Faith (2): I fought with beasts in Ephesus 

Anthony Joshua (via AnthonyJoshua.com)

On April 29, Anthony Joshua of the UK fought the fight of his life against the veteran Wladimir Klitschko of Russia. 
But he did not just wake up one morning and thought  that was a good idea, it was a preparation of a lifetime with years of conditioning, training rigour. He did not live as he wanted, he lived a regimented life aiming for the heights.

He was at the top of his form and he fought the “good fight.”

He got knocked down on that day but got up again and outlasted his opponent.

Via skysports

We have an opponent, the devil 😈 and he could “knock us down” sometimes but we get up (the Bible calls him the adversary). 
I am not saying Wladimir is the devil but it is fitting for my illustration of the fight of faith. In the fight of faith there are different rounds.

Wladimir had been fighting and held sway as the head of the heavy weight boxing pack for a decade. He had a reputation as Dr Sledgehammer. The devil also has a reputation. Dr Sledgehammer wanted to win. So is the devil. He has the reputation for winning and has been operating for many years. 

Paul said I have fought the good fight. It’s not a fight if it is just a simulation. It’s not a fight if the outcome was predetermined. 
The fight people saw at Wembley, England was not a drama, though there seems to be dramatic twists.

We are conditioned by faith. And the kind of self-conditioning that Anthony puts himself through is very intense.

Watch this video
[YouTube

This level of conditioning is not for the fun of it.

It was a big fight between Anthony and Wladimir. And I have said you don’t get there overnight, you are conditioned for the such both privately and publicly, as you build spiritual stamina, capacity, capability. 

Spiritual growth is deliberate and about conditioning to take out the big devils.

In our victory over the devil, we are riding on the victory of Jesus over him, but it is still a real fight that can go either way, hence the importance of not neglecting putting on the whole armour of God.

Paul told Timothy, fight the good fight of faith. He wrote, put on the whole armour of God: that is the conditioning. It includes helmet of salvation (be conditioned by your salvation), the breastplate of righteousness (conditioned in righteousness), the belt of truth (be conditioned by the life of truth),  foot shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (conditioned to serve God), shield of faith (conditioned by faith in God),  sword of the Spirit, the word of God (conditioned by the scriptures). Paul added that all these should be done praying with all spiritual prayers in the spirit. Prayer is key to your conditioning.

The fight of faith is the fight for what God has said.

Note that the fight between Anthony and Vladimir was not a street fight, it was a fight in the ring, it was a fight for glory, there was no personal animosity involved. It is not a fight about someone losing his life or not. It is all about glory. And the Bible uses the word- crown for that. 

Paul said: I have fought the good fight and there waits for a me a crown. The fight is not about losing your salvation, it is not a personal hell or heaven battle, it is to win laurels in heaven.

Using the fighting language, Paul said I put my body under. Those two fighters in the ring in Wembley had to put their bodies under, they have to ignore the aches as they went for glory.

The fight was before a sold out crowd of 90000. But our fight is before the multitudes of the host of heaven. 

And in a fight the onlookers take sides. For Anthony, who is of Nigerian decent, I would have rooted for him if I was in that stadium. 

So also in the spirit, some associate with you and give themselves high fives when you win,  they celebrate. 

But there maybe more watching far from that stadium than on it. Those at the stadium are like those in the visible realm and those afar, watching on screens, are like those in the unseen realm.  

The onlookers (seen and unseen) are divided into those who are rooting for you (though not directly involved in the fight) and those who want you to fail and will he happy if you do because your failure means the man they are rooting for wins. But wishes are not horses, it is your preparation that matters. But you will leave the ring after you have won knowing that you have made many people happy. 

The preparation happens all the time, the fight does not happen all the time, but when it does you must be ready. Jesus said watch and pray (conditioning) that when your fight time comes you are ready, that you will not fall into temptation.

Prayer has a direct relevance to faith. Jude said, build up yourself your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 

“Build up ” is the language of preparation. 

And Jesus in a parable about prayer said that if he comes, would he find faith on the earth?

I said before that the fight is not personal, it is about the word of God.  We fight for the word, the devil fights against it. 
It was the same thing in the garden of Eden, the same with Jesus as he was tempted in the wilderness.

According to scriptures, it is Jesus who has enlisted us as soldiers in his course; He is the Word of God.

Paul said that Timothy needs to not entangle himself with the affairs of this life so that he will please the one who enlisted him to be a soldier, so that his conditioning will not be compromised and his fight effectiveness reduced.

The big fight is reserved for the big ones. You qualify for the big fights. And it is not for personal glory, but God’s glory.

David qualified to fight Goliath by picking out the Lion and the Bear who came after his sheep while he was in the wilderness. 

Anthony qualified for the big fight because of where he was coming from, the fights he had won.

The two fighters have promoters who help them organise the fights. Our promoter is God and when he sees your level of conditioning he promotes you to fight at the higher fights for more glory.

God told Satan: have you seen my servant Job? He was promoting him for a fight. God is your promoter and you get to fight for more glory as you win lower fights. 
Every fight won is a territory (not geographical) taken for Christ’s sake. Luke wrote: so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. Again, I repeat, the fight is for the word of God.

Christ is the one who enlisted us. But even among the human soldiers there is a process of conditioning that everyone goes through. And the elite crop go through more intense and extensive conditioning and get sent on more specialised missions. 

For boxing, there are amateurs and professionals and the different body weight categories. 

You are called for big things in God, therefore your conditioning much match your assignment. You won’t go high in divine assignment if you dodge spiritual conditioning. And you must rise when you fall, no matter what. 

Many are called, few are chosen, means few are able to move on to higher level of conditioning needed for the higher calling, but drop by the way side (not heaven or hell issue, but spiritual glory). 

God chooses and he chooses those spiritually conditioned enough for the particular call. God does not want to have casualties on His hand because it’s a real fight. Therefore he cannot be sentimental about who to assign where.

I have set up Apostolic Training School with online version here

It is not a Bible school, it is strictly for spiritual conditioning so that more people in the body of Christ can be privately conditioned and therefore can be publicly released to take out big devils. 

Faith has been turned inwards, as a tool to get things but that is a gross underutilisation of faith. There is the good fight of faith which is ultimately bigger than that. 

Paul said,  “I fought with beasts in Ephesus.” There is more to that than meets the eyes.

He was referring to spiritual forces, because we did not see him engaging in fisticuffs while there. He said the weapon of his warfare are not carnal.

Again, I repeat, it was not a personal issue, the fight, it was God issue, bringing glory to God in his kingdom on this earth, and the crown, being the reward at the end of time, is God sharing that glory with us. There is nothing passive about a fight.

We can now understand why Paul insisted that Timothy should not entangle himself with the affairs of this world. 

The fight that Joshua led Israel into was a fight to establish the word of God over them that they have been given the land of Canaan. It was a tough fight, but the problem was that at the end of the day, not all the land was conquered because they were easily satisfied.

They did not pursue the end of what God wanted for them. There is the word of God over your life. Paul said that Timothy should “warfare” with the prophecies (spoken specific word) over his life.

About himself, Paul said: this one thing I do, forgetting what is behind I reach out for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

His fight of faith was for that, it is about to call of God, God’s plans and purposes for his life. It was not about a bread and butter, about cars and jets, which are all good,  but there is a bigger picture, there are the spiritual intangibles, territories for Christ, impact on lives.

Paul asked: What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus, if the dead are not raised?

He is focused on the glory in the afterlife. The fight of faith now is ultimately meant for glory in the hereafter, not to be able to do more than your mates by earthly parameters. 

…………………………………………….

I invite you to support me in continuing this blog and my free books project. Check here  to see how you can participate 

Advertisements

Faith (1): faith is acting on God’s word 

Faith is not a feeling, faith is not an idea, it is not an impression. Faith is action. 

While grace comes into reality based on understanding of the word of grace, dealing with the mind but faith is not just hearing God’s word, but acting on it. 
Jesus asked his disciples, where is your faith? He also said to Peter, oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?
Doubt is seen with Peter when he shifted his view (while walking on water) from Jesus and he began to sink. 
But he had walked on water by faith acting on the word of Jesus that he should come to him on water. 
It would have been presumptuous for him to have stepped into the water, just because he saw Jesus doing it. 
Many people are in presumption because they try to do something because someone else is doing it. They presume that because someone said it works for him that way, it would work for them also. Be careful what you copy. 
And when you start in faith you have to be committed to continuing in faith. You should not start in the spirit and want to end in the flesh as Paul told the Galatians. 
Peter started walking on water but he wanted to get smart along the way,  and looked at the boisterous wind,  at the storm on the sea and he started to sink. 
The walk of faith is the walk on the word. It starts with the word and continues with the word. It starts with divine instruction and continues with the same. 
Adam and Eve started by faith, acting based on the word of God. The choice of the fruit of which tree to eat was taken day by day. It was a daily walk of faith in which they ate of many of the trees in the garden and not the most prominent one, right in the middle of the garden. 
The forbidden one was the easiest to reach, the most prominent,  but they rejected it not because of personal preference but based on the word of God. That is faith. 

When you choose to work as the Bible says, working with your own hands, it is an act of faith,  doing what the word says. When you refuse to be engaged in sexual wrong, it is an act of faith. 
So when we say that without faith it is impossible to please God, people think it has to be something that makes no sense, something that has to do with making a lot of noise, but faith is simply acting on God’s word. 

The just shall live by faith is not the spectacular, it is the regular. 

But sometimes it is spectacular as Jesus said Peter should cast his net into the deep, after he had toiled all night with nothing to show for it. He did,  against his best judgement, and the result was nothing short of spectacular. 
Jesus praised people who have faith for healing . But you may ask,  what is the word of God in that?
The faith dimension is that Jesus is the word of God that makes things happen, that creates,  and the people spoke and acted recognising his divine authority. 

There can be no faith without the word of God. Jesus said the scriptures point to him. He is the word of God. 
During a storm and Jesus was in the boat, the disciples cried that Jesus,  who was sleeping, did not care that they are about to die. Did the word of God say they were about to die? If not, it means it is not faith. And Jesus asked them : where is your faith? He did not see it in their words or actions.
Faith does not exist in a vacuum, it is action on the word, not just word for miracles but about everything. When the word controls you, you are acting in faith. 
When the children of Israel did not want to move to the the land of Canaan,  they yielded to fear instead of to faith as God had told them that he will bring them into a new place. 
When Adam ate the forbidden fruit,  he yielded to peer pressure because the Bible said he was not deceived. He acted against his best judgement. Man therefore lost out on the life of faith. 
When God spoke to Noah and Abraham etc (and they acted on the word) it was to get them to act on His word (be in faith)  regardless of what was happening. 

Noah exhibited faith for 120 years,  acting based on the word of God that it will rain destructively on the earth, building the ark before the flood. 

We live by faith as we live based on the word of God, on the reality of God, who he is, his promises, his coming judgement, what he says we should do, his personal instruction, impressions in our hearts. 
Abraham had his name changed to father of many nations, and he agreed, despite having no child with his wife, Sarah. He agreed that his name be changed, because God said so. He stepped out to offer the son Isaac when God said so, that was far from a self generated idea. It is faith, acting on the word. 
So we are beginning to understand how and why faith pleases God. Faith recognises God as supreme. 
Jesus said if we say to the mountain, be removed and cast into the sea,  it will obey us. We say it because he said we should say it,  not because it is a good idea,  and that is faith. So there is faith in the seemingly big things and the small things, in the life of holiness, day to day obedience and also in miracles. 

Persistent Prayer is an expression of faith. 

Jesus taught this as he gave the parable of an importuned widow. It was not about the obviously spectacular but she acted based on the law to approach a judge. She went to him day in day out. That does not fit into the miracle grid that many have put faith (just the instantaneous and jaw dropping), but that is faith. 
When Eve ate the wrong fruit, she bought into a lie. She approached things from a demonically inspired wisdom, she came to an independent conclusion about the fruit and acted against against the word of God, contrary to faith. 
So fear is not really the opposite of faith, it is rebellion,  self-will as opposed to God’s will, regardless of the logic behind it. 
Because faith is not an emotion, the opposite can’t be an emotion. It can’t be fear. It is rebellion. 

It is understanding that that helps us to grasp how angry God was when the children of Israel did chose to reject the promised land. Though there was fear involved. 

However, fear was involved in Jesus going through to the cross but he still went their anyway in an act of faith in God.

………………………………….

I invite you to support me in continuing this blog and my free books  project. Check here  to see how you can participate 

Video promo

[YouTube

bit.ly/dropabadhabit

Did Jesus die for my past, present and future sins?

Did Jesus die for my past, present and future sins?
capital YES
But I still need to confess to receive forgiveness (1John 1:7-2:2)
If he did not die for all my sins, then every time I sin Jesus need to die again or God will have to pounce on me in judgment.
Confession is an act of faith to make what Jesus has done applied in my specific situation in the here and now. We neglect confession to our own peril. Forgiveness of sin though offered as a blank check still needed to be specifically cashed in the specific thing it is needed for. That works with the dynamics of our conscience, interaction with the Holy Spirit in the here and now. The sin is paid for, but it is forgiveness and cleansing is activated in the here and via confession. If we throw away confession, we shortchange ourselves. it is pomposity.

We were healed when Jesus was beaten, but the application is via our confession of it here and now.

in the Exodus story, the blood of the lamb needed to be APPLIED to the door post of the houses where the children of Israel lived for the blood to work for them. Hyssop is symbolic of the words of our mouth, that if we confess the Lord we are saved. We are not just saved just because the blood was shed, we are saved when we confess that fact. there is power in confession. When we confess our sins we recognise that that is enough, we are not paying for it, but we refuse to act as if nothing wrong has been done which is self-deceit.

Check the hyssop leave, it is shaped like the tongue.

Day 1: The word

I think you’d like this story: “21 days to drop a bad habit ” by null on Wattpad http://my.w.tt/UiNb/CCWEzUhXIC

‘How do I stop viewing pornography’

Q & A on my Facebook messenger. I am A.
Q: Please Sir, is there any relationship between lack of prayers and the power of sin/flesh? I notice that anytime I slack in the place of prayer, lusts of the flesh overwhelm me (particularly watching filthy images on the internet); I am not bothered about you or any Christian knowing about this because I need victory here. I don’t really care about anyone’s impression of me because it is God’s kingdom I seek. I have never physically been a fornicator ( not even as an unbeliever) but this hidden one is worse; and I’ve heard God tell me a few days ago “If you don’t put this to death, it will put you to death”

If you have to tell anyone whatsoever ( a Son of God) about this, please do. But I need your help on this

A: I believe you need to do two things, 1. remove righteousness from anything you do or don’t do. I tell you, you can fast for forty and fornicate immediately after. You can pray for ten hours and immediately go to the net to seek out pornography.
2. Use the tool of repentance, repentance is a legal experience. You confess and receive forgiveness but not just that but cleansing too. Cleansing removes the ability to do that sin you. Please read: 1John 1:7-2:2

Read also Proverbs 5-7. The reason is to experience grace via the word that speaks of sexual sin since the sexual act in the case of pornography takes place by proxy. Some read the Bible to increase guilt but it should be to contact grace to become what the mind of God wants us to become via that specific word.

For me, the only antidote to sin is the word, not prayer. The Psalmist said: your word have I hidden in my heart so I don’t sin against you. The word should be the spiritual software on which we run. It is not just information.

The issue of prayerlessness should be treated differently. Because it has an effect on everything else, not just sin. Jesus said watch and pray so we don’t fall into temptation. So watch. For example, when I am on Facebook and I see a pornographic picture, I don’t act as if I did not see it, I don’t try to ignore it. I make sure I either block that person or have it removed from my feed. I am not passive about, it’s not live and let’s live, I do something about it and Facebook gives some options. It seems little but it is Training in righteousness. I get angry when I inadvertently see pornography. But sometimes because I am a very curious person I may spend more than I millisecond there. But I refuse the devil put the guilt on me. I still do something about it (block the person or remove the item from my feed).

When you are watching film and sex scenes appear, fast forward it. That act, of not just staying there, will fill you with joy. If you are watching it with people, stand up from there, if you don’t want to disrespect them.

I also discover that with DStv, once you press a button to change the channel the list of channels covers the screen. Of course, don’t have any pornographic material around- delete, destroy. The bottom line is not to be passive but aggressive.

Romans 6 talks about not yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness. There is nothing passive about that, assert yourself.

Q: Thank you very much
A: You are welcome