I like people who are not middle-of-the-road thinkers, who are willing to take a stand for what they believe.
I dislike compliance and comprise when I see it in others, but most of all, when I see it in myself.
There are strong and strident opinions being taken on every subject in our society: politics in Washington, gender issues, race ... the list goes on. At times it seems like some people are more invested in arguing about their opinion than in being a positive force for godly change. When that happens, it's a telltale sign that they've lost sight of who their enemy really is.
If you aren't clear who you're supposed to be fighting, you'll punch at everything that moves. You're likely to do a lot of damage, but it's unlikely to make much of a difference. This isn't God's design for our lives. The only way to shift our culture and current circumstances in favor of the gospel is to identify our real enemy and to employ biblical principles to overcome this evil.
The Word of God promises us victory and purpose when we pursue a Christ-centered life. In its pages are all the secrets to "life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3), including which enemies we will face and how to overcome them. When Paul was writing to young Timothy to stir up the gift that was in him (see 2 Tim. 1:6), he made an extraordinary proclamation that every child of God should know: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV). I believe that each of these fear-abolishing Holy Spirit gifts—power, love and a sound mind—are specifically designed to help us overcome our three enemies: the devil, the world and an unrenewed mind.
We must fight with power when are dealing with the enemy of darkness, the devil. We overcome the accuser of the brethren by the power of the blood of the Lamb, by the power of the word of our testimony and by the power released when we are willing to lay down our lives unto the death (Rev. 12:11). Jesus rendered this enemy completely powerless, so when we deal with him using Jesus's power and authority, he cannot win.
Our second enemy is the world. We are not to love the world's system or the things that are created from the world's system, but we are called to love the people in this world as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). Truthfully, there are people who make it hard to fight them with love, but because of the love Christ has shown us, we can overcome our fleshly reactions and demonstrate real love toward them—the kind that neither compromises nor lies but points them to their Savior, who can give them a new spirit, a clean heart, and a renewed mind.
This sound, renewed mind is precisely what we will need to overcome our final enemy: ourselves. We are our own worst enemy, certainly the hardest to defeat. When it comes to dealing with our own flesh and the evil that is in our heart, we too often get in our own way, protecting ourselves instead of stepping fully into the flames of the refiner's fire.
That is why we have to have a mind that is constantly renewed. This is the reason David said, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Ps. 119:11, MEV). The Word being in the core, in the center, of who we are is what gives us a sound mind, which leads to victory.
The next time you find yourself ready to fight, take a moment to consider who your enemy is and remind yourself it isn't the people living in this fallen world but rather Satan, sinful systems and yourself. You are not here to punch your way to heaven; you are here to show people that Christ has already won every fight they will ever face.
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have a great week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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