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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trading Your Sorrow for Joy

Colossians 3: 1 - 11, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. NKJV

According to scripture, Satan is his most effective when he is coming against the minds of believers. The reason for this is very simple. Our minds aren't based on truth; they are carnal and are not submitted to God's Word. Therefore, Satan can use our lack of knowledge of the truth to try and convince us of things that are based on his lies, and we will believe them, if we don't know who we are in Christ.

Since our unregenerate or carnal mind isn't submitted to truth, nor can it be, Satan will use situations of all types in an attempt to get us to react to his lies about us. If he can get us "to move" out of our position of authority because of something that he originated, then he knows that we don't have the knowledge of the truth in that area of our life and will proceed to use that ignorance or weakness to hurt us.

 Satan embodied the serpent and was successful in his plan to deceive Eve because she was devoid of the truth concerning God and her identity in Him. Satan simply convinced Eve (though it was a lie) that she didn't have the things she desired when she obeyed God's will. He told her that she wouldn't die if she partook of the forbidden fruit, but rather she would be like God.

If everything that we are and have is wrapped up in Christ, then why would we desire to look to the world? This principle is very important, and all Christians need to be aware of the consequences of violating it. When we look to the Lord to be the source of all that we desire and all we do, He will keep us protected from the devouring spirit that operates through the deceitful lusts of the world. In Christ, we are kept, and in Him, we are complete. However, if we look to the world, it will show us what we lack and will try to provide that need for us. Nevertheless, it will cost us our liberty in Christ. 

We must not look to the world to show us what we are in need of or lack as a child of God. Consequently, by doing so, we open ourselves up to be pierced through with many sorrows just as Adam and Eve were after the fall. The old flesh nature has to die in us, who have accepted Christ as our Savior and our only Source. When we die to the carnal (or flesh nature) that makes us view ourselves as incomplete, even though we're in Christ, we won't feel the need to look outside of Christ for our needs or desires to be met.

The world loves to tell us that we are incomplete, so that we will act in our own strength and attempt to fill that void which was created by the world. You can see that this will lead to a vicious cycle; we will never be fulfilled. It is for this very reason that we're told throughout the New Testament to put to death the deeds of our flesh and live to God. Keep your eyes and your desires focused on Christ and live a healthy, fulfilled, and blessed life filled peace and contentment. As we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. When God gives us a desire, it also means that it was given without any strings attached. 

There is a void in every person on earth. This void is the need to live in liberty. As long as we try to fill that void through carnal thinking, by viewing what the world has and basing our need on its values, we will live in bondage as believers. However, if we will die to the need to look outside of Christ to find freedom and liberty through people or "stuff," then we can have and maintain a life of fulfillment and peace. 

Rich in the Blessings of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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