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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking the Stronghold Of Isolation

John 8 : 29 - 30, And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. NKJV

When God created us, He said that it wasn't good for us to be alone. Although the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in the image and likeness of God, they were not created "self-sufficient." Had God created us as self-sufficient beings, there would not have been any need for man to have a companion. Nor would there have been any need for God to show them what to eat while in the garden. Furthermore, if God had created us as self-sufficient beings, we would not have needed Him. However, this is exactly the lie that Satan perpetrated upon Eve's ignorance about God and about herself. 

Satan convinced Eve that she didn't need God to become "like God" or become "self-sufficient." When he swayed her with his lies about God, it caused her to reject the commands of God and to partake of the forbidden fruit. What was the result of listening to the lies of the serpent? They became alienated from the life of God. Now let's review this for a moment. God created man with certain needs, and one of them is companionship with others. Knowing this, Satan followed God's original plan with his own agenda to separate us from the SOURCE of life, God, and ultimately from one another. God's goal is for us to be one with Him and each other, but Satan's goal is to isolate us. Satan first separated us from God through sin... preventing us from becoming one with each other. As a result of the fall of man, we lost God- consciousness. This simply means our conscience has been defiled with sin, and we are now sin-conscious. 

We see this sin-consciousness in the Garden of Eden shortly after they had partaken of the tree of knowledge. God came to Adam, but he and Eve hid themselves in the midst of the trees because they were afraid, and they were naked (self-conscious). Before the fall of man, Adam was neither frightened, nor was he ashamed. Therefore, we can conclude that as a result of sin (resulting in sin-conscience), we are separated from God through guilt, shame, and fear.

Now that we have been redeemed from sin and from the curse of the law as believers in Christ, how do we break the stronghold of isolation? You might tend to think that the stronghold over us would have been broken off of our lives at the point of salvation, and you would be correct (to a degree). In Christ and through His shed blood, the curse of sin has forever been broken off of our hearts and lives. Our spirit man has been regenerated, but our minds still need to be renewed. This is why Paul teaches us in Romans 12 that we must have our minds renewed so that we're not conformed to this world. It is through the renewing of our minds that we become transformed. This process doesn't happen overnight or with a one-time encounter with God. Remember, the JUST shall live by FAITH. We're not only saved by faith, but we're renewed daily by faith through the life of God dwelling within us.
As Jesus was preaching to the Jews in our opening verses, He told them that He was not alone. Isn't it something that Jesus was preaching on "spiritual isolation?" If He thought it important enough to mention to the chosen people of God, shouldn't we also take notice? As Jesus preached about the Father being with Him, He qualified (or gave the reason) why the Father had always been with Him, and He attributed it to unfailingly doing those things which pleased the Father. Now, remember that Adam didn't please the Father and became isolated from the life of God. The Last Adam, Jesus, obeyed the Father, and He knew or was cognoscente that God was always with Him.

In the following verses, Jesus is sharing to those who believed on Him that day. He made a very powerful and important statement to the Jews. He said, "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed." This tells us that we're not complete at the moment of salvation... although we ARE made complete in Christ. Salvation is the "beginning" of the restoration process of bringing us to a completed state in Christ. After Jesus told them to continue in His Word, He went on to say that they would come to know the truth, and the truth that they knew or experienced would make them free. If you truly want to break the stronghold of a guilty conscience and the feeling of being isolated from God, then you must live your new life in and through the Word of God. As believers learn and live the Word of God daily, it empowers us to break free from the stronghold of isolation and purges our guilty conscience. As the stronghold is broken, you will regain a God-consciousness. This is a very important principle for Christians to know and understand. 

Why did Satan want man to become separated from God in our minds? He knew that we would become weak and vulnerable to his vicious lies and attacks against us if we walked around with a guilty conscience or unworthy attitude concerning God's goodness. Furthermore, Satan wanted to disrupt and uproot us from inheriting the promises that God had spoken over man in Genesis 1. God had given us dominion over the earth so that we would cause it to become fruitful and bring an increase. God wanted us to REPLENISH the earth, but Satan wanted it to be destroyed. This is the reason he attacked Eve's faith in the garden. Satan didn't want mankind to have spiritual authority over him. He used the power of sin (creating fear in us) to make us feel unaccepted and unworthy of walking with God. 

Today, if you feel as though God has abandoned you because of circumstances that have occurred, then know that it is the stronghold of isolation. Satan uses this weakness of feeling separated in our minds to try and prevent us from stepping out in faith and challenging our feelings. One thing you and I as believers have that Adam and Eve didn't have is "Christ in us the hope of glory." This is the only sign that we need to overcome any stronghold that sin has placed on our minds from our past life. Today, submit this stronghold on your mind to the Lord and ask Him to guide you out of this pit of isolation. Once you pray the prayer of faith, you will begin to think differently. See yourself with God as the victor and not the victim. Finally, stay in the Word, in the fellowship of believers, live your new life according to the principles of God's Word, and in the liberating power of the Holy Spirit. "Whom the Son has set free, they are free indeed."

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa

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