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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 47

"Neither Give Place to the devil" (continued)

In order to see how this works, let us choose two of the most common characteristics of the natural man, depression and hatefulness. When we allow either one of these "grievous" things to take control of our lives we must do as God says, for He never tells us to do that which is impossible; so He tells us: "Do not let yourself become depressed or hateful because of your situation, do not allow your natural man to control your life." We must learn to say no to the natural man, an move in the good of all that Christ is and of all that Christ accomplished upon His Cross. Denying ourselves and taking up the Cross means this: "I will not allow this depression, I will not allow this hatefulness, or any other characteristic of the natural man to control my life. I will take up the Cross, I will live in the good of all that Christ is and all that He accomplished."

The Lord also told Abraham that he must trust Ishmael unto Him for He had promised to take are of Ishmael (Genesis 17:20). Beloved, if we are going to become overcomers throughout our lives, we must also come to the place that we believe, no matte how bad it looks, that God is working "all things," even the "grievous things," after the counsel of His Own Will.

So after the greatest struggle of his life, Abraham willingly submitted to the will of God; for early the next morning he cast out the bondwoman and her son, he cast out that which was born after the flesh, he cast out that which was produced by his natural man. Abraham had finally realized that only that which is born of the Spirit can be the heir of that which God has promised: "The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ..."

Now, the enemy of God has not been asleep during Abraham's struggle, for Genesis 21:22 tells us that the Philistines are on the move. We believe from the context of the Scripture that satan moved in with the Philistines just "at that time" because, from all appearances, Abraham seemed to be at his weakest spiritually; but satan had made a fatal error! Because in 2 Corinthians 12, God declares: "My strength is made perfect in weakness." What seemed like weakness to the satanic forces was really strength in God's sight, for Abraham had become wholly dependent upon the Lord. No, it was Abraham's strong natural man that was no longer strong and the enemy was not going to find any ground, any place, in Abraham this time. In fact, satan was going to lose the ground he had gained!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 48)

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