Tag Archive | understanding

Understanding Victory

 

By James Holland, Sr.

In the pursuit of life, there are millions of challenges that one will face. It really is immaterial where on the planet you may live; you will face challenges. While the location and environment one is in may have a great deal to do with the level and frequency of those challenges, the fact remains that we all will deal with them. It’s called life, and life is about choices. “There bath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to hear it” (I Corinthians 10: 1 3).

Therefore, it is in our best interests to learn early how to make right choices. It is not a given that people will always simply make the right choices. Even in the Christian life, Christians do not always make the right choices.

We struggle so many times with these choices of life, and when we make a wrong choice it seems very hard for us to rise above that point in our life and go on. Unfortunately for some, it is easier to live in defeat, deception, and fear than it is to overcome. Many have come to believe that life is easy and, especially if I am a believer, things should just automatically be good.

Yet we see a totally different viewpoint of the Christian in the pages of God’s Word. It is referred to as a race. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

This passage makes clear that we are engaged in a journey that has a destination. When you enter a race, several points of interest come to bear. First, one purposely enters a race. It’s not like the runner is on the track, looking around and wondering, “How did I get here? What am I going to do now that I am here?”

Secondly, if you are aware that you are in a race, then preparation must be made so you can run the race to the very best of your ability. You will need some training.

The third point that we realize is that the objective to entering the race is not just to show up or not just to run but also to run to win. Now, the good news is that everyone who enters the race of life as a believer can win.

Our spiritual journey is also described in the Scriptures as a war. That is, there will be opposition hi our efforts to live victoriously for God in this present world. Yet we see in Scripture that God has supplied not only the battle attire we should wear but also the weapons needed to engage in the battle so that when they are used correctly, we will secure our victory (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Then our relationship with God is referred to as a “walk” in Scripture. I would remind you that each of these examples and for that matter every example in Scripture that makes reference to the
Christian life involves action on the part of the believer. Then, of course, God does His part as well. Notice some of the references to our walk:

“So we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, NKJV).

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).

“That you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:12, NKJV).

“Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God” (I Thessalonians 4:1, NKJV).

These are but a very few of the references in Scripture that refer to our experience with God. Once we begin to understand what victory is and follow the instructions that God has given to us, God partners with us to help us accomplish His goal for our lives, that being a life of victory.

Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming “Wow, what a ride!”

While the Scripture is very clear that as believers we are “chosen for victory,” it is also clear that for this to be accomplished we must understand the rules and the reality of what real victory is.

I am reminded of a song that was popular in the 1960s. The artist was Bob Lind. The title of the song was “Elusive Butterfly of Love.” Of course, the point of the song was that even though you may want to be in love with someone, you will never quite catch the love you are looking for. Here are some of the lyrics:

You might wake up some mornin’ to the sound of something moving past your window in the wind. And if you’re quick enough to rise, you’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow out on the new horizon. You may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings, you might hear footsteps running through an open meadow.

Now, here is where it really gets good:

Don’t be concerned; it will not harm you. It’s only me pursuing somethin’ I’m not sure of! Across my dreams with nets of wonder, I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love.

This song has many parallels to the mind-set of many believers today when it comes to their victory. To many believers, victory is always just in front of them. They are ever pursuing a new horizon, a new open meadow seemingly in which to find this victory! They are never content anywhere or with anything for a long period of time. Is this victory? I think not!

When we are born again, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit not only to begin a life of victory but to aggressively war against Satan’s aggression on the souls of mankind. Christians who are not living the life of victory are singing Satan’s favorite song, don’t be concerned; I will not harm you!

It stands to reason that if Satan’s objective, according to Scripture, is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), we must realize that he is our enemy and that our objective is to overcome his strategies through a life of victory. Satan is radical in his desire to derail the will of God for our lives. If you and I simply choose to try to coexist with him, not to harm him, then be sure we will suffer great defeat.

Pursuing Something I’m Not Sure Of

How can you live in victory if you are not sure what victory is? Good question, so let’s see if we can answer it.

First, let’s talk about what victory isn’t.

Victory isn’t just an emotional feeling. Victory isn’t just a positive attitude.
Victory isn’t just something that I can only enjoy while in a church service.
Victory is not getting everything I want or having every situation to work out exactly as I desire! OUCH!

All of these mind-sets spell discouragement, defeat, and hopelessness in the end. It is amazing, but many within the kingdom of God really have no true biblically based understanding of what real victory is. To many, victory is something that is short lived and something that is always just ahead.

Are you chasing something? I can assure you, you cannot identify what you are chasing, you will neither catch it nor enjoy it. Break away from the ranks of the totally bored and disillusioned who are spending their spiritual lives chasing victory yet have never taken the time necessary to understand what victory is from God’s perspective. Don’t spend another day one step behind your destiny of victory in life. Step into it today.

What is biblical victory? The biblical concept of victory has to do with something that is already done. You see, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ secured and set in motion our victory.

Look at Some Specifics of Christ’s Victory

How then did Christ defeat Satan?

His death satisfied our debt of sin owed to God. Since the penalty of sin was not life but death, Christ had to die and, in so doing, paid the price of sin for us. Colossians 2:13 says, “Having forgiven… all trespasses.” How many of your sins were future when Christ died over two thousand years ago? Obviously, all of them since not one of us had yet been born. God anticipated our sins and included them in Christ’s death. Christ not only died for the sins of those in His day, but, thank God, He died for the sins of all who would ever be born regardless of which generation it might include.

Christ silenced Satan. In biblical times, if a placard of the man’s crime were put on his prison cell, it was returned to him when he had served his punishment. When he was allowed to take it home, it was no longer an indictment but a trophy! Across it was written, “PAID IN FULL.”

If a neighbor asked him whether he was legally free, he could show him the document. The debt of justice had been served. There was nothing left to pay. Significantly, Christ’s last words from the cross were “It is finished” (John 19:30). Our debt was paid in full.

Satan’s mouth was shut. His whimpering accusations stopped. The judge of the earth had declared us righteous! Can the failed god contradict the Lord of heaven and earth? In order to free man, Christ had to win a victory over the accuser of men. He who had tried to keep men and women in bondage had to be exposed, his power broken, his prisoners set free. When Satan accuses us who have been Indy born again, we must show him our cancelled certificate and shout, “Paid in full! Be gone!” It is written, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s (leo?” (Romans 8:33, NKJV). God is the one who justifies. Satan is the accuser. Never forget that through Christ our victory has already been secured and paid.

Just a note for those who do not accept Christ’s salvation that is available to all men. If we do not accept what Christ has done through not only be but obeying as well, then Satan’s original indictments stand against us. But for those who believe and are walking in fellowship with Christ, we have been released from Satan’s kingdom and have been born into the kingdom of God.

Christ proved He had the power of life. Satan can only kill; he cannot make alive. In order for God to prove His complete superiority, it was necessary for Him to come to this earth and to pay the price for fallen man. This is what separates the life of Christ from all other would-be messiahs who had shown up before His arrival as well as all who have come since His resurrection. Because Jesus was the mighty God robed in flesh and was, still is, and always will be the only Savior of mankind, through His death, burial, and resurrection He proved once and for all without dispute that He was Lord and King! Death, which is itself the consequence of sin, was fearful, but Christ conquered it for us.

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15, NIV). While Satan does, however, hold the tyranny of death over our heads, as believers we are not held in the bondage of its fear any longer, and in the case of the unconverted, death slams the door of opportunity to accept what Christ has done for all.

Christ came to deliver us from the fear of life and the fear of death. His resurrection proved that He was stronger than the grave. And when He ascended into heaven, He opened its gates for all who would believe on Him.

Victory Is a Spiritual Position

Victory is a spiritual position, or maybe a better word would be relationship with God. It really has nothing to do with what I feel. In fact, we can ‘lever run after victory so that we have it! Our victory has already been secured; we must, of course, access this victory through our obedience to God’s Word. Victory is our spiritual base from which we operate. Hie big question I want us to honestly ask ourselves is “Am I walking in the victory that God has already given?”

God honors His Word when it is released in our lives. He does not necessarily honor our feelings or our emotions; this is why we must have a constant diet of the Word.

Don’t waste your spiritual life, as the song says, chasing something that is elusive and that you are not sure of. Understand and know what true victory is. It’s not just a quick fix for a problem. It is a lifestyle we have been called to and chosen by God to enjoy.

Potential Victories That Are Left Behind

Another line in Mr. Lind’s song is “through the long-abandoned ruins of the dreams you left behind.” God definitely does not want us to be a part of any spiritually abandoned ruins that are merely relics of what could have been.

Jesus did not come to this earth to pay the tremendous price for the sin of men as He did just to have some religious museums dotting the planet. Neither did He ever promote or promise that we as born-again believers would simply be statues of some level of victory that possibly could have come to our lives. No sir! The very essence of salvation is dripping with the anointing of deliverance. Not just in certain areas of our lives, but in every area of our lives. We have been chosen for victory. It’s time to declare the promises of God’s Word and allow the light of His Spirit to shine understanding into our lives.

Stop chasing the elusive spiritual levels or experiences that your carnal mind with the assistance of Satan has conjured up! Get your dreams aligned with God’s Word, and position yourself to access the victory that is already available for you.

Many believers’ thinking processes are so influenced by their carnality and Satan himself that it is no wonder they are not enjoying any level of victory. Satan desires to work behind the scenes. That is, he will suggest certain ideas for our minds to consider. If we dwell upon them long enough, they be- come integrated with our thinking. Before we realize, we are believing these suggestions and actually ink they are our thoughts while the real culprit behind the thought is Satan himself.

To understand victory, you have to see victory from a scriptural perspective. You have to see the whole picture, not just fragmented pieces of it.

A short history lesson is in order. If you remember high school, then you will remember that you had to study many different leaders— good and bad who rose to power over time. One of the most prominent ones was Alexander the Great, known as Alexander, King of Macedonia. As a military commander, he defeated forces that dwarfed his own. As a statesman, he brought entire nations to his side. And as an icon, he would become known the world over as simply “Alexander the Great.”

What made him victorious as a military leader? I’m glad you asked. While there are several reasons that immediately come to the forefront, allow me to share a couple of them with you. First, he understood what victory really was. Victory is not necessarily winning each battle, because setbacks and delays come to us all. Victory is continuing to press on until you have accomplished what you know to be the purpose of God in your life. Victory is a lifestyle, not just an emotional high. Alexander the Great always knew his army’s strengths and was never afraid to use them. He also recognized his army’s weaknesses and avoided them. He also always studied his enemy until he could find their weakness and then attack them there.

Now, this is exactly the pattern that Satan uses against people. He attacks at the weakest point. However, living in victory will help us actually to know Satan’s weakness and attack him!

What in the world are you talking about? I know that’s what you are thinking right now. It is true that Satan has some weaknesses, even though he will never share this information with you. You have to figure it out on your own with the help of God’s Word.

Here are a few of Satan’s weaknesses:

1. His time to work is limited.
2. His ability to stop people from praying is null.
3. His ability to keep people in spiritual bondage is very limited once they understand the victory that God has made available for them.
4. He is fighting a losing battle. Jesus has already “gotten us” the victory.
5. He is limited in his desire to control people’s spiritual lives. That is, once we begin to live the life of victory and connect with God’s Word, Satan has to submit to the authority that is declared in God’s Word. He is no match for the Word of God.

Back to Alexander the Great. He was the first in history to defeat the formidable navy of about two hundred veteran warships owned by Persia. He did this while remaining on land. How do you defeat a navy on land? He studied his enemy. His data revealed a severe crack in their mighty naval forces. What was it? While they were a mighty naval force and Alexander’s men were, for the most part, foot soldiers, Alexander realized that these great warships for which he was no match still had to come into port at some point to take on fresh drinking water and fresh rations. Bingo! Thus Alexander seized all the ports of entry so they could not accomplish this. It doesn’t matter what kind of weapons you have to fight with; if you are starving or thirsting to death, they do you little good.

This is why when you realize that you have been chosen for victory and actually begin to live the life of victory, you will always have a fresh supply of the water (Spirit) of life and the bread (Word of God) of life. You can starve your enemy until you defeat him or he simply surrenders.

Know What You Are Going After!

The definition of the problem is often the problem. That is, how we see the problem is often the problem. If a rock is impregnable, it is because we agree in advance that it is. Perception is usually reality! We humans have a real problem with this. We rarely ever see things as they are; we see them as we are.

Consider the man who has pushed hard in life and has attained a certain level of success only to see it evaporate with financial problems or health problems. If he is not living in a victorious relationship with God, he will begin to see the world around him disappointingly and all people untrustworthy. He will begin to see God as unfair.

Fortunately, God has already reminded us in His Word that we all will have some trouble and tribulation along with joy in this world. Also, we know that our days here are numbered.

This is the entry point for Satan’s ideas many times. We must keep a clear biblical perspective through every season of our life. That is real victory. Paul evidently had this understanding. He said, “None of these things move me.” Did he enjoy going through the beatings, the cold, lonely nights, the emotions of being forsaken by those he relied upon? No-, he didn’t, yet he walked through life and left this world with his trust in God and his accomplishments still II intact, leaving a positive impact upon his world we are still affected by even to this day.

That, my friend, is the victory that God has chosen us for!

The above article, “Understanding Victory” is written by James Holland Sr. The article was excerpted from pages 9-25 of Holland’s book Chosen for Victory.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

Posted in AIS CD - Featured Stories, AIS CD - Pulpit Resources1 Comment

Instructions to Believers

BY: PAUL MOONEY

1. Abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

2. Abstain from all fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11).

3. Avoid troublemakers (Romans 16:17).

4. Avoid profane and vain babblings (1 Timothy 6:20).

5. Avoid false science (1 Timothy 6:20).

6. Avoid foolish questions (Titus 3:9).

7. Avoid arguments about the law (Titus 3:9).

8. Be reconciled to a brother (Matthew 5:24).

9. Be wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16).

10. Be harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

11. Be thankful (Colossians 3:15).

12. Be patient toward all men (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:24). 13. Be ready to give an answer of the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).

14. Be transformed (Romans 12:2).

15. Be patient in tribulation (Romans 12:12).

16. Be children in (avoiding) malice (1 Corinthians 14:20).

17. Be men in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20).

18. Be steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58).

19. Be unmovable (1 Corinthians 15:58).

20. Be always abounding in God’s work (1 Corinthians 15:58).

21. Be of one mind (Romans 12:16).

22. Be separate from the unclean (2 Corinthians 6:17).

23. Be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26).

24. Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

25. Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6).

26. Be an example to other believers (1 Timothy 4:12).

27. Be gentle to all men (2 Timothy 2:24).

28. Be ready to teach (2 Timothy 2:24).

29. Be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).

30. Be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8).

31. Do not be like the hypocrites in prayer (Matthew 6:5).

32. Do not be afraid of men (Luke 12:4).

33. Do not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).

34. Do not be children in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20). 35. Do not be deceived by evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33).

36. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). 37. Do not be drunk with wine (Ephesians 5a8). 38. Do not be weary in well-doing (2 Thessalonians 3:13). 39. Do not be slothful (Hebrews 6:12). ;o. Do not be influenced by strange doctrines (Hebrews 13:9).

41. Beware of false prophets (Matthew 7:15; Philippians 3:2).

42. Beware of (evil) men (Matthew 10:17). 43. Beware of covetousness (Luke 12:15). 44. Beware of backsliding (2 Peter 3:17).

45. Do not bid false teachers Godspeed (2 John 10, 11). 46. Bring up children in the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). 47. Cast your cares upon God (1 Peter 5:7).

48. Have confidence in God (Hebrews 10:357.000′

49. Come out from among the world (2 Corinthians 6:17). 50. Count it joy when you are tempted (James 1:2).

51. Treat others as you expect to be treated (Matthew 7:12). 52. Desire the milk of the Word (1 Peter 2:2).

53. Do all to God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23). 54. Do all things without murmuring or disputing (Philippians 2:14). 55. Earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3). 56. Give no place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27). 57. Give thanks (Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6). 58. Give time to reading (1 Timothy 4:13). 59. Give no offense (1 Corinthians 10:32). 6o. Give freely (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7). 61. Give as God has prospered (1 Corinthians 16:2). 62. Give willingly (2 Corinthians 8:12). 63. Give purposely (2 Corinthians 9:7). 64. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). 65. Grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18).

66. Have no fellowship with darkness (Ephesians 5:11). 67. Have compassion (Jude 22). 68. Have a good conscience (1 Peter 3:16). 69. Hold forth the Word of life (Philippians 2:16). 70. Hold fast sound words (2 Timothy 1:13). 71. Honor fathers (Ephesians 6:2). 72. Honor mothers (Matthew 19:19). 73. Honor widows (1 Timothy 5:3). 74. Honor rulers (1 Peter 2:17). 75. Lay aside all envy (1 Peter 2:1). 76. Lay aside all evil speaking (1 Peter 2:1). 77. Do not lay up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19). 78. Let your light shine (Matthew 5:16). 79. Let everyone deny himself (Matthew 16:24). 8o. Let him share with the needy (Luke 3:11). 81. Let everyone obey civil laws (Romans 13:1). 82. Let no man deceive himself (1 Corinthians 3:18).

83. Let everyone examine himself at communion (1 Corinthians 11:28). 84. Let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

85. Let your speech be with grace (Colossians 4:6).

86. Do all things in decent order (1 Corinthians 14:40).

87. Let those who are taught support the teacher (Galatians 6:6).

88. Let wives be subject to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18).

89. Let husbands love their wives (Ephesians 5:25).

9o. Let wives reverence their husbands (Ephesians 5:33).

91 Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (James 1:19).

92. Let the afflicted pray (James 5:13).

93. Let the adorning of women he more inward than outward (1 Peter 3:3, 4).

94. Don’t’ let the left hand know what the right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3).

95. Do not let sin reign in the body (Romans 6:12).

96. Do not let the sun do down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26).

97. Follow things that edify (Romans 14:19).

98. Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).

99. Do not provoke one another (Galatians 5:26).

100. Do not be weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9).

101. Come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-23).

102. Do not forsake assembling together in worship (Hebrews 10:25). 103. Exhort one another (Hebrews 10:25).

104. Lay aside every weight (Hebrews 12:1).

105. Run with patience the race before us (Hebrews 12:1).

106. Look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

107. Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually (Hebrews 13:15). 108. Do not judge one another in doubtful things (Romans 14:1).

109. Do not cause others to stumble (Romans 14:13).

110. Mark troublemakers (Romans 16:17; Philippians 3:17).

111. Pray for your persecutors (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28).

112. Pray for laborers (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2).

113. Present your body to God (Romans 12:1).

114. Put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).

115. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11, 13).

116. Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

117. Consider yourself dead to sin (Romans 6:11).

118. Redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16).

119. Resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).

120. Restore backsliders in meekness (Galatians 6:1).

121. Strengthen feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12).

122. Study to show yourself approved to God (2 Timothy 2:15).

123. Take no anxious thought of tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).

124. Take the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

125. Be careful not to despise little ones (Matthew 18:1o).

126. Be aware of yourself and your doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16).

127. Withdraw from disorderly people (2 Thessalonians 3:6,14).

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Don’t Sink Your Boat

By: Jim Kaseman

Galatians 5:16–“Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Even though we are born again, Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, we can be flat ugly if we want to! We can do things ourselves to sink our own
boat! We can hinder our own success, we can sabotage our own walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, putting holes in our own boats. We can get in God’s way and not walk in the victory that is already provided for us. Let’s examine a few ways to sink our boat, and let’s patch some holes!

A POOR UNDERSTANDING OF PEOPLE

I Peter 3:7 says for husbands to dwell with their wives with understanding, so that their prayers will not be hindered. This principle applies to all of us. We can hinder our prayers by not walking in understanding with one another. Understanding people and getting along with them is not just a matter of prayer but of practical work. Be nice to one another, be tenderhearted, kind. That will affect you spiritually, because what Christianity is all about is a relationship with God and with each other. It’s time to get ourselves out of the way and see others as more important than ourselves. Put others’ interests before your own. Help meet other people’s needs. Then the law of sowing and reaping goes into effect, and we’ll have much more doing it that way than if, because of fear, we try to hang onto our “rights.”

BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE

11 Corinthians 13:5-“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” in other words, look to yourself as to whether or not you are
walking in the Word. At some point we have to accept responsibility for our own lives. We cannot continue to say “If only I had a
different wife, different children, different pastor, different job, different company, different world…” I don’t care if you think you are totally pure, righteous and holy, I can guarantee that if there is a problem in a relationship, you both contributed to it.

Don’t be so concerned about changing everybody else. If you stomp your foot on the bottom of your boat, insisting you are blameless, the only boat that will sink is yours! Take a good look in the mirror and take care of that person. Let God take care of the other people and we’ll have a glorious time.

LACK OF PURPOSE, GOALS OR VISION IN LIFE

Habakkuk 2:2 says to write the vision so that we may run with it. If you take the attitude that “whatever happens, happens,” I can just
about prophesy what will happen… NOTHING! If we are going to walk in victory, we are going to have to have a goal. One real good way to sink a boat is to row aimlessly until it falls apart. Proverbs 29 :18 says not to go charging into battle without a plan. James 1:5-8
indicates that in order to have stability in our lives we must become single-minded, have a purpose for living, have a goal, have a vision.
You will not have a good marriage accidentally! You cannot develop relationships with a magic prayer.

There must be a definite goal and a plan for getting there or it’ll never come to pass.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

Hosea 4:6-For lack of knowledge God’s people are gone into captivity, or perish or they are destroyed. Until I received some knowledge from God’s Word and faith came, I was not born again. So we see the danger of lack of knowledge. Clear, balanced understanding of God’s Word is like our navigational map to tell us where the sand bars and reefs are, and how to avoid them.

On the other hand, there is a very real danger in too much “knowledge.” If you take one or two subjects in the Word and get into excess with it, it is guaranteed that you will end up in false doctrine. You cannot build your life with Jesus on one area of the Word. We need the
whole counsel of the Lord, accurate, full knowledge for real success. A balanced faith walk is taking the principles of faith and applying
them to every area of life.

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE

II Corinthians 6:14–“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” There is a principle here that works for all us as believers. There are some people calling themselves Christians, some even professing to be Spirit-filled, and they are walking in darkness. They’re spitting poison out of their mouths, gossip, unbelief, doubt, turning people against God’s Word. if you hang around these people long enough you’ll be dragged right into it with them. If we take our boat into their muck, the acid reaction will eventually eat right through the sides of our boat.

If we are going to walk in the victory that God wants us to walk in, we’d better be walking with people who believe the same way we do. We can stay in love with those we disagree with, even those in false doctrine, but we cannot stay in close fellowship with them and not be dragged down. We need to be led by God’s Spirit and know where we fit in the Body.

EXPECTING AND TALKING FAILURE

This is the kind of person on whose tombstone you will see the words, “I told you so!” Thinking and talking and acting negative. Don’t
anchor your boat in low tide … when the high water comes, it will be sunk! Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the
tongue. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God tells us that He has set before us life and death, and He tells us to choose LIFE!

How obvious! The most positive Being in the universe is God. Negative thoughts, attitudes and words are death-producing, and are against God’s Word. We don’t want anything to do with them. Let’s be like God … positive.

UNABLE TO LEARN FROM OTHERS

Philippians 3:12-13—Paul knew that he had not “arrived” at perfection. He never got to the place where he knew it all. He always
maintained a teachable spirit. This walk in the Spirit is an ongoing process. We might as well get it settled that it takes WORK. Your walk with the Lord will never level off. if you are not working to go on with God, you will go downhill. The unteachable person has three “I” problems. They think they are INFALLIBLE, always right, argumentative. They are INFLEXIBLE. “I don’t care what the Bible says, that’s not what my grandfather taught me.” And they are INSECURE.

But if we keep a teachable spirit we can grow. Let’s don’t sink our boats by refusing to listen to someone who has already traveled the
waters!

REFUSING TO TAKE THAT STEP OF FAITH

I’ve had people tell me, “I don’t know about this faith stuff … I’ve never had so many problems.” I think to myself, “What other choice do
you have?” There are only two options: you are either with Jesus as a Christian or you’re out in the world at the mercy of the devil.
Everybody on the earth has their problems, trials, and tribulation. The successful people in the world are those who have been willing to
take a chance, take a risk.

Now as Christians, we use different terminology. It isn’t a risk because we are basing our step of faith on the Word of God. God does
not lie. And when we step out by faith, according to His Word, we know will come to pass. Fear will cause people to wait until everything
lines up just perfectly before they take that first step. That’s not faith! Faith requires corresponding action. Our “boats” were designed
with limited visibility That’s when we have to trust our navigational system (the Word of God). if you really believe God, how come you’re
not acting like it? Nothing will ever be accomplished in life without taking steps of faith.

UNDISCIPLINED LIVING

Just because we are Christians under grace and under God’s mercy does not mean that we don’t have to do anything. We cannot do whatever our flesh wants. It takes discipline to spend time with the Lord in prayer and in the Word. There will always be things to interfere. Galatians 5:2223 says that one of the fruit of the spirit is self-control, temperance, discipline.

In I Corinthians 9:24-27, it says that an undisciplined person is one who “beats the air” shooting in the dark, hoping to hit something. But
Paul tells us in verse 27 that he disciplines his body, bringing it into subjection, lest when he had preached to others that he should become disqualified. It takes discipline, not only to manage our time and our energies and our goals, but how about our moods?! If we are walking in the Spirit, there shouldn’t be any devil, not to mention any person, that should be able to cause you to get into a bad mood. You have control over your mind, will and emotions. Recognize the temptation and don’t give in to it. Love, joy, and peace take discipline. But they are necessary for victory.

STOPPED BY FAILURE

Christians sometimes have holes in their boats because they allow themselves to be stopped by failure. Maybe they are believing God for
something, and it doesn’t work out the way they thought it would. We need to understand that failure and mistakes are a part of our lives.
Spiritual growth takes time. We start out as babies, go through the teen years into adulthood. But even as adults in the Lord, we won’t
arrive at perfection in this life.

The attitude we have toward mistakes and failures will separate the successful people from the unsuccessful. People who are stopped by
failure see it from a personal perspective with themselves as the victims. And the people who are not stopped by failure see it from a
process perspective. They say, “This is not a problem at all. I’ve learned something from this. Praise God, when this comes around again,
I’ll not make the same mistake. I’m growing, I’m learning. Victory is ahead.” Don’t be intimidated by failure! It’s all part of growing up.

We are coming into a time of great harvest. If we ever needed to be mature and take what we’ve learned and apply it to help meet others’
needs, this is the hour. This is what bringing in the harvest is all about. Don’t sink your boat before you complete the job God has for you!

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JIM KASEMAN MINISTRIES, JANUARY 1996, VOL. 22 NO. 1. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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