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STICK WITH WHAT WORKS

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Philemon 1:6 – That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 

Before I began living for the Lord, I was a fan of the comedy routines of the late Robin Harris. He was a black man from Los Angeles who grew to fame telling jokes to black audiences in the 1980s, when the biggest thing going on with that crowed was the 5 time NBA champion mostly black Los Angeles Lakers with black superstar Magic Johnson. Their rivals were the Boston Celtics, a mostly white team with a white superstar Larry Bird from a city with a reputation for racism. Harris would exploit the anger, resentment, rejection, bitterness, hate, failure, poverty, and low self – esteem demons working through these people by standing up and declaring to the poor souls bound by alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, sexual immorality, violence, poverty, and generational family breakdown that frequented the seamy establishments where he plied his trade: “Larry Bird is the best basketball player in the history of the world!” That would cause the crowd to degenerate into a scene of anger, boos, catcalls, and curses. He would then volunteer the inevitable rejoinder: “All he can do is shoot” and then respond “That’s all he needs to do!” And then the whole place would erupt in laughter. Now what can we learn from this? Note that Robin Harris knew that no matter what black audience in Los Angeles (or in truth virtually anywhere else in America) that he plied this routine in, that it would work because it would exploit the race and culture issues that burdened the minds of the black people who would pile into smoky nightclubs late at night seeking entertainment. He also knew that his audience would have to acknowledge the truth: that Larry Bird did not have to emulate the individualistic athletic entertainer style of many black players in order to be a great player, but that to the contrary the extraneous part of the black game actually diminished it.The same is true of spiritual warfare, my people. Now spiritual warfare is a sensitive topic for most preachers, because a lot of us have gotten to the point where we are so under the influence of those who are worldly and proclaim themselves to be so educated (though they are fools) that they either no longer believe in things concerning the spiritual realm, or if they do believe they will not talk about it much so as to not appear to be unsophisticated in the eyes of men who have partially or totally rejected God. So, go around the vast majority of Christians talking about angels, the Holy Spirit, demons, and sin, and they will either think that you are crazy or pretend that they do in order to gain the approval of those who think that you are crazy. Yet preachers are still confronted with the reality of the wickedness wrought by the evil spirits, which of course is due in no small part to the failure of Christians to do anything to resist them with the power that God has given us according to the Commandments and example of His Word Jesus Christ. So, when circumstances absolutely force them to talk about Satan, they say “Pay no heed to Satan. Don’t worry about Him. He has no power. He only has a few tricks; does the same things over and over again. Just know what those things are, don’t fall for them, and you will be fine. No need to go into active resistance or warfare, that is only if you are facing a powerful clever enemy with a wide array of devices. But since we are facing a weak foe with a limited arsenal, you can defeat him in your life without even fighting! Just be aware of his devices and activity, pray, attend church regularly, tithe, try not to say or do or think anything bad to or about anyone, be a good person, and you will be fine.” That is spiritual warfare in the vast majority of our churches today ladies and gentlemen, including the fundamentalist, evangelical, and charismatic churches. In case you are unaware and especially if you are IN one of these churches, let me inform you that it is wholly untrue and inadequate. For let us consider the example of the Robin Harris. Like all comics, he does not bother with each night in some complex fashion analyzing the particulars of the crowd that he is performing before in order to come up with some tailored routine. He does not reinvent his act each night. He finds and act that works and sticks with it. Get too complicated, and he will fail in show business. And Larry Bird. He did not need all of that bouncing the ball between his legs and spinning midair dunks. Shoot, pass, rebound, play defense, and go home. Get too complicated, and he will provide an opening to the other team to win the game. But keeping it simple increases the chance of success, especially when you have found what works and are good at it, as was Bird and Harris. If it works and you are good at it, why change? Simple: because you lack faith that it will work, or that you are good at it.  Do not be deceived, fellow believers. That is not the way of Satan. For Satan well knows the nature of man. He well knows his own abilities and limitations. He well knows how to use both to come up with what works. He knows that it worked yesterday in the Garden of Eden, it works today in the present age, and it will work tomorrow, even in the Millennium after Christ is returned when he will be loosed for a little season to deceive the nations into a final assault on Jerusalem and God’s people one last time; the final test of man to choose God or die (Revelation 20:2-12). So why change? Satan knows that if he shows a man a woman’s body, that man will lust after her. He knows that if he can wound that woman emotionally, he can cause her to crave the attention of a man lusting after her body and give her body to that man in order to receive that attention. Satan knows that if he can make that man predatory, remorseless, and irresponsible, that he will heed his lust, take advantage of the woman’s vulnerable soul to feed his lust, and when his lust is filled hatred will enter into him himself so he will despise and discard the woman just as did Amnon with his sister Tamar (II Samuel 13). Satan knows that will add rejection to the woman’s low self – esteem, causing her to give herself to another predatory male hoping to provoke the one who rejected her to jealousy. Satan knows that upon the original predator has his own self – esteem demons that also let in fear, pride, selfishness, jealousy, hate, and murder, so that upon hearing of the woman’s second sexual encounter and becoming jealous, rather than taking the woman in and having the continual sexual use of her (which is not only her desired response but would fill his lust and hence be the sensible thing to do) he allows the demons in him to drive him to madness and hence kill the other man and then himself. The woman, both robbed of what she saw as her only chance of the acceptance that she desired – a need created in her life by her earthly father rejecting her and her mother not showing her the love of the Heavenly father because she was too busy being resentful over being abandoned by her husband when he could not contain his lust – and filled with guilt over being an accomplice to murder and suicide because of her jealousy game – allows suicide in and then kills herself. Maybe not right away, as did her initial sexual abuser, but as a result of years of sexual activity and drug and alcohol abuse that she enters into, during which time she spreads this same nature and activity among a multitude of men and women, including passing it onto her own children to continue it in the next generation. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity, and it is never going to stop until all evil is forever destroyed in the lake of fire. Satan knows this. He knows how to set this up. He knows how to propagate it. And he knows the end result. So why do anything else? Why deviate what works? Satan’s unwillingness to do anything other than what has been proven to work, what has always worked, and what will work is not a sign of his weakness. No, a sign of his weakness would be for him to abandon it! Satan knows that all he has to do is get men to look at a woman’s body or the image of a woman’s body for lust to enter in, and all he has to do is get vanity into women so that they will like the attention enough to dress in a certain manner and allow themselves to be viewed and photographed. And once he has done that, the cycle repeats generation after generation. Men view these women’s bodies (real or images) and leave the home chasing them, creating bitterness in mothers, abandonment in sons (making them predators) and daughters (making them willing prey). It has worked, will work, and why change? And this applies to more than just sexual immorality. It also applies to hate, greed, idolatry, sloth, anything that you can name. Satan knows how to entice and trap man into all these things, or how to use certain innocent looking things as gateways to bigger evils, and he does it. And his hold on humanity is only strengthened by weak Christians who fail to acknowledge his activity and the effectiveness of it and fail to resist it. “It’s OK to let your children listen to the radio.” Never mind all they sing about is violence, rebellion, hopelessness, and fornication. “It’s OK to watch popular TV and movies.” Never mind that it is continual bombardment with images and sounds of sin. “Oh, I spend hours a day on the Internet, but I never go to sites with indecent content.” But what about the ads? Do not pretend that you do not see them, that your eyes do not fix on them every now and then, or that every once in awhile you do not give into temptation and “accidentally” click on them.  “I cannot just live in a cocoon, I have to be educated and aware of what is going on so that I can function in the world.” “If you don’t allow your kids to be exposed to a little of the world while they are growing up, when they get grown they won’t be able to handle it and get sucked into it.” All lies designed to make you think that sin is good and righteousness is bad, which is exactly what Satan used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. It worked then, and it works now! Have you not considered that the unsaved agree with the notion that Christians ought to expose themselves and their children to sin so that they can be knowledgeable? If the unsaved agree with it, how can it be right? Even better, how many unsaved are willing to go and experience a little bit of your Jesus Christ so that they can be be educated and know how to deal with the world? So that’s it … you need what the unsaved have but the unsaved don’t need what you have? Oh what weak fools Christians have allowed ourselves to become; accepting any lie of the enemy that allows us to fill our fleshly need for lust and to be lazy. Look, Satan knows how to get inside your head, and even if he cannot have your soul, he will settle for having your attention, because if your thought process is governed by all the filth that you heard on the radio, saw in magazines, read and saw on TV, and read and saw AND interacted with on the Internet.  The church has gotten so unwilling to fight that they do not even try to separate themselves from the world anymore. You see famous pastors cavorting with politicians, businessmen, actors, and athletes, and do not delude yourself into thinking that they are seeking converts. You see Christian and gospel music performers not only going into the secular sphere to try to make money, gain acceptance, and win awards, but they imitate the secular artists in their appearances (not only the musical style but suggestive outfits and dancing and vulgar street vernacular and posturing). All of us need a major injection of love for the Lord so that we will stop emulating sin and start hating even the very appearance of sin (I Thessalonians 5:22) so that we can war against both that which is and what appears to be.  But how do we do this? Simple. We resist Satan so that he will flee from us! Start with the Ten Commandments. You know, that do not lie, do not still, do not covet, do not commit adultery, do not be an idolator or blasphemer stuff that your church has told you that you no longer have to keep, pay attention to, or even learn anymore because that’s legalism. Well, the first thing you need to do is to get out of that church and find one that preaches the love and the fear of God, and the next thing that you need to do is to obey the preaching! Don’t do it! Don’t approve or justify it! Do not be fascinated by it! Do not hang around those who break the Commandments, and do not read, watch, or listen to things that depict breaking the Commandments as glorifying, entertaining, or normal. And sins not recorded in the Ten Commandments? Search the Bible. Start with Revelation, then go on to the writings of Paul. There is no need to be ridiculous. You are not dumb. You know what sin is. You know right from wrong. You know what things that you do that cause you to feel “bad”, what is “risky”, what makes you feel guilty. You know the stuff that you hide from your wife, kids, or parents; that you do in secret. You even know things that no good can come from, stuff that you do that benefits you or no one else or no good thing. Don’t do them! Don’t sin, and do not hang around sinners! Second, you must pray and read your Bible. How else can you expect to learn? How else can you expect to believe? How else can you expect to gain power? If nothing else, the more time that you spend praying and reading your Bible, the less time you will sin or be tempted to sin. Every person on the planet who has ever been ensnared by fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, murder, gambling, pornography, lying, greed, avarice, idolatry, witchcraft, gossiping and whatever other sin you can name, it can be said about them: “Well, if that person had been praying or reading the Bible at that particular time, they would have never committed that sin and those bad things wouldn’t have happened to them.” You might say: “Well, I can’t spend all my time praying and reading my Bible.” Why not? It works for the monks! You might say: “I have a life!” A life of what? Sin? You might say: “I have a job, a family, and a home.” OK, that is fine. When you are through working your job, spending time with your family, and tending your home, then go pray and read your Bible. If you do that, then your day will be full and there will be no time to sin. As it is right now, you are NEGLECTING your job, NEGLECTING your family, and NEGLECTING fixing that leak in the basement that has been dripping for 15 years because that sin has such a hold on you that it is what you think about all day at work, what you think about when you are with your spouse and kids, and the first thing you do the moment you get a second to yourself, and then you go to bed and dream filthy dreams about it. And you have the gall to claim that you do not have the time for prayer or the Bible. 

Third, you must listen to anointed preaching and seek and read anointed literature. I am not talking about the famous preachers or the well – known books that the religious establishment reveres. I am talking about the people who have the love of God and stands for righteousness no matter what. There is this preacher that says “Feed your faith and starve your doubts to death.” Hear the Word of God, learn things from those who have sought the Lord and God has rewarded them with great victories over Satan and great works in the Name of God. Gain knowledge, wisdom, and power. Learn the secrets that are hidden from those who are content to be lulled into complacency by the religious system. It is a hard thing to do, but living in agreement in sin is harder. If they worked for those people, it will work for you, and you may be the person that God raises up to reveal new things to. You have the power of the Name and the Blood of Jesus Christ. It is simple but it works. What the religious system does is teaches you that Satan’s tricks are few, so we need a great many complex things to defeat him. That we can defeat Satan by erecting some labyrinth, like the devil is going to get lost or something. And the devil is fine with that. He knows that if Christians erect some religious labyrinth in order to try to stay one step ahead of Satan, pretty soon we will get caught in our own labyrinth. We will get so consumed with rituals, rites, works, institutions, ordinances, traditions, denominations, contentions, and divisions that we will tire ourselves out. We will forget about God. We will literally kill ourselves and each other spiritually AND physically. And consider this: even if it works, so what? Satan doesn’t mind. Satan knows that he can’t have us all! So he will look and say “Well, there is this maze between me and Brother Tradition and Sister Religion, I can’t get to them, but that’s fine. They are saved and going to Heaven anyway, so I wasn’t going to gain anything by going after them anyway. But you know what? While they are OVER THERE in their religious maze, I am OVER HERE destroying the people that they should be watching over, praying for, and witnessing to, including their own families, children, and church members. And you know what? I am just fine with that! I like that just fine!” Satan does not care if you run from him. And he certainly does not care if you fight him ineffectively, with your own strength or with the worldly flesh using religion. Satan only cares if you resist him and his works against you and others with the Name of Jesus Christ! Spiritual warfare, that’s what Satan hates!  And spiritual warfare is simple. It is right there in the Bible. “And Jesus rebuked the evil spirit to be silent and commanded it come out of the man.” “And Jesus commanded the sickness to leave him.” “And Peter spake it in the Name of Jesus Christ and the man was healed.” “And Paul, being sore vexed, commanded the evil spirit in the Name of Jesus to come out of the girl.” There it is, right there. It is the record, the gameplan, the instruction manual right there in the New Testament. Why don’t you follow it? It is simple and it works. Use it. Do not resort to the religious waste of time through rituals and works and faithless blessings and prayers because you lack faith in God’s Word. Put your faith in God’s Word and follow it! I gotta tell you, of all the miracles wrought in the Bible, NONE were hard. NONE required any effort or complex action on the account of the miracle worker. It was all simple stuff. Moses threw his stick down, and it became a snake. Moses stretched forth his hand, and the
Red Sea parted. Moses hit the rock, and water came out. Elisha told the soldier to go wash in the River Jordan, and his leprosy was healed. Elisha cursed the youths in the Name of God, and a bear came out of the wilderness and mauled them. Elijah prayed, and the woman’s son was raised from the dead. Elijah prayed, and fire came down from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice and the Baal priests. They didn’t have to drink water while standing on their heads and playing the ukulele with their toes. All they had to do was obey and believe. And that is all that you have to do in order to resist Satan:  believe the Word of God, obey the Word of God, and follow the Word of God in all its simplicity.And why is it so simple? This is something that I keep saying at Heal the Land. God MADE it simple. God did not come up with this complex system for His own purposes, so that He could glorify in His ability to make something complex and His ability to compel us to follow it. Why would He? What, you think that God has low self – esteem? That He needs validation? That He needs a hug or something? Please! It is MAN who comes up with stuff like that out of the hardness of our hearts; our refusal to seek, obey, and believe in God; to admit that we need Him. We reject God and come up with all these things to try to replace Him with; to try to fill the emptiness in us that only that same God which we rejected can fill and heal. It is US who needs validation; US who need God. No, God made it simple because He LOVES us. He WANTS us to be saved. He WANTS us to go to Heaven. He WANTS us to experience happiness and prosperity on earth. And He WANTS us to be able to overcome Satan and all of his things and ways, not only for ourselves, but to intercede for His sheep that are yet to be found! God doesn’t want us to perish! He doesn’t want us to be eaten up like bread; destroyed like trash! He wants us to be saved and set free, so He made the way for us to be saved from sin and delivered from evil spirits to be as easy as possible! It makes all the sense in the world, but we reject it because we have been taught by vain men in this fallen world that the more complex something is the better it is. Oooh! Look at all the shiny buttons on this food processor! So we buy it, and only use two or three. Oooh, this book has 1000 recipes! So we buy it and only use 7 or 8. Ooooh! This store has 1000 aisles and 100,000 items! So we shop there only to buy the same things over and over again, usually to buy the same food processor to cook the same recipes.  
It is madness, and everyone knows it, but no one talks about it because we all use madness as a placebo to mask the pain and uncertainty that comes from living our so – called lives of worldliness. Well I am here to tell you that God did not come to submerge you into madness. God came to rescue the madness from your so – called life so that you may be born – again into a new spiritual life so that you can have life and life more abundantly. Part of that life is being freed from worshipping complexity for complexity’s sake – to mask those feelings and lies of inadequacy that those demons are whispering into your mind and ear – so that you can start experiencing victory through God’s simple plan for you. So go. Sin not. Pray. Read your Bible. Receive instruction from righteous men. Seek the Holy Spirit. Use all of that so that you may resist the devil so that he will flee from you. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.  Prayer:Father God in the name of Christ Jesus, please show your people the way and the path, to reject the vanities of man so that they can see how it is Your Will and Your Way to reveal Yourself through us with the simple and the foolish. May Your people be made simple and foolish so that we may learn Your Ways and learn to have faith and trust in them. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  Deliverance:The demons that work in this area are faithlessness and false burden. They cause God’s people to lose faith in the tried and true things given to us in the Bible and instead give themselves over to be impressed and ultimately beguiled and seduced with the things that appear impressive and effective to worldly eyes. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!http://www.healtheland.bravehost.com/Archives/Devos/StickWithWhatWorks_73.htm

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