Defeating The Enemy WithinJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 7:57
Defeating The Enemy Within
Defeating The Enemy Within
The heart is the seat of everything that I am. In it are my thoughts, my opinions, my pain, my joy, my emotions, my values, and everything that I am. When The Lord says that we need to trust Him with all of our heart, this is a huge task especially when we consider what the prophet Jeremiah says about our heart:
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
If Satan is the Father of all lies and my heart is deceitful above all things including Satan, what does this say about my heart? We have inherited a sinful nature. My nature is what comes natural to me. I am naturally sinful. If I am naturally sinful, the center of my sinfulness is in my heart, so I naturally have sinful thoughts, feelings, opinions, and values. There must be an understanding of who we are in our heart naturally before we can consider the command God has given us. It is only when we understand our nature do we understand the force required to turn our heart to total and complete trust in God. Too often, we think more of ourselves than we ought as the Scripture says in Romans 12:3. We give ourselves too much credit in the area of trust. We think we are doing just fine, but our trust level is nowhere near where we think it is.
After we become Christians, God credits us with righteousness. The keyword is ‘credit.’ Credit is what you use when you don’t really have the money. We are able to buy the shirt on credit, so the store lets us have it even though we have not paid for it. We are credited with having the money even though we don’t. God credits us with righteousness, but we don’t really have it. The credit of righteousness given to us by The Lord changes our eternity. But to change the present state of our life, we must actually begin to develop righteousness. While we are deep in our sin, God credits us with being righteous. But the whole point of credit is that it is to be paid back. When the Lord credits us with righteousness, there is a call from Him to begin to live in the righteousness we have been credited with. He calls us to a lifestyle of holiness where our lifestyle begins to be more and more righteous by the power of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to the Holy Spirit. There is a great chasm between the level of trust to attain salvation in eternity and the level of trust needed to enjoy straight paths right now, today.
Hopefully, when I understand how little I trust God in my inner-core, it provokes me to allow God to radically change me and make me new. The plans that God has for us are exceedingly wonderful, but when we get to Heaven, I suspect that most of us will not have experienced everything that God wanted to give to us during our life here. We simply don’t trust enough. Moses trusted God. This was obvious, but he did not trust God enough. Perhaps, you would say today that you trust God. But for any of us to trust The Lord with all of our heart is a magnificent task. It is to fight our natural thoughts, opinions, reactions, and ideas and to force ourselves to think, feel, believe, and act as if God is truly God. In the end, I think that Moses disagreed with letting the people have water without consequence. He was fed up with their griping and complaining. He felt that they needed to be chastised. He felt that they needed to be punished. The only problem was that it was not his place to rule over them any way he wanted. He was to trust the Lord’s direction and obey in all circumstances. He should have trusted God’s wisdom. God wanted to show the people kindness but Moses did not trust that this was a good way to handle it so he did it the way he thought was best.
Oh my goodness, even as I write these words, I am reminded of all of the places in my life, past and present, where I have not trusted God enough. I haven’t trusted His way, His wisdom, His power, His love, His compassion. At times, my distrust has been daily, even hourly. I am a preacher! I have dedicated my whole life to following The Lord and yet at times, I still do not trust Him enough. My only goal in this portion of the book is to reveal how little we really trust Him. I think that most believers have fallen into this trap of equating faith for salvation and trust with all of our heart. But these two things are not the same. Salvation requires one level of faith and to experience God’s best, there must be a much higher level of trust. It is total and complete trust. The more we move this direction, the straighter our path becomes to His blessings for our life.
Here is the Good News. God would not ask this of us if it were not possible. He would never command us to do something that He would not give us the power to accomplish. It is quite possible to love God with all of our hearts. It is quite possible to trust The Lord with all of our heart. Before you close the book thinking I am just some kind of crazy, let me encourage you to not limit the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you. Jesus, while on Earth, resisted every temptation to remain sinless, and His source of power to be able to do this was the same Holy Spirit that also lives in you right now. You can increase your trust level. It is possible. And the straight path that God desires for you is so much closer than you think. You will not get there all at once and with every inch of increase, you will have to fight your own flesh with fervency, but each increase will bring a new level of blessing. Do not give up. Press on!