PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING
(Overcoming Life Essay)
As Christians we are living the most exciting and adventurous life possible. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh." There is a spiritual battle going on in the heavenlies. According to Kenneth Copeland, "everything done in the physical realm is the result of something done in the spiritual realm." We have a practical part in determining what gets accomplished on earth as a result of our battling in the spiritual realm. Though the devil and his companions would try to dissuade us and defeat us, we know that "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." We can live life successfully, as God intended us to live life, by practically applying certain Biblical principles in our lives that will enable us to become overcomers. Some of these practical principles will give us "victory by the high praises of God." There is a great importance in building our faith and practically setting our course by the words that are spoken from our mouths'. By "the confession of our faith" we will be reigning in life as God intended us. Finally, as we "develop our walk in the spirit" by abiding in God's Word and by His wisdom abiding in us, "we shall live securely and be at ease from the dread of evil."
Victory in the High Praises of God
Praise is more than just exalting and glorifying God. It is a spiritual weapon that can tear down strong holds in the Kingdom of darkness and establish the Kingdom of light on this earth. When one person prays and praises the Lord, he can but a thousand spiritual enemies to flight, but when 2 people pray together and praise the Lord, they can but 10,000 to flight. The devil trembles at the sincere praises that go to God. The "high praises of God in our mouth" affects the kingdom of darkness in a similar way a two edged sword in the hands of a skilled swordsman would affect some enemies coming against him. We can praise God by speaking psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, or by singing and giving thanks to God. God inhabits the praises of his people, and He is lifted up and "enthroned" upon them. We must be thankful to God for all the great things that He has done for us. Because of Jesus, we can rejoice always, even when we do not "feel" like it. God enjoys a sacrifice of praise. If we always "felt" like praising God, then there would be no sacrifice involved.
Though God would have us to enjoy praising Him, He wants us to be "willing" to praise Him even when we do not feel like it. Psalms 149:5 recommends that we sing praises to God as we go sleep in our beds'. With the "sword" of the spirit, the Word of God, we must cast down all imaginations and bad thoughts that raise themselves against the knowledge of God and "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," as it says in II Cor. 10:5. As we bind distractions we will continue to see that our high praises are giving us victory in the spiritual world and in the natural world.
The Law of Faith
"The law of faith" works as we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth. God created the universe and all that is in it and directed it by speaking out what was in his heart. In Genesis chapter 1, the phrase "then God said," occurs many times. God created and brought things into existence by his spoken word. His words always came to pass. Similarly, there is power in our words because God made us in His image. When we speak we are creating and directing our future. According to Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." In Mark 11:22‑24, we are assured that as we believe in our heart the Word of God and confess it with our mouths, then we will have the request that we have asked. Because our words are so powerful, we need to be quick to listen but slow to speak so that we speak only the words of God. Our tongue can produce words that have the power to bring forth death or life; therefore, we need to be careful about what we speak. There is power in believing and confessing God's Word. Because Satan knows this, he will try to raise doubts in our heart of the validity of God's Word. Abraham was considered righteous because he believed God's word despite the contrary circumstances. He did not waver in unbelief, and this pleased God. Our faith (believing and confessing) will make us overcomers in this world.
The Confession of Your Faith
Confessing God's infallible Word builds faith and security in a person's life. It is recommended that a person confess scriptures for about 15 minutes a day for 3 days a week. Believing God's promises puts you in a position to receive them, and confessing God's Word enables you to take possession of the promise. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." As we confess with our mouth certain scriptures, our heart will be built up in faith, believing what we are saying because it is God's Word. In addition to confessing the Word, we can personalize the Word to suit our needs. For example, since the Word of God says in Rom. 8:31, "If God is for us, who is against us," we can say to ourselves', "God is for me and no one can succeed against me." We can have the assurance that the devil will flee from us as we resist him, as it says in James 4:7. To help build our faith in this area, we would confess the Scripture James 4:7 and also personalize it. We can say, "My God shall supply all [my] needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus," because Phil. 4:19 says so. The confession of our faith allows us to come into the glorious life that God intended for us.
Developing Your Walk in the Spirit
We can develop our walk in the spirit by allowing God's Word and wisdom to dwell within us. To be fully led by God, we must depend upon Him in every circumstance and allow him to direct us. He may speak to us through a soft still voice in our spirit saying, "this is the way, walk in it." Also, He may speak to us through the wisdom of His Word that resides within us after we have meditated upon it. Therefore, we need to be studying diligently in order to "update" our old unregenerated mind with God's ways. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, our spirit is recreated and our minds have the potential of becoming renewed with good thoughts. At that time we need to fill our minds with God's Word and His wisdom so that we can walk by the spirit rather than the flesh. The Lord desires for His Word to fill us and thus allow us to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. God gave us the Holy Spirit so that He could guide us into all truth and understanding. Satan would love to rid the world of the source of power that gives people wisdom and understanding of the ways of God. During the Dark Ages, Satan kept people in bondage from reading the Bible, but fortunately, thousands of people gave their lives' to recover the Bible and to translate it into the many languages of the world. If Satan cannot take away the Bible, then he will try to lure us away by the distractions and cares of this life. God shows us in His Word how we can be prosperous and successful in life: "Meditate on [the Word] day and night, and be careful to do according to all that is written in it." To practically accomplish this, we need to set aside a quiet hour each day for Bible Study and meditation. The book of Proverbs is a great place to start studying in order to receive wisdom. As Christ's Words abide in us, we will be more like Christ, and we can ask whatever we wish of the Father and He will do it for us. If we are truly abiding in the Word of God, then we will not ask for something ungodly, but we will be asking according to the will of God. As we trust God with all our heart and be led by His wisdom, He will direct us and keep us in His perfect will.
As Christians we are separated from the world but not isolated from the World. We breath, eat, sleep, and exercise, just like most people. God is a practical God. He has called his followers to live practical lives. We praise and worship God and realize that the praises put the devil to flight as well as exalt God. By praises filling our mouth, we have a spiritual weapon to overcome depression and other demonic moods that the devil tries to put upon us and others. We have been called to live by "faith, not by sight." There is power in our words to set our destiny as we speak out what we believe in our heart. Because we are created in the likeness of God, we too can speak and create things, when we are confessing the Word of God, which contains God's will for us and our surroundings. God desires for us to be led solely by Him, by His Spirit within us and by His words of wisdom that should dwell in us. God will give us practical ways to live a successful life as we rely on Him and His Words.