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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sensitivity and Submission

John 10: 10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJV

Jesus' statement in the above verse is very interesting. On one hand, you have Satan, who comes into your life trying to destroy it and take it from you. On the other hand, you have Jesus, who has come that you might have, keep, and enjoy your life... all in the same verse. In Matthew 10, Jesus tells us how we can keep our life, and how we can lose it. If we lose our life for His name's sake, we shall find it, but if we seek to keep our life (on our terms), then we will lose it. When Jesus tells us that Satan does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy, it is with the understanding that Satan must have your cooperation to do so.

 Therefore, we must be wise when it comes to understanding and resisting the Devil's devices. Jesus spoke about Himself and Satan in the same verse to show us that a particular situation can be won or lost depending on how we respond to it. God doesn't want you to lose the life that Jesus died in order for you to have and enjoy, but He also won't override your will should you choose to live this new life according to the pleasures of the flesh. We are the ones who will determine whether Jesus succeeds in blessing us or if Satan succeeds in cursing us.

Let's look at this principle through some practical situations. Have you ever had the feeling that you needed to stop what you were doing to go pray? Have you ever been living life, and suddenly you had a spiritual burden placed on your heart? Have you ever had a sense in your heart that you weren't supposed to do something at a particular moment, but you followed through with it anyway only to discover that it was disastrous? These are just three scenarios that I personally know and have experienced from the Lord that depict how God works in our lives trying to help us prevent the success of a spiritual attack... but we must be sensitive to the Spirit in order to abort Satan's plans.

If for the sake of convenience we choose to ignore the tugging of the Lord on our heart and decide to charge full steam ahead, then we have just played into the hands of Satan. When we harden our hearts to the direction of God to humble ourselves and seek Him for a direction, we open the door for Satan to enter the picture unrestrained. 

The Lord gave me this word for you today out of the passage in Matthew 26. This is where Jesus enters the Garden of Gethsemane because His heart is feeling sorrowful. He went there because of what He was feeling in order to get prayed through. Notice that the disciples didn't feel the sorrow. Peter, James, and John who were closer to Him than any of the others didn't feel the sorrow of heart as Jesus did either. Prayer will make us sensitive to the feelings of the Holy Spirit. He will warn us when He foresees a danger on the horizon. Nevertheless, if we neglect this type of prayer for sensitivity, then we won't be able to discern danger when it is near.

Since the disciples didn't feel the sorrow of heart, it was difficult for them to pray with Jesus for an hour. In spite of the hardness of the disciples' hearts, Jesus went on a little further from them and obeyed the leading of the Father to pray. As He prayed under the pressure of great sorrow, He submitted His will to accomplish the Father's will. After praying this prayer three times, He returned to the disciples only to find them asleep. They were walking and living in the power of their flesh and were detached from the sensitivity of the Spirit. Their spirits were willing, but their flesh won out over the will of God for them. Consequently, they all entered temptation because they weren't willing to subject their will to the will of Jesus and pray for God's power to overcome their hour of temptation.

We can see through this story how Jesus submitted His will to what the Father was telling Him to do at that moment. Therefore, the Father empowered Jesus to prevail. We can also see what happens to us when we choose to ignore the leading of the Lord for the sake of our flesh (as the disciples did), and we succumb to the temptations of the Devil. As the Holy Spirit troubles your spirit or deals with your heart, submit your will and drop what is important to you at that moment and pray the Father's will for your life. If you will obey, then He will be released through your submission to empower you to overcome the plans of Satan. Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit through the feelings, burdens, and checks that He places on your heart as you set out to live your life in this fallen world. It will make the difference.

Humbling My Heart in His Presence,
Pastor Asa

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