TODAY’S DEVOTION (FRIDAY 11TH AUGUST 2023)
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-5:1 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 223RD DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS AND WONDERS.
Glory be to God in the Highest who has given us 223days already, in our year of signs and wonders. We believe the rest of the days of the year are guaranteed! Jesus indeed started the year the way He wanted it. It was a peaceful start; so, we are confident, He will finish it the way He started it.
This evening, we are having our weekend Word and Prayer service. It’s going to be a beautiful apostolic and prophetic session with our maker. We encourage all God’s Children who want to experience help from Him, to join us.
God has been gracious to us, giving us words in due season.
A lot is happening that only His mercies, faithfulness, and compassion have been seeing us through. The word of the LORD that has been coming to us daily on this platform, has been the anchor of the faith of some of us. To Him belong all the glory in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
Yesterday, two different people brought demands for so much money from me, and I marveled. They said they needed help. I said to myself, “do they think I am a bank?”
You see, people look at us and think we have all the money in this world, or we are very strong and comfortable. But they do not know that we do not, that we only have the God who owns everything in this world and that the comfort we seem to be enjoying, is actually the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and nothing else.
If the faithfulness of God sustains you, you will not even talk about your own challenges or trust in any man for help. People who actually trust God, and would not want to engage the arm of the flesh for anything are usually taken for very comfortable people.
It is my prayer that our faith remains strong in the LORD and that we all keep the fire burning, because the enemy is pressing hard on so many people who have decided to do the right thing.
BUT THE GRACE OF GOD IS SUFFICIENT. HE WILL KEEP SUPPLYING IT TO US EVEN AS WE KEEP THE FAITH.
The enemy hates us doing things right. He does not want anyone on earth to do things right. All he wants is people who will keep being hostile towards God; towards His laws and order.
That is why, when you decide not to be that person, he will begin to resist you and propel even systems to move against you. But if you worry or are anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplications, make your request known to the LORD, He will always supply the grace for you to keep moving on. That is why your personal prayer knee is important.
One major battle that God’s grace helps us to conquer is the battle within. So, in our devotional today, we will be looking at how to conquer the battles within. The battles within are sometimes what betray us to the enemy without. That is why we are going to be looking at them.
Now, let us begin from the basics. There are three basic needs that our carnal or physical nature usually crave for; it usually craves for food, sex, and comfort. I learnt that years ago. I learned that due to the intricacies of the carnal nature, it cannot be born again. It can only be controlled by the human spirit within that is born again.
In a salvation encounter it is our spirits that gets saved, not out bodies. That is why salvation encounter does not stop the constant craving of our bodies for its three basic needs to be satisfied!
When you read the Bible saying “Jesus was tempted in all points,” it included the points of the three basic needs of the body. Yet He was without sin. He came to live in the same body we are living in, basically to know how to help us, because until then, God never knew what it feels to live in the human body – the body of sin.
There is a law of redemption that states that, “to help those in captivity, you must know what it feels to be in captivity. And to know what it feels to be in captivity, you must sit with them in captivity.”
Over 2000 years ago, JESUS came to sit with us in the captivity of the body of sin so that He can be able to help us when we call upon him. I am happy that He came and now knows what I feel and what you feel. He now knows what it feels to be tempted, and is able to help us with sufficient grace.
TEMPTATION IS ACTUALLY THE BODY CRAVING FOR ITS THREE BASIC NEEDS
It is the body trying to move you to satisfy it with either food, sex, or comfort in such a way that it violates the law and order of God or runs contrary to your convictions and spiritual commitment to God as His child.
It is the body asking you to give it sexual satisfaction after you have made up your mind to stay pure by God’s side. It is the body asking you for excessive comfort without minding what that comfort will do to your relationship with God.
Like I said earlier, the body is not born again and can never be. It can only be brought into subjection, and tamed whenever it tries to destroy your Holiness or commitment to GOD by the born-again spirit within you. It is the born-again spirit within us that helps us to stop our carnal nature from influencing us to break our salvation vows.
Friend, the internal battles of the body are real and must be recognized and dealt with as our number one internal enemy! How we come out of the battle is what will determine our eternal destiny.
Paul was one of the Christians in the early Church, who fought and conquered these internal battles of the body. He did that successfully using the grace of God upon His life; the born- again strength of his human spirit. He used it to put the body under subjection so that after he had preached to others, he himself will not be a cast away!
You get more meaning of what he said if you read it in the amplified version of the Bible. He wrote to the Church at Corinth saying;
“Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 AMP
BEING REJECTED AS A COUNTERFEIT IS A GREAT TRAGEDY THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN TO ANY MAN OR PEOPLE OF GOD.
However, not coming out victorious in our internal battle with the carnal nature, can bring such a tragedy upon us. It can make scandals break out in our churches, families, and personal lives. Therefore, as Children of God, who are looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, we must fight and conquer the internal battles with our carnal nature.
We must make sure that the sin that live in us, does not drown us into perdition and destruction.
For example, when the body asks us for sex in violation to the law and order of GOD on sexual intercourse, we must apply what this great preacher of grace did; we must buffet it by not responding to it, handle it roughly by doing the opposite, discipline it by the hardship of Biblical fasting, and subdue it using the strength we get during the fast.
If we do not do that always, we will come under its power, giving it whatever it wants!
People who give their bodies whatever it wants, will always get what they never bargained for. They will end up with whatever the devil throws into their lives. Samson, for instance, gave his body what it wanted, and got what he never thought was possible. The Bible says;
“Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.” Judges 16:21 NKJV
He never thought it was possible for this to happen to him. But the things he satisfied his flesh with made it possible. Sometimes the flesh moves us to give it one moment of sexual satisfaction in total blindness; yes, total blindness to the terrible consequences that are waiting for us on the other side of our actions!
I am yet to see a Child of God giving his or her body whatever it wants who is not living in the prison yard of the enemy. I am yet to see a Child of God giving his or her flesh whatever it wants doing exploits for God. They only do exploits for themselves and the devil.
You will always end up in a spiritual prison, where Satan will be afflicting you at will, if you key into the foolishness of giving the body whoever it wants for sex, or whatever it wants for food, or comfort.
WE MUST LEARN HOW TO CONQUER THE INTERNAL BATTLES OF THE FLESH AND STAY AFLAME IN FAITH, PURITY, AND POWER!
Some of the keys lies in our devotional text! It says
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
THE FIRST KEY HERE IS, THE KEY OF RECOGNIZING THAT IT IS NOT A SIN TO BE TEMPTED. IT IS ONLY A SIN TO GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION. It is human to be tempted, but divine to overcome the temptation. That is why the divine nature within us helps us to overcome temptation.
This will free you from unnecessary pressure, and give you the focus, boldness, and clarity, to deal with the carnal passions that are responsible for our fall into temptations. Jesus Himself was tempted in all points yet without sin. So, if you are being tempted in all points, it is not a sin. You won’t go to hell because of that. It is only a sign that sin is at your door and that you should rule over it!
In other words, it is not a sin for the body to demand for sex with anyone it sees. It is a sign – a sign that sin lives in you, and that it is at the door. A sign that the flesh needs to be crucified. It is also a call to battle, so do not give in to it. But in order not to give in to it, you must do what Paul admonished that we do, in 1 Corinthians 9:27.
THE SECOND KEY LIES IN YOU AND I TAKING OUR MINDS OFF THE DIRECTION THAT THE BODY IS ATTEMPTING TO TAKE US TO. This is where the soul is brought under subjection – our emotions, imaginations, memories, intelligence, and will are at this point made to synchronize with the word and will of the LORD! David said,
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalms 19:14 NKJV
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word. With my whole heart I have sought you; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:9-11 NKJV
When the word enters our hearts and finds a resting place in it, it infuses us with the internal energy we need to tame the flesh and subdue it as admonished by Apostle Paul.
THE THIRD KEY IS THE KEY OF NOT TREATING SIN LIGHTLY. Most people have lost the revelation of how God sees sin. They have fallen into the trap of treating damnable things kindly and taking them as nothing. That was how Sodom and Gomorrah took homosexual acts as nothing, and paid dearly for it. The same God has not died. He is still very much with us!
We can go on and on, but I trust that the spirit of the living God has spoken to us.
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY!
“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.” Galatians 5:16-18 AMP