Freedom From The Will
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Freedom from Bondage to the Will 2
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
You remember, last Sunday evening I was sharing that verse in John 8:32 if you would like to look at it. And it runs like this, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Then further down in 36, you remember, it runs, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” And I shared that if you are really dwelling in truth, that truth will make you free. And that is effective right throughout the Christian life and throughout every stage in the Christian life.
But if you’re not believing the truth or dwelling in the truth then you will come into all kinds of bondage. You remember, I suggested that there seemed to be four difference stages or areas in our Christian lives where many of us managed to come into bondage. And they really related to four different events in Christ’s life. And the answer to this bondage was allowing the Holy Spirit to apply each of the four stages of Christ’s life to us. But if we didn’t do that we could come into real bondage.
And you remember, I suggested that one of them was conscience. That at the very beginning of our Christian lives we have trouble with a guilty conscience and many of us could come into bondage through trying to work out the guilt. Trying to be good church-goers, or trying to be moral people, or doing our best to work out our own salvation. And really the answer was to come into the meaning of Romans 5:9, that we’re justified by the blood of Jesus.
Whatever our lives are like, however miserable they are, God accepts us because Jesus’ blood has been shed for our rebellious lives. And the way to enter into that was through a death, and experiencing the birth of Jesus inside us. And the only way for that to come about is by the action of God. And where the Holy Spirit brings Jesus alive inside us – we become free of that guilty conscience. And the way to come into that is to believe and obey. And the way to come into all of these freedoms, these four freedoms in these four areas of our lives is really to come into belief and obedience about certain facts in Jesus’ life and death.
And here you know, it’s Romans 4:24, that we are justified by the blood of Jesus, that because of Jesus’ death, God forgives us. And we’re called to believe that and we’re called to obey, and we’re called to repent. It says, “Unless you repent you will have no place in the kingdom of heaven. Unless you repent you will perish.” And so in coming into the new birth of Jesus you’ve to believe that he died for you and that his blood satisfies God, and you’ve to repent and turn from the things that you’ve been doing wrong.
You remember, that many of us thought about a salvation by works. Many of us turned repentance into, “I must feel repentance. Unless I feel it, unless I work out this repentance so that I feel pain and sorrow God will not forgive me.” And so many of us wait days, and days after we’ve sin against God trying to work up enough repentance. In fact, all we’re trying to do is penance. We’re trying to punish ourselves to make us feel that God ought to forgive us now that we have justified him by punishing ourselves.
And we do the same, you know, with believing. Many of us say, “Oh, we know you have to believe but you have to believe in a certain way. You have to believe a certain theory of the atonement, or you have to believe a certain corner on truth about Jesus and then God will forgive you.” And we come
into bondage and salvation by works instead of doing two simple things, brother and sisters, believing and obeying. Believing that Jesus has died for us and repenting of our sins and stop doing them. And really, becoming a Christian is as easy as that.
I know many of us go along in the Christian life and we find we have trouble with this old selfish will. And it’s just a will that wants to go its own way, and it wants to do its own thing at its own time in its own way for its own glory. And many of us find that working inside us, even after we’ve been born of the spirit. And the only answer to that – is really coming into an experience of the fact that we were crucified with Christ. Coming into a place where we’re ready to die to self and be crucified with Jesus.
Many of us don’t tackle that answer. We work the old salvation by works business. We try to repress the selfish will. We try to rationalize it away and say, “All Christians get angry.” Or, we try in some way to get rid of this stuff underneath. But we try to get rid of it by works of all kinds. Now the only answer really is to allow the Holy Spirit to make this death of Christ real in us. And the only way we can do it is by believing and obeying. By believing that we were crucified with Christ and then by submitting to his Holy Spirit each moment of the day so that the Holy Spirit is then able to bring this about.
Brothers and sisters, what I’m really trying to say is the Holy Spirit works the miracle on the left hand of that line. If we do the things that are on the right hand of the line. Now that’s true. The Holy Spirit makes the new birth real miraculously in us if we will simply believe that Jesus has died for us and repent of our sins. The Holy Spirit makes the death of Jesus real in us and gives us victory over anger, and jealousy, and envy, and pride, and lust if we simply believe that we were crucified with Christ, that we have no right to our own lives, or no right to our own way and we yield moment-by-moment instant obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Now it is true loved ones, God works the miracle on the left hand side of that double line if we do the things on the right hand side of the line. And brothers and sisters, every one of us who are coming into bondage about our guilty consciences, or about our selfish wills, are coming into bondage because we won’t do one of these two things. Either we won’t believe that Jesus is risen with God, or we won’t turn from all our sins, or we won’t believe that we’ve been crucified with Christ. We keep on saying, “No, I’m not crucified I get angry every day. I’m obviously not crucified.” But God’s word says you were crucified.
Either you don’t believe that, you won’t accept it, you keep looking to your experience to disprove what God’s word says is true, or you won’t submit to the Holy Spirit when he says, “Shut up. Just don’t answer. Okay, that took you apart now shut up. Just keep quiet and leave it to me.” And either we won’t believe that we’re crucified with Christ or we won’t simply submit to the Holy Spirit. Now brothers and sisters, that’s it honestly.
Loved ones, if I could take each of you and say really if you’re having trouble with either guilty conscience or selfish will it’s because you’re not doing one of these two things. Brothers and sisters, it’s not because you alone have managed to defeat the infinite plan of the infinite Creator of the universe. It is not true. It is not true that you’re so different from everybody else in the universe that God has not made a plan that works with you. It works with you, all you really need to do is give up the salvation by works and come into believing and obeying.
Now brothers and sisters, here’s something that we come into after maybe coming into some victory
about a guilty conscience and a selfish will. And I say some victory because many of us find we have to walk in this daily in order to experience the victory. But many of us come into a different area completely and it’s this area to do with the mind and the emotions. Here we find that the will is selfish, here we find that we have independent mind and emotions that go their own way at times in spite of the fact that Jesus is with us.
Now here’s the kind of expression that took in Paul in Galatians 2:11-14 you’ll find it. Galatians 2:11-14, you remember that they had a whole discussion, Peter and Paul, about the business of whether ordinary people, gentiles, should become Jews before they become Christians. And you remember, they decided no, they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t have to submit to all the regulations that the Jews have to submit to, they should be able to become Christians right away and Jesus coming in wiped out and superseded all those ritual laws of the Jews, though not the moral laws.
This is Galatians 2:11, “But when Cephas came to Antioch,” Paul says, “I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’”
Now do you see, that you can’t accuse Peter who already fought the battle of reputation in the courtyard with the little maid. You can’t accuse Peter who already laid himself, his life down on the day of Pentecost by accusing the murderers of Jesus of that very murder. You can’t accuse Peter of sinful selfish will but want him to go his own way and protect himself. You can’t brothers and sisters. You have to face the fact that old Peter’s mind had been running like a Jew’s mind for years, and years, and years. And when he came into this situation he felt, “Well, well, no I better do it. I better withdraw for the sake of my Jewish friends.” And he made a mistake because his mind had been brought up as Jew for years and years.
Now brothers and sisters, that’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the fact that many of us have minds, and emotions that have been programmed by a selfish will for week in and week out and month in and month out. And whenever we’re filled with the Holy Spirit here, and crucified with Christ, we often find that our minds and our emotions are still independent of our spirits, still go in ways that we don’t really want them to go.
Another example of it for instances, is Matthew 26 and I know none of you will come into this problem with sleep but the disciples did. But let’s look at it just to see how some poor souls have to suffer. Matthew 26:38, “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” Then Verse 40, “And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour?’” And do you see that the disciples wanted to watch with Jesus but the old mind was used to sleeping at midnight and as midnight came off it went.
Now do you see there are times when we get up in the morning, or the alarm goes off at six o’clock and we settled it, “Six o’clock we’ll get up and we’ll start the day with the Father.” And we’re willing to die to our own comfort and we’re willing to put Jesus first, but we get up, slam down on the knee and then, ah it’s beautiful, it’s just beautiful and that time of prayer went so fast. Really, it’s 11 o’clock already, I didn’t know it was gone. Then somebody says, “You know, you
slept thru the morning. And you say, “Well, I was higher than that, you know. I was just up there in the heavenlies, I didn’t know a thing. Just went a quick hour like that, never knew a thing.”
Now you know you didn’t do much praying at all. You went to sleep, or you dosed, or you didn’t pray. Now do you see that’s the soul, that’s the old mind and emotions that still are not submissive servants to the Spirit. Another example is this, and it comes – you can see it, you can see it in the evenings, you can see it in all our singing. We all used to be great singers, ah we’d get into that church, strum the old guitars, and clap the old hands, and away we’d go. We weren’t very sure whether it was emotion or spirit but we were going, and we were really up there.
Now you can see the old problem, we come together again and again as a body and boy, the old emotions are used to going that way. And as some fella gets the whole hand clapping going you’re not quite sure whether you want a tambourine to tap or whether you want to get up and dance, and you’re not quite sure whether it is Jesus you’re preoccupied with, or the beat of the music, but it’s really going.
In other words, it’s difficult at times isn’t it, to worship continually in the spirit. It isn’t that the spirit possesses no emotion, but it’s that often our emotions run away independent of our spirits. Or, you meet somebody new, they come into the theater or they come to church, and you really want to be real, you really do want to love them. You don’t want to come over as one of those gushy people who make a lot of small talk to make everybody feel comfortable. You really want to be straight. You really want to be Jesus to them and really love them honestly, and look into their eyes, and let them know that you’re not just turning the stuff on.
But the old mind and emotions have been programmed for years and before you know it you’re into – what did they do? what did they study? and you never get beyond that. You just get lost in what course are you studying? “Oh yeah, I studied that last year. Yeah, well it’s quite good here.” “Yeah, do you like the singing?” “Yes, it’s good.” “Well, we met so and so.” And little spirit goes over you know. It’s the old emotions gushing out and you’re making a big impression of friendliness on them but there’s no quietness of spirit coming in. Or, it happens in the houses, really – it’s very hard to live in a Christian house with other Christians. In fact, it’s very hard to live in any house with other people without really being dead to self. It really is.
Without being dead to self you’re always coming up against little strains and little pieces of friction. Now, many of us have found that we have really died to self. We’ve really been filled with the Holy Spirit but in our houses we come up against the problem that our mind has been programmed for years to regard that piece of clothing as ours. And this fella comes in and picks it up and you know, really the clothing doesn’t matter much, you’re dead to that, you know that God will give you whatever clothes are needed but the old mind is programmed and you think, “What’s he doing?” And before you know it the mind is out with some comment.
I’m not backing the fact that he’s taking your clothing, no I’m not for that. But it’s the problem of the old response coming out not from the level of a selfish will so much as from independent mind and emotions that are just beginning to walk in the old selfish way. And many of us brothers and sisters, have found that if we don’t deal with this independent mind and emotions it begins to drag us back into ourselves.
What many of us have found is we’ve committed our whole self to Jesus, we’ve decided to walk with him, we’ve decided to die to our own careers, to the right to success, to social security, to life
insurance, and we walk that way but the old mind and emotions we don’t allow them to be dealt with by the cross and so they flip back onto the old way of thinking. And so we’re in a worse state than people who never started on the Calvary road. We’re half way out there, we’re working for Fish for $120 miserable dollars a month and we’re way out there and the mind is going back to the brothers and sisters at home, to the family, we’re listening to what our parents want us to be, we’re listening to what we should be in our careers and we begin to come into real conflict.
Now brothers and sisters, do you see that if you don’t deal with the independent mind and emotions, you can minister no life. If we don’t come into a real freedom from the bondage of our minds and emotions, we will minister no life in our meetings, we’ll minister just emotion. We’ll minister no life in our witnessing, we’ll minister just a very persuasive convincing logical argument. Or, we’ll impress people with our emotion of love, but unless we come into a place where we begin to allow the cross to deal with these parts of us and not wipe them out but discipline them and bring them under the control of our spirits, we’ll really be useless for ministering life and we’ll eventually fall back into our selfish will.
Now here is the very problem, many of us when we see that we begin to realize we have to do something about it. The verse that you find it in is 2 Corinthians 4:7 which would express this truth – it runs like this, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.” Many of us would come to that conclusion, “That’s right the Spirit of Jesus inside me but my old earthly mind and emotions are around it and they’re not submissive to it and they’re not expressing it purely and cleanly.” And so we say, “Yeah, well this old earthen vessel, I’ll have to do something about it.”
Now, here are the two approaches that most people take to deliver themselves from this. By works, and it only brings them into more bondage. Some people say, “Well, pastor what you said tonight is true, my old emotions whip away off at times when I shouldn’t be emotional at all. And I know that I should be ministering the quietness of Jesus in a quiet emotional love, but I’m out gushing away. My emotions are out of control and I know that. Now I realize that what you say is true, that a real Christian who is walking in the spirit is one who has his emotions controlled by his spirit. I am going to control those miserable emotions.” And that’s the first wrong step we take.
And many of us get into the business of annihilating the emotions. And we say to ourselves, “That’s right – a Christian is not an emotional person, he’s a spiritual person so I must annihilate these emotions. Nobody will get a smile out of me, nope. Very interesting brother, I’m glad that your wife had a baby,” but thinks, “I mustn’t get too excited about it least he think I’m not a spiritual Christian.” Now brothers and sisters you know that in many so-called spirit filled circles you meet those dear, dear souls and you must be loving and kind to them because all of us have made the mistake, who think that a Christian is one who has no emotions at all. Or, there are some people that say, “That’s right brother, a Christian is one who walks in the spirit not in his mind.”
And so they come into this problem of becoming passive in their minds, and they just give up the use of their minds. And there are many dear ones who have good minds, and they come to making a decision and they just won’t think about it, they won’t think about it at all. They won’t use their mind to gather the information that God wants them to gather, they just say, “No, no, I’ll wait for the spirit to tell me.” And these are dear ones, you know, you meet them and you ask them, “Do you know what you’re going to do tomorrow?” And they say, “No, no I’m waiting for the Lord to tell me.” And they’re still waiting tomorrow, and they’re still waiting the next day, and they’re just wandering around in a kind of blankness because they’ve started to annihilate their minds.
They’re the people, you know, who read books and won’t judge the book, or criticize the book, they’ll just read the book and accept everything that comes in from the book. Anybody that appears to have a spiritual smile on their faces they’ll say, “Ah, they’re spiritual people.” They give up using their minds completely and they come – most people like that come into a tremendous passivity, you know, where they just join a bless me club where they just worship, as they say, in the spirit night and day and they are not used by God to transmit any life to anyone else.
That’s one of the problems where they come into bondage by trying to annihilate the mind and emotions. Or brothers and sisters, there’s another method that some try, they ‘over’ exercise their minds and emotions. They read a verse, you see, there’s a verse in Romans 12:11, and it runs like this, Romans 12:11, “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.” And they say, “That’s right, the way to be a spiritual Christian is to be aglow with the Spirit.” And so they try to glow with the Spirit. You can’t decide to glow with the Spirit – you know that. The Holy Spirit glows within you as he did on the face of Moses or he doesn’t. If you’re disobedient he doesn’t, if you’re obedient he does but you can’t say, “I’m going to glow with the Spirit.”
But many dear ones say, “Ah, that’s the way to be a spiritual Christian, I must glow with the Spirit.” And, ah you know, you get fed up with their smiles, you know. They just smile, and smile, and smile, and smile. You could cut their arms off and they’d still be smiling, and there’s something a wee bit unreal about it, you know. Or, they say, “I must be aglow with the Spirit, that means I must worship in a way that glorifies God. I must abandon myself to him.” And they abandon themselves not spiritually, because you can’t touch your Spirit at all you see, only the Holy Spirit can touch your spirit. But they say, “I’ll abandon myself in the Spirit,” and they misunderstand of course the strongest part that is inside them for the Spirit, their emotions.
And so they abandon themselves emotionally, and they feel -you know – that if they’re praising God with great expression in their voice, and I was caught in this – oh maybe four years ago – in this same business, if you express to God with a strong emotion in your voice then you’re being very spiritual. And you get them doing all kinds of things in their prayers, and then if they get into the experience of tongues at all – they just lose themselves. They’re just content to pray in tongues all the time not realizing that really that is God’s gift for a person in his infancy. That is just uninterrupted tongues, you know, in a meeting. It’s just a gift of God to people in their infancy and worship.
But that God wants you to come on through to the place not where you stop speaking in tongues, but where you begin to be able to express yourself through your mind and emotions to him. And it’s maybe good to look at that because I know some of you will have questions. It’s 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 and it would be good just to mention this for a moment or two, brothers and sisters, because I think there is great misunderstanding about the ninth gift of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.” And God allows that to come about you see, because many of us have minds that are earth bound and God is gracious and fills us with the Holy Spirit and gives us the ability to speak in an unknown tongue where our mind is not used.
Our mind is just bypassed by the Holy Spirit and it lifts us up into the Father. But do you see that isn’t God’s final will for us, that we’ll spend all our time in prayers doing that. Here’s his final will in 15, “What am I to do? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also.” In other words, it is God’s will that we should come to a place where our spirit can express
joy and glory to Jesus and use our mind to put that into ordinary words that others can understand.
Now don’t sit there and say, “Ah, we can’t use tongues.” Yes, yes you can use tongues but don’t remain in tongues alone for the rest of your life. See that the Father wants to bring your mind under the control of your spirit so that you can speak that forth in beautiful words that others will understand so that they can say amen, so that a stranger comes in he’s not baffled as if you’re speaking in a foreign language.
Now there are other uses for tongues, you know, but I’m talking about the one where we glorify the Father. You see it’s the same, many people go into meetings where they speak in tongues and worship God in tongues, and then the meeting closes and the strange thing is they’re no closer to each other than when they first went into the meeting because the Spirit has not brought their minds and emotions into submission to him and so they are not able to express that love to each other after the meeting is over.
The only way they can really feel one with each other is to blot out all their minds and bypass all their minds, and go straight up in an unknown tongue to God. Now it’s the Father’s will you see, that we should come to a place where we can really express love to each other not only in tongues but really using the words and our minds. Now these are some of the reasons why God wants us to avoid this business of either annihilating the minds and emotions or over exercising the minds and emotion thinking that they’re the spirit.
Alright, how do you come into freedom here? It’s the same truth dear ones, it’s through experiencing the resurrection of Jesus and that resurrection is experienced particularly through the verse that you read in 2 Corinthians 4:10. 2 Corinthians 4:10, you might like to look at that and this is the progressive experience of Christ’s death in our own lives. 2 Corinthians 4:10, “Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
In other words, there is a daily experiencing of Jesus’ death that is specifically planned to deal with these independent mind and emotions. There’s a once and all experience of Christ’s death to experience with our selfish will but there is a daily experience of Christ’s death to deal with these independent minds and emotions. And that’s the experience that the Holy Spirit wants to make real in us.
How does he do it? Through our believing and obeying two truths that are there in scripture. First – the believing, believe Hebrews 4:12 and that will save us from all our attempts at annihilation of our minds and emotions or ‘over’ exercising of them. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit. The word of God will divide between our souls and our spirits, “Of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
In other words, the first step in dealing with these problems here is to believe God’s word, “Father, I believe that you by your word will distinguish between my soul and my spirit. You will gradually bring about through revelation a knowledge of when I’m using my soul and when I’m using my spirit.” That’s the first step just to take.
The second step is found there in 2 Corinthians 4:8, it’s the way God deals with this and makes this
real in us. It’s obedience to this truth that enables the Holy Spirit to separate our souls, our minds and emotions from our spirits and to bring them under the control of the spirit. And it’s 2 Corinthians 4:8, and it isn’t an easy way but it is God’s way. 2 Corinthians 4:8, breaking experiences, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus.” And then what happens when you do that? Verse 16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature,” our soul, our minds, and emotions, their independent strength, “Is wasting away, our inner nature,” our spirits, “Is being renewed every day.” And that God brings about inside you.
What does it mean? I remember going home in the car one morning after service about maybe three or four years ago and it had been a good service, it was at Bethany Presbyterian and Jesus was just very really there and I was going home down the River Road, I lived in Bloomington and was going down the River Road, and was just singing away. And I was really enjoying it and really just glad that Jesus had done such a work in the service. And I got home, sat down at lunch and just went down like that and I didn’t know what was wrong. And then I began to seek God and God showed me, “You were high on emotion and what you’re now experiencing is just a breaking experience. I have to break you from that kind of emotionalism because if you will go high on sheer emotion, Satan can bring you low in emotion the next moment.”
Now that’s the kind of thing that God will bring to you. You’ll gush out to somebody that comes into service on a Sunday and they’ll just turn you off. In fact, you’ll hear in a roundabout way from some friend that they were utterly put off the body and utterly put off Christianity by the way you dealt with them. That’s a breaking experience. And God, brothers and sisters, will bring you daily into breaking experiences that break the independent power of that mind and emotions until eventually the Holy Spirit brings them under his control.
Now if you say, “When does that finish?” Probably when we see Jesus face-to-face. That goes on throughout this life. But you can tell loved ones, you can tell the people, you know, by discernment of the Spirit, the people who are beginning to come into this kind of experience. They’re people who seem to transmit a hidden quiet life to you without dissipating you emotionally. Whereas there are other people who just wear you out. They talk far too much, they tell you the thing and then they tell you it over again, and they tell you it five times more and the original truth was good and exciting but you’re worn out with it.
Now people who have been broken in their soulish powers transmit just a pure life of Jesus to you and you transmit it to them. Now loved ones, there is much more really in connection with that but maybe that will help you at least introduce you to it. Those of you who have been to the seminars know we deal with that particularly in the seminar walking in the Spirit and Watchman Nee deals with it particularly in his book Release of the Spirit. So maybe you’d just remember that what I’m trying to do is just give you the skeleton of the way God deals with us in the life.
Maybe I should just deal very quickly with the last one. Many of us come into this problem where we find, yes we’re free from the emotionalism but our spirits are often irresponsible. Often we get up in the morning and our spirit will not rise up to God, it just will not rise up. It seems to have a heaviness about it. We come into a meeting of some kind and our spirit just sinks down low. Or, we begin to find that after a while of walking in the Spirit our spirit begins to ebb, or it begins to be blocked inside us, it can’t get out somehow and we find that our spirit is irresponsible. Where the Holy Spirit of Jesus is rising up to the Father and glorifying him, our spirits are sinking down inside us.
Now really, many of us try to get over that by all kinds of exercises and we try to fight Satan, we try to fight Satan by our own exertions. We come into a situation in the home where Satan has just turned the atmosphere sour and we get in there with our sleeves up and we set about analyzing everybody. Analyze dad, analyze mom, analyze the brother and the sister, put everybody right and then it should be beautiful. And the whole place falls apart. Or, we come into a situation in the office and Satan has just got in there and he’s brought about an impossible situation, two people have talked about us and we know about it. And we get in there and we start tackling Satan on our own and we decided what we need here is a tea group or sensitivity group and we get everybody to confess all that they said to everybody else and then we sort the whole thing out and it’s just agony. It’s just miserable.
In other words, we’re fighting Satan now with our spirits but we’re fighting him as if we’re fighting flesh and blood. Now brothers and sisters there is only one way to fight Satan and that is really on the basis of Ephesians 2:6 and I think it was mentioned earlier tonight. Ephesians 2:6, and you remember it simply states that we who were dead in our trespasses and sins have been raised up and made to sit with God in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And that position is there in Ephesians 1:21, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” And really brothers and sisters, that’s the position we have to come into.
In order to fight Satan, in order to have a spirit that is responsible to the Holy Spirit, we need to come into a position of Jesus’ ascension and that is a miracle that the Holy Spirit works in us. Now I know that tonight maybe, you know, we’re already passed where a lot of us are and yet I just want to share it so you at least know where to go. It’s necessary not only to come into resurrection as far as your mind and emotions are concerned, but it’s necessary to share with Jesus his ascension. That is, to come into that place by revelation of the Holy Spirit where you sit with Jesus at the right hand of the Father.
Now that’s a miracle loved ones. You can’t bring that about, you know. You can’t bring it about by saying, “Oh yeah, I’m raised with Jesus at the right hand of the Father. I’m with Jesus at the right hand of the Father. Yeah, you can do what you like with me I’m with Jesus at the right hand of the Father.” That’s autosuggestion, deals with the mind, gives you a soulish experience but not a spiritual experience of ascension with Jesus. There is only really one way to come into it and that is to allow God to crucify you and bury you completely with Jesus and then in his good time, as you set your eyes on this fact of your resurrection with Jesus, to allow the Holy Spirit to make it real in you. And the way is, to believe Colossians 3:2, you know, really just to believe it.
To believe that what God said is true, that you’ve been raised with Jesus to the right hand of the Father. Set your mind on things that are above not on things that are on earth, and to begin to deal with life as if you really are at the right hand of the Father there, and to allow the Holy Spirit to make that real in you. And then to obey him, he says in James 4:7, “Resist Satan and he will flee from you.”
In other words, the way to experience real victory in spiritual warfare is to believe that position that you’re in with Christ. You’re above all rule, and authority, and dominion, and power and to resist Satan down here on this earth. And that is the way God brings about spiritual victory in situations such as I described in the office and the home.
Now brothers and sisters, that’s just a very skeleton outline but I think it’s important for you to realize that God has a liberty and a freedom for you to come into in each of those areas and really the complete man or woman in Jesus is one who is beginning to come into these things, you know. Now, don’t set it up as one, two, three, and four, God will deal with you in his own way in his own time, you know. And he’ll continue to deal with all of us presumably in three and four. And really he’ll continually – we’ll continually have to start the day on the cross with him for victory in regard to selfish will and again, and again as God reveals to us sins that we didn’t realize we had. We’ll have to come into a real experience of Romans 5:9.
But do you see brothers and sisters that there is a way of freedom to walk in and it is through experiencing fully the birth, and death, and resurrection, and ascension of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit making these things real in our lives. And really it comes through believing and obeying. Now really, one of the reasons I shared these things with you at all tonight before we start the series in October with the brothers and sisters who are back from Europe and Puerto Rico is it is God’s will for us to walk in liberty and victory.
Brothers and sisters, whenever you’re in bondage, whenever you’re down about something it is not because you’re experiencing truth, it is because you’re believing some lie, or some deception of Satan. And really, the way into victory are these words, these words that God has given us. So I really do pray that even though it’s just a skeleton production that you will seek the Holy Spirit.
Forget now everything that has been said, you know. Forget the old overhead, forget all the little illustrations that we used and go to the Holy Spirit and say, “Holy Spirit, only you can keep me in liberty and freedom. I trust you to do it. I trust you to bring the right truth and apply it to me and show me what I’ve to believe and to obey at each stage of my life in Jesus.” And then it is possible to walk really continually in victory.
You know, I say that, I’m 38 so I’ve been honored for maybe 21 years I suppose, and been in victory of the Holy Spirit for seven or eight years, and loved ones, it is not necessary, it is not necessary to spend hours or days in depression and despondency. It just is not. It is possible to walk in continual victory, it really is and certainly there is warfare but it is a peace inside that passes all understanding. So I really do covet that for you, you know, and pray for that experience to be your own, that you live life in the heavenly place.