Let us stop fighting in the energy of the flesh. I think we have used the flesh in the past to fight the flesh. We have failed. Imagine a situation where it is the least that serves first. There are a number of things to consider about spiritual power:
Every believer has power and all the power of God. The power that raised Christ from death and raised the dead in His ministry is resident in me. There is no believer without all the power. This is the first challenge of the battle this day. I carry God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in me. May the fiercest judgment be brought to Satan this day. Have you received the same baptism in the Holy Spirit that the apostles received? Have you received the same baptism that those of Cornelius’ household received?
The Bible says,
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, ”Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days” (Acts 10:44-48). The Bible again says, “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15).
The Lord Jesus spoke, saying,
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be with you” (John 14:15-17).
The Holy Spirit dwells within you. He is not someone outside. He dwells in you. Have you ever talked to the One who dwells in you? Some people talk to the God who is far away in heaven.
One of my desires for this year was to have the Holy Spirit as my Friend. He was to be my Friend Number One. All others have moved a step behind. Friendship is always an exaltation. The higher confers to the smallest. God made Abraham His Friend. Younger people fight in the flesh, ‘I want to be your friend.’ You can never intimidate someone into a friend. It is always from above. Jesus made the Twelve His friends. I want you to beg God to make you His friend. It leads to intimacy with deep respect. It is intimacy with awe. It is boldness to approach but with awe. It is intimacy with profound and increasing respect. It is such that you get closer and closer with greater and greater respect, honour and awe for the person. It is not familiarity. Genesis 18:23- “Then Abraham approached him and said...” Friendship allows a man to be very bold, yet with utter humility. Ask to be introduced into this. There are some modern Philistines who take me aside and rebuke me thoroughly for things they don’t know. But Sister EK, Brother JM and others know something of what I am saying. It is increasing respect.
It is all about mutual interest. If you cannot build a human relationship, how can you build it with the Holy Spirit? The lack of the capacity to build friendship betrays self-centeredness and independence. If you do not know how to long for and find fulfilment in the triune God, it is a pity. May the broken beings in this domain be healed.
Mathew and Calvin-Moïse have just indicated to me that they are friends. Both of them know not where they are going, but they believe they are already yoked together like David and Jonathan. They have not known each other for 3 months. None has a goal settled. It is like marrying a stranger. Fools rush where angels fear to tread. People who are always hesitating will always hesitate with the Holy Spirit. People who always withdraw when there is a price to pay will always withdraw from the Holy Spirit. As to Mathew Ngo and Calvin-Moïse, none of you is high enough to impart friendship to the other. Who instinctively commands respect from the other. Who has been promoted by the other? Spiritual friendship means that what was started in the world stops. The one who is in friendship must have excess wealth to offer the other. The gap between Jonathan and David was wide. He was royal and David was not. David was just a Shepherd boy. Jonathan had the power to make David king. Apart from Samuel, he is the only one who crowned David king. He gave him the royal robe.
God made Abraham His friend. In one act, the Lord Jesus made the Twelve His friends. There was John and the elect lady. There was always holy boldness, holy awe. I want to say for certain that people who had a bad relationship with their father tend to lack the power to make others rich. Either you received it from God or through your parents. Few people have it. The child who never trusted his father will find it hard to trust anybody. Those who are sick ought to beg to be healed. Get a piece of paper and write down what has changed in your life in the past ten years.
This is what has changed in my life in the last 10 years:
Without a massive crisis, there can be no real change. Can you say, ‘On this day, God changed me.’ There can be no change without a crisis. A resolution here and there does not mean change. You cannot want change to come upon you and yet know nothing of self-loathing. Fear and self-loathing are prerequisites to the crisis of humility. Change is not amelioration. Change is not reformation.
Change is not words. Change is facts. It is clear. It is obvious. If I used to pray 3 hours daily and now pray 8 hours, there has been change. I prayed two hours; now I pray 3 hours. There has been a modification. Where lies the problem? The last is lack of a clear mission; then lack of a clear goal. When there are no measurable goals, there is the deepest corruption of the heart.
Energy exerted in a confused way is laziness. There must be a clear and measurable goal that you face day by day. A mission comes before a goal. A mission can crystallize into a goal.
No one can follow without a broken and a contrite heart. No one can follow without this. You cannot be in the innermost circle without a broken and a contrite heart. He is not here today because he lost it. The laws in the court are different from those in the Holy of holies. In the holy of holies of a man’s heart, only a broken and a contrite heart can maintain one there. You cannot fake the heart. You cannot cheat the laws of the heart.
David knew that Absalom would rebel 30 years before. What single factor explains the failure of people with clear goals to accomplish their goals? The single factor is laziness. Those who come to the university with Baccalaureate or GCE Advanced Level are qualified to have a degree, but many of them are bathed in laziness. The world is divided into classes in hard work. Nobody gets to the top regardless of how gifted he is without extreme hard work. The Apostle Paul writes to the Colossian believers, saying,
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally” (Colossians 1:28 - 2:1).
For the apostle Paul, it was labours, struggles with all energy, God’s power, etc. for the Colossian believers. Laziness is a self-imposed curse. The decisive factor in the growth of a church is hard work. It is not holiness. It is hard work. I want to endorse that, because lazy people cannot be holy. It takes hard work to run away from sin. Sin will pocket even the lazy. Satan finds work for idle hands. The lazy cannot know God. They cannot maintain constant communion with God. To take a decision is hard work. David would not have sinned had he not committed the sin of laziness. Lazy people cannot be loyal because loyalty means that you compel the heart to maintain the same direction.
Paul says, ‘I labour’, ‘I struggle.’ Wealth is hard work. What they call work seems to follow hard work. Unusual results, bright ideas and revelations of God come along with those who work hard. Pulling sin down and putting on Christ requires hard work. Look at your whole life from primary school until now. What describes your life? Lazy people cannot even decide. They take decisions when it is already too late. Malnutrition is laziness. Some people are too lazy to chew. Some sleep with food in their mouths. God has given us everything that we need. The ball is in our court. Laziness is the number one killer of vision. It brings people from heights to dust.
- The Way of life,
- The Dignity of Manual Labour,
- The Art of Working Hard’ and
- Deliverance from the Sin of Laziness
are four revolutionary books that everyone should purchase, read and read again several times.
Our future depends on hard work. Hard work requires accountability. Since hard work is basic to any success, there is a sense in which the church is grounded because the elders will not give accounts. Without accountability, people cannot get to the maximum of their performance. To talk about hard work without accountability is above me. Even the Lord of all glory gave His servants work to do and required accountability (Matthew 25).
Sin blocks the power of the Holy Spirit in a life. So do the love of the world, the love of things of the world and sins of omission - sins committed without knowing. You do not realise that you did wrong. You may be having things that you cannot put right here with God, stand up and go put them right. If you need to repent to God, stand up and pray as the Spirit leads you.
SATURDAY 21ST JUNE 1997: 24-HOUR PRAYER SIEGE
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