Training for the Battle

​Training for the Battle For, behold, the day comes that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble; and the day that comes shall burn them up, said the LORD of the hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness be born, and in his wings he shall bring saving health; and ye shall go forth and jump like calves of the herd. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I make, said the LORD of the hosts. (Malachi 4: 1-3).

coming upon the whole earth at the end of this present age. You see, that which is not pure, that which is not holy, cannot stand in the presence of the Lord . Throughout the Old Testament, the people believed that if they were to see God, they would die. Several times when the Angel of the Lord appeared to someone they said, “Woe is me, I’m going to die. I’ve seen God.” They knew they could not stand in the presence of God and live. That is why there was a veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple. You could not look right into the presence of God and expect to live. But with the death of Jesus Christ , that veil was rent through the middle (Luke 23: 45). If you study Ezekiel Chapters 40 through 47, you will see that in Ezekiel’s temple there is no veil. The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies are no longer divided. Jesus has opened the way for us to come right into the presence of God the Father. We take it lightly; we take it for granted. Many times we pray, and we say any old thing that pops into our mind. I want this; I want that; so and so bothers me. I have wondered how some of these prayers
your knees telling God how to run His universe? I have spent a lot of time telling God that He ought to do this, and He ought to do that, and I needed this and that, giving Him a whole bunch of orders without realizing who He is and who I am and what a great privilege I have in being able to come before Him. I need to find out what He is trying to say to me. What does He want from me? But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6: 33). Several times when I have been confused in my life, not knowing the will of God or not being able to get a clear answer, one of the main causes that has blocked my communication with Him has been that God wanted to say something to me, and I just was not listening. He had something important He wanted to say to me, and all I wanted to do was complain about my problems and insist on trying to convince God to implement my will in these matters. We need to look at things from God’s perspective. Many times, God in His mercy reaches out to us, gives us gifts, grants us favors, and does all kinds of things for us that we do not deserve, starting with His whole plan of redemption. But as we grow and mature in the Lord, He wants to bring us to a point to where the cart and the horse are in the proper order, we realize who He is, and our relationship with Him
We can choose to serve God, or we can choose to go our own way, which will ultimately end in bondage to Satan. God experiences emotions; the Bible contains many references to God’s love, God’s anger, and God’s jealousy when His people stray after someone else
all of these things in their proper perspective. He wishes to change our hearts so His emotions can begin to flow through us. I was reading a quote the other night by Oswald Chambers. He said, “You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear; you have to obey it clear.” When things are confused, when you don’t know what to do, when you’re not hearing the voice of the Lord clearly, it is impossible from the level of our human thinking to reason our way out of it. The only way out, the only way to regain that intimate communication with God, the only way to regain that total peace and tranquility that comes from being in the will of God, is to begin to obey God. Take steps of obedience. This is the only way to be able to hear from God on a continual basis. If we are not willing to obey God in the small things, we will not hear Him on the big things. If we only consult Him every time there is a major decision , we’ll be one of those people wandering around not knowing what the will of the Lord is and saying, “I can’t hear the voice of God. I’m confused. I’m not sure if what I’m hearing is the still, small voice of God or not.” God has created each of us with a conscience so we can know if we are pleasing God or not. The more we obey God and respond to what we know is right, the more sensitive our conscience becomes. Now look at the next beatitude. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted. The Greek word for mourn, pénthos, is very important. It is the term that was used for mourning the dead . It can also mean a passionate grief that leads to action. Those who mourn are those who die to their own way and live to follow Christ , their master. This leads to some very hard choices. Worldly pursuits that used to provide fleeting pleasures must be renounced. Jesus tells us that No man can serve two masters. Those who truly surrender to God and submit to the authority of Christ will grieve at the status of the world around them. They will renounce ill-gotten gains, as well as the pursuit of worldly power, prestige, and pleasure even if it causes them great grief at the time. Those who renounce their own way and the ways of the world to take up their

God’s Plan for Spiritual Battle Victory Over Sin, the World, and the Devil Russell M. Stendal


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