Can’t touch it, see it, taste it, hear it, or smell it? It must be the Holy Spirit!
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
The struggle between good and evil exists right now as it has throughout the ages. A glimpse of the evening news makes it clear that the adversary is trying to lure souls over to his side every day; a child murdered by a teacher she trusted, investors’ life savings stolen by the CEO of the banking company whereto they placed their retirement money for safe keeping, addiction to pornography, addiction to drugs, robbery, rape, and road rage all make an appearance and usually before the first commercial break rolls-around.
The adversary is hard at work, under the radar, and secretly – silently – working to regain his hold on humanity. Make no mistake about it! His is a nasty business steeped in man’s collective dependence upon the five senses. These senses of sight, touch, taste, sound, and smell are constantly bombarded by the message of want, often disguised as desperate need – inadequacy, shame, and failure if you don’t have the latest gadgets and gizmos, or you don’t think you look as beautiful as the model on the television commercial, or your house is smaller than the next, or your car is not the latest model. The senses are assaulted by the works of man disguising motives of greed, envy, lust.
This war between good and evil has been depicted on the film screen as it has been in song lyrics and the pages of magazines. A stroll through the local book store reveals startling truths about where civilization is headed and it isn’t very promising. But these messages are not restricted to advertisements and self-help literature alone.
Long before anyone reaches the marketplace, where the dirty low-down of sensory stimulation strives to unimaginable heights, grade school teaches the works of man rather than the Living Word of God. Students are groomed to only trust in that which the five senses can perceive – what can be seen, felt, tasted, touched, and heard. Educators cultivate minds with works of man and place the trust of the newly aware and keenly impressionable directly into the realm of these five senses. They learn to trust alone in the sensory world.
“I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:5
One of the greatest debates between intellectuals and the Living Word revolves around the origins of man. That battle, at least for now, is being won at street level by science. Author E. W. Kenyon writes this about Darwin’s theory of Evolution: “Darwin had nothing but theories and guesses when it came to the question of creation. As long as he could see or handle things, he was working on quite sure ground. But when he was asked the reason for creation, the reason for man, the source of life and gravitation, he had but a guess.”
Science deals solely in theories and guesses. The Living Word of God has no speculation or theory – it revolves around fact. It defines things that cannot be proven scientifically, such as truth, peace, love, faith, and righteousness. There is clear direction and definition against the forces undermining God’s will on Earth – what must be done to fight the adversary. Clearly it is works of man – the embrace of scientific or sensory wisdom – that is the enemy. God’s Living Word says this:
“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil… Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness… For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News… Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Knowledge given of the senses is incomplete. It cannot answer the really tough questions. Science is incapable of defining the spiritual realm, which is where faith and the source of life exist. Man’s theories can no more explain the “origins of man” than they can tell with any degree of certainty whatsoever that life (other than on Earth) exists anywhere in the universe. Immediately science guesses and speculates; science can calculate probability and not one thing more. To borrow a sentiment from Kenyon, probability and hope are “empty clouds”. The real answers that humanity is searching for can be found only in the Living Word.
How Does the Adversary Temp You?
“So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord... We live by believing and not by seeing.”
2 Corinthians 5:6, 7
The adversary is a clever one. His stealth actions push souls to the limits of evil. He rounds them up one-by-one and can cause great damage if allowed to work, if feared, if gone unrecognized by those he is trying to deceive. But his work is not necessarily played-out in the drama of television news. In fact, quite the opposite is true. He is slick and has vast tools to do his bidding for him without anyone knowing it. He wants to be hidden.
Drugs, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, pornography, money, food, possessions, are all his tools. It’s no coincidence that they are all stimulators of one or more of the five senses.
To refuse the Living Word for lack of “proof” or to be swindled by false prophets that call for rejection of the Word due to lack of proof are also his tools; they depend upon sensory evaluation of the Word.
As stated earlier, the Living Word exists in the spiritual realm. This is uncharted water for the scientific-minded; they will explain it all away with theory and allow the adversary to do his work unchecked.
Remember, Christians have a purpose and that is to pick up where Jesus Christ left off. The mission then is to live like Him that died for all salvation. The One who defeated sin rose again in victory over evil. Hear that again: He defeated sin and rose again to rule all of Heaven, Earth, and hell. What strength it gives to know that we are victors over all of these things already – all we have to do is believe.
We have that power over evil now because of what Christ did for us. We can overpower temptation. The Holy Spirit lives with us, in us, and through us. Take that, you devil!
“…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better… He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”
The other day I ran into a friend of mine who happens to be homeless, a recovering drug addict, and an ex-con – now a born again Christian. He’s a street corner guitarist who plays spiritual music for passers-by and sleeps in one of the local shelters when he can find a space. That day, said he, his tiredness was because he had found no space the night before and slept out on the street.
He had on clean clothes and had had a shower, although I don’t know where he did that. He was getting ready for a job interview at a tattoo parlor and was visibly exited about it.
We got to talking about God, as I was reading my Bible when he approached me.
He told me that just a few nights earlier he had similar sleeping arrangements as on this day. When he awoke in the morning and started walking towards downtown, he stepped on a small bag of white powder just lying on the sidewalk. No one was around to see it.
Picking up the bag, he thought it was cocaine and sure enough, he was right. After rejecting the option of turning it in to police (with his criminal record that would have been ill-advised) a decision was made to dig a hole and bury the substance in the ground.
The words he then spoke resonated with me, “I held up the bag of dope and said ‘devil get off me’ and then I buried it and said out loud, ‘Praise God!’”
Praise God Indeed!
Each and every soul who believes in the Living Word has the same power Troy had on that day. The power to say, “Devil get off me!” when confronted by the slick presentation of the adversary. Jesus Christ lived, died, defeated sin, and rose again so that all who believe will pick up where He left off. A certain victory over sin belongs to us; we own it.
Reject knowledge of the senses and embrace the Living Word. This wisdom of the Word gives you the same power that Jesus had over His enemies; the Holy Spirit puts you in control.
Let Him live with you, in you, and work through you. You are continuing where He left off – slow to judge, slow to anger, quick to love, and quick to help. Be the Master over everything the adversary puts in front of you.
Learn to trust in the Power of God!
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
In His Presence; E. W. Kenyon, 2003 Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, Inc.
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