conduct and way, is the same as His. You might as well be wearing a Christ costume because He is who you are manifesting. We don't know what He looked like, and now you know why, because we are not to dress to look like Him physically, we are to live the life of Him, which life we do well know from the scriptures.
Don't believe those who are selling cheap grace so that they can have plenty of provision for the flesh. When you fail, and you will, recover quickly, and by faith, get at this life of righteousness again. Make no mistake, so you are not deceived, it takes constant alertness, constant diligence, and constant faith. As our Lord promised, you will be made full.
As we have studied in comparing the law and grace, this is following a person more than it is obeying a set of rules. Instead of checking off a list or rules, it is more like painting a portrait.
But since you don't know what He physically looked like, your brush and paint have to create something that is what you do know, His mind, His way, His truth, His life. The odd thing here is that being like a person is much harder than following a list of rules, and in another way, it is far easier.
This is much harder and at the same time far easier.