Thursday, March 6, 2008

Flesh…SHUT UP! You’re as lazy as a dog sleeping by the fireplace!

Well, it is DAY 5 of our 21-day Daniel Fast, and I can still say, this is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it. How about you? God is doing some amazing things in our lives. For me personally, the communication between myself and God's Holy Spirit seems so much clearer as I have cleared my mind of so much of the clutter that goes along living in this world. This fast has allowed my focus to be placed on God in so many different ways. For instance, every time I have a hunger pain, or crave a certain food, I am using it as a nudge to spend time in prayer, even if I just breathe a very short prayer. I feel hunger pains throughout the day, so therefore, my attention is turned to God many, many times throughout the day. The battle that we all face is with our flesh. Peter, James and John battled their flesh in the garden of Gethsemane just hours before Jesus was crucified on the cross. Jesus felt compelled to pray. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that the battle was won over the flesh for Jesus. He asked the disciples to pray with him. Please read the following account, and think about your battle with the FLESH:


Mark 14:32-40 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. (33) And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; (34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. (35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (37) And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? (38) Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
(39) And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. (40) And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.


Mark 14:38 Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don't be naive.
Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire."


Jesus warned His closest friends that the Spirit is willing, but the FLESH is weak. In the message he tells us that our flesh is "as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire." If you have seen a dog like that you know it doesn't want to be messed with. Just "leave me alone" is his mentality and he doesn't want to do a thing but ENJOY THE basking in the peacefulness of the fire. What this Daniel fast is doing for many of us, is MAKING us get up from the leisure and slothfulness of the "FIREPLACE." God is saying, "ok, now I can show you great things in your life". We must NEVER forget that our Spirit is willing, but the battle is with our WEAK FLESH. Once again today, I want to share with you something that I learned from Rick Renner in his "Sparkling Gems from the Greek." I believe that it will minister to you.


Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Left unchecked, your flesh will try to run you over, take charge of your emotions, and promote laziness in your life. It will tell you that you've done too much; that you've already done more than anyone else; that you don't need to do any more than you've already done; and that you're not as appreciated as you ought to be. Your flesh will advise you to kick back, take it easy, and cut yourself some slack. It will scream that if anyone deserves to do nothing for a while, it's you.

Your flesh always tries to take everything to an extreme. If you allow it to control you, it will carry you into a state of laziness that sedates your whole outlook and destroys your productivity. You'll lose your joy, hope, victory - even your very reason for living. In the end, you'll become weak, powerless, and devoid of the desire or energy to pursue anything, let alone the high calling God has for your life.

When your flesh rises up and tempts you to be slothful about your dream, your business, or your relationship with God,
what should you do?
Or when your flesh coaxes you into believing you are too poor, too stupid, too ugly, too uninteresting, or too "run of the mill" to be used by God, how should you respond? When your flesh tells you that fasting is ridiculous, that NOTHING is going to be accomplished, so you might as well give up on your commitment, what should be your response?


Should you cry and complain that you're just not as talented as others? Should you grieve that you're not as skinny as someone else? Should you whimper that you weren't born into a more prestigious family? Should you lament that you were never able to finish your education? Will your complaining put a degree on your wall?

It's time to tell the flesh to shut its loud mouth! Then grab hold of the power of God to change you and the way you are thinking. As long as you allow that rank, stinking flesh to produce a "poor me" mentality, you will not make any significant contribution to the world. And that's such a pity because God wants to use you! Instead of letting the flesh rule you, it is time for you to do as the apostle Paul ordered in Romans 6:11 when he said, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The word "reckon" comes from the Greek word logidzomai, which means to consider, to think, to deem, to regard, or to count something as done. This means the verse could be translated, "Once and for all, deem yourselves to be dead to sin." But it is important to note that the Greek tense means this reckoning must be done on a continual basis. With this in mind, it could be translated, "Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! Keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin."


The word "dead" comes from the word nekros, which is the Greek word for a human corpse. It is the picture of an actual dead person, whose lifeless body has no heartbeat and no breath in his lungs. This person is declared clinically dead; he is now a corpse. By using the word nekros, Paul tells us that we are to deem ourselves as dead - non-responsive to sin. We are to be just as non-responsive to sin as a dead person is to life! Dead people don't respond to anything because they are dead!


These powerful words in Romans 6:11 could be interpreted this way:

"Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! You have to keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin."


When you walk up to a casket and see the BODY laying there, we are forced to remember that the empty shell that is lying in that casket is the deceased, expired, finished shadow of a person who had once lived but is now gone. There is no heartbeat, no breath in his lungs, no pulse to feel in his wrists. The clock has quit running for this person's life, and there is no turning back the clock to make it start ticking again. It is a "done deal." This person's life has expired. His body has been mortified.

Well, out flesh needs to be mortified in the same way. As Paul says in Romans 6:11, it is time for you to reckon, deem, consider, regard, and count as a done fact
that you are dead to sin and to its lying insinuations! To continually count yourself dead to sin, you may have to speak to yourself often and take authority over your flesh. Command your flesh to shut its mouth, and remind yourself that the flesh lost its power at the Cross and no longer has the right to rule and reign in your life!


You don't have to allow the flesh to lord itself over you any longer. You don't have to let your flesh and emotions give you the run-around. Instead of focusing on what you can't do, it's time to start thinking about what you can do when you become yielded to the Spirit of God.

That's why Paul went on to say that you must now start looking at yourself as one who is "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." You see, sin is no longer your master; now you are the servant of Jesus Christ! When your body, mind, and emotions are submitted to Him, you cease to be a slave to your body and emotions. Instead, your body and emotions become your servant - instruments of righteousness to help you achieve the dreams God has put in your heart.

The only way you and I will ever accomplish what we were born to do is to put aside the lies of the enemy; tell our lazy, complaining flesh to keep its mouth shut; take charge of our emotions; and yield ourselves as instruments unto God. Then as we start speaking the truth of God's Word, drawing upon His power that works in us and through us to do His will, we'll start seeing supernatural results and achievements!


God has something awesome for you to do. Absolutely nothing can keep you from doing what He has put in your heart - not your education, status in society, political affiliation, or physical appearance. None of these factors will have any impact on God's call on your life.

The one factor that does impact God's ability to use you is your own obedience to Him. Your heart must be willing. You must take authority over the flesh that would take you down a lazy and slothful path. And you must yield your body to God's Spirit as an instrument of righteousness. That is one of the reasons why the Daniel Fast that we as a church are currently in the midst of is so important. We are yielding our bodies to God's Spirit and asking Him to do TO and THROUGH us what He needs and wants to do. As we do this DAILY, that's when you'll find yourself on the path that leads to being used by God!

I love you guys and hope you have a SPIRIT-filled day! I also pray that we all tell our flesh today to SHUT UP and to "get up from the FIREPLACE you lazy dog!" Blessings!


Pastor Rusty


Today's "THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR" reading: March 5, 2008 (Wednesday) 2 Samuel 8:1 – 2 Samuel 10:19


This week's Memory verse to "hide in our heart": Psalm 115:14-16


Psalm 115:14-16 May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. (15) May you be blessed of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth! (16) The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth has He given to the children of men.








3 comments:

PASTOR ERIC said...

PASTOR YOU ARE SO RIGHT! WE DO BATTLE EVERYDAY WITH OUR FLESH! AS I HAVE BEEN FASTING & PRAYING THESE PAST 5 DAYS, I CAN REALLY FEEL GOD'S PRESENT SO MUCH MORE IN MY LIFE. ITS A GREAT FEELING, BUT ALSO MY FLESH HAS BEEN ATTACKING ME IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF MY LIFE. IM REMINDED OF THE ISRAELITES , WHO SPENT TIME WEEPING BEFORE GOD, FASTING & PRESENTING OFFERINGS. GOD HEARD THERE PRAYERS AND TOLD THEM TO " GO I WILL GIVE YOUR ENEMYS INTO YOUR HANDS." GOD WAS WITH THEM BUT THEY STILL HAD TO FIGHT THE BATTLE! I BELIEVE WE STILL HAVE TO FIGHT OUR BATTLES WITH OUR FLESH, LIKE YOU SAID WE HAVE TO BE DEAD TO OUR FLESH TO GET OUR VICTORY. I BELIEVE GOD CAN AND WILL DO MIRACLES THROUGH US, NOT ONLY IN OUR LIVES, BUT ALSO WHEN WE PRAY FOR OTHERS WE WILL SEE GOD DO GREAT THINGS!!

Pastor Rusty said...

Thanks for your comments Pastor Eric. RLB

Anonymous said...

Hi. I had to comment on this blog. I've been going through a major spiritual enlargement over the last month after reading the book, "bondage breaker". I've had a revelation about this very thing, speaking in authority over the flesh. I've been using authority over the enemy for a while, but failed to get the connection that I also had authority over my own flesh, as though it's a rotten demanding child or like you said, a lazy no good dog. I can work with my dog until I get her to understand what I expect, but I demand her obedience. I am actually speaking to my flesh in the name of Jesus. Every time I catch it trying to sneak around and get me to over indulge in something that's not good for my body (i.e. cigarettes, diet coke, junk food) I just literally speak to it and tell it it may not have whatever it is demanding and it quiets right down. It must obey me, just like my dog. I'm also learning to use this over my out of control emotions. I am having total victory and at last understand what Paul meant by we are more than conquerors. I have yielded my will to God, consider myself dead to myself & sin, and my life is now His to do whatever He wants to do with it. I must be willing to listen to Him, be obedient to His voice & mortify my own body by bringing it into the subjection that I myself have under my husband and my Lord. I find it interesting that this truth wasn't revealed to me until I determined to be under subjection to my husband as I am to the Lord. I quit smoking, drinking diet coke and went on a much healthier diet in one day. I also find I can clean like nobodies business now, because it is I controlling my flesh, through Jesus name, rather than begging my flesh to obey me. Thank you for this blog. Much more are needed like this. I don't have a google i.d. but I may be reached via email greenpilgrim50@yahoo.com, my name is Mitzi