The purpose of this second session, is mainly to learn how to get out of ourselves in order to search for the reasons behind the things that happen inside us and around us.
Before moving to the focus of the second session, I want to highlight that the primary purpose of these talks are that they would be like a ‘divine searchlight’ that shines for us; so that we may see what is inside us and what is around us at a time when spiritual darkness increased and spiritual views multiplied. This has led to an increase in confusion, perplexity, mixing up, being crippled and paralysed.
Let me pause here to clarify the meaning of the ‘divine searchlight’.
It is the divine light which we seek and hope for so that it would light the depth of our soul, revealing the hidden things inside; whether these are deep things or things that have been covered through the economy of the enemy in order to continue his plans that hinder the human soul and push her outside God’s will.
There might be small, simple, hidden matters that we do not notice. Remember the words of the Scriptures: ‘Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines’ (Song of Songs 2: 15).
These little things or little foxes can be related to our lack of obedience to God and His commandments; or, it can be related to things that creep into our life from what we see and hear every day. These things finally extinguish our spirit and annul in us any kind of sensitivity towards God, His word, and obeying Him. These things can even lead us to stubbornness and hardness of heart which Jesus often warned His disciples of.
Let us also not forget that God was and is still working in our souls a very distinct work. He granted us abundant and manifold riches and goodness and He is patient and longsuffering with us.
Remember what apostle Paul said:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2: 4).
Also, one of the saints said:
‘If we do not repent a true repentance, we hand ourselves over to temptations; especially those related to the battles of the flesh. How humiliating and hindering these are to the life of the spirit!’
Shall we cry out with the prophet saying:
‘O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!’ (Habakkuk 3: 2).
Yes, Lord, revive Your work in our souls in the midst of the years!
Let this be our prayer and our cry –lest we lose the grace that was abundantly bestowed upon us.
Now, we come to the point about our need to look around us, outside ourselves, to see what is happening in the Kingdom of God which we are part of. This applies also to every person; whether he perceives it or not and whether he accepts or rejects.
It is written:
‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness’ (Psalm 24: 1).
It is also written that He is ‘the great God, and the great King above all gods’ (Psalm 95: 3).
We clearly see that the authority of the evil one is increasing in a frightening way. Even the countries that had the honour of being Christian countries have now become without a Christ, without a God; they even despise and reject the children of God; and they reject everything related to God and His commandments.
This is a well-known matter. Yet, the crucial question is:
Why did the enemy gain authority over the children of God as well?!
This evil dominion is even increasing; it is about to annul the minds of the believers at times; cause them to have a dead conscience; humiliate them with sins and evils; or with frightening accidents and illnesses –illnesses which we hear about and which have been recently discovered and were not even known before.
Why does this happen? Why does the evil dominion over the children of God increase?
Don’t we have divine promises that are sufficient to keep us and protect us from the evil one; and even triumph over him and annul his authority and dominion?!
Didn’t Jesus Himself tell His disciples: ‘Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10: 19)!
Why does this promise seem as if it is hindered? The word of God can never change nor lose its authority. Therefore, we are the ones who hinder its authority in our life by our own free will. God has granted man free will to honor him; yet, man used it against himself.
Below, we will outline eight reasons which will help us understand the scene in a better way.
1. We have left the spiritual armor and have given excuses regarding our understanding of the spiritual battles.
If the children of God desire to live a true Christian life and enter into the richness of God’s grace, they need to understand that they are called to a continuous battle.
Jesus has already accomplished the victory in this battle. It is written:
‘Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (in His cross)’ (Colossians 2: 15).
Yet we need to enter and remain in this victory which was accomplished for us.
Apostle Paul helps us in this by entreating us to put on the spiritual armour:
‘Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6: 11, 12).
2.We allowed the spirit of the world to enter into our life, our heart, our homes; while we are so much preoccupied with the worldly and earthly matters at the expense of our spiritual life. We also allow scenes and evil news to enter into our homes.
Thus, the enemy had dominion over us because these matters are related to him and we have allowed them to enter –whether these be earthly preoccupations or the scenes and the evil news.
The children of God should be total strangers to these things; their senses should be chaste; their heart pure; and their body clean.
Apostle Paul said:
Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6: 17, 18).
We have mentioned these words numerously before.
3. Our need to build up ourselves (our inner soul); and that is by providing it with the necessary spiritual food daily, exactly as we do to build up our physical body.
Let us listen to the words of Apostle Jude:
‘But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh’ (Jude 20 – 23).
Where do we stand in relation to these divine words?
4. Learning the life of faith
The Lord sometimes allows the confrontations of the enemy and his siege around us or his siege in relation to our daily matters so that we may wake up more and learn to be steadfast with faith and trust in the Lord’s goodness, promises, and His absolute dominion and protection over our life.
It is the life of faith which should continually grow from day to day so that we would be, as Paul said: ‘established in faith’.
He wrote the following words to the Colossians:
‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving’ (Colossians 2: 6, 7).
5. Establishing the walls of the sheepfolds
This is the responsibility of the parents towards their children and the responsibility of the pastors and ministers towards those they minister to –if they are obedient to the spiritual economy.
Jesus likened the children of God, the believers, to the sheep. The term ‘sheepfold’ is mentioned in John 10.
It is a responsibility. Whoever stands in the spirit on behalf of his sheep, whether the children of the flesh or the spiritual children, is able to keep the sheep in the sheepfold because his life becomes a wall for the sheep.
Yet, let us listen to the apostle’s warning to the Hebrews where he says:
‘Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you’ (Hebrews 13: 17 –ESV).
6. To live in truth
This may sound difficult. There is actually a lot of crookedness in our soul and lack of uprightness in our heart –if we want to be honest with ourselves.
To live in truth means also to be obedient to the commandments without trying to twist them to suit our desires.
To live in truth in the midst of a wicked and corrupt world means to follow the Crucified One. It means to be crucified with Him and to be ready to bear the suffering for God’s sake.
It is written:
‘For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake’ (Philippians 1: 29).
We should know that this leads us to receive the power of resurrection which keeps us always in the victory:
‘that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death’ (Philippians3: 10).
It is also written:
‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’ (Romans 8: 36, 37).
The words are clear; the path of victory is guaranteed and is set before us; let us enter into it and remain in it!
7. The spirit of division
The enemy is very active and attentive to this matter; while, the children of God are negligent or are not watchful enough.
We see division everywhere. It entered the life of the children of God -how tragic!
Didn’t Jesus warn us regarding the end times, saying: ‘And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold’ (Matthew 24: 12)!
It is an evil activity which causes misunderstanding to be more likely in every conversation amid every group that lives together for God’s sake; or it can be withdrawal, sensitivity, and lack of acceptance of others.
It is the division in the churches, in the ministries, in the spiritual concepts, in the spiritual relationships, and in everything.
But, why? We should ask this question.
It is because the enemy knows that the plan of the divine salvation is to gather. This is the economy of the end times.
Let us listen to the words of Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1: 10:
‘that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him’ (Ephesians 1: 10).
It is the plan of God, the Father, to gather all under one Head, Christ, who emptied Himself and was incarnate for the salvation of all humanity, and even for all the creation of God.
Therefore, Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans saying:
‘Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God’ (Romans 15: 7).
8. Our correct understanding of our responsibility in the Kingdom of God:
We all know the parable of the vineyard and the vinedressers (Matthew 21: 33 – 44).
We also know and have heard at the beginning of our spiritual walk that the first vineyard that we are required to give its fruit is our life. Have we offered the fruit of our vineyard or is it barren; and hence, we are under judgement!
Not only this, but the children of God should have a divine commission, a work in the Kingdom of God.
We clearly see that one of the plans of the enemy is to make the person blind to this commission; and so, he does not think about it nor ask and pray for it.
The divine commission comes from God and not from the thoughts of our minds and the desires of our soul.
It comes with a holy anointing that gives our life purpose, meaning, message, and true fulfilment in our sojourning; to complete our message and hear His voice saying: ‘Enter into the joy of your lord’ (Matthew 25: 23).
Yet, there is another point here:
We may have known this divine commission; yet, we may be ignorant of its stages to complete all what has been prepared for us.
At the end of His days on earth, Jesus said to the Father:
‘I have finished the work which You have given Me to do’ (John 17: 4).
Here, I would like to remind you that some men of God were granted to know their time of departure from this world. We probably consider this a sign of holiness. However, according to my understanding, I consider this an alert from God to complete the remaining stages of their mission/message in a suitable time. This is granted to those who perceived all the work they were commissioned with, knew its stages, and desired to complete it for God’s sake. Therefore, God helps them with His grace to pay attention to completing it as they know the remaining time of their sojourning.
I see the enemy is being very active trying to afflict us with paralysis, inability, boredom, and ignorance regarding our responsibility so that we may become barren and would not be the reason of God’s delight.
How ashamed we would be when we stand before God, if we have neglected our duty and have not completed our work!
Before concluding, I want to remind you also that we are granted great and amazing help, especially in these last days, from the ministry of the angels and the spirit of the righteous saints. May we learn how to seek it and receive it at a time when we are in dire need for this help.
Finally, we repeat the prayer of Habakkuk again:
‘O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy’ (Habakkuk 3: 2).