Giving No Spiritual Ground
“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” -John 14:28-31
Here, in John 14, Jesus is encouraging His disciples to believe in spite of the fact that He soon will be apprehended and crucified. On the eve of His greatest test, He makes a profound and telling declaration…
“… for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”
Couple this with the command expressed in Ephesians 4:27:
“Neither give place to the devil…”
…and we have our thought for this article, “Giving no spiritual ground to the enemy”.
The spiritual winds of demonic activity are fiercely blowing: the spiritual warfare is indeed intensifying. Rest assured, everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. There is great unrest as our Christ-rejecting nation reels under judgment. Spiritual darkness abounds; many are falling away, while others are waxing cold. Sadly, among professing Christians, apostasy is the norm, rather than the exception, is there any doubt…
Rev. 12:12 …the devil is come down unto you (us), having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Thus, dear reader, it’s no time to be playing religious games with God. No, it’s time to be rising up, standing firm in the face of spiritual opposition and overcoming by faith in God and His Word. And yet, many are fighting for their very spiritual lives (even some who are reading this post). Only God knows the battle that rages, the intense temptation, the demonic schemes to sift and destroy many who are reading these very words. Yes, you are facing, perhaps, the greatest test of your spiritual journey. And make no mistake, you are, as it were, on the eve of either your most awful defeat or your most triumphant victory. Be of good cheer, oh saint of God, when Jesus our Lord, faced the brunt of the enemy’s wrath, He gave us insight to overcome, declaring…
John 14:30 …the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
In this article, we will consider the Lord Jesus Christ and His example as we fight our spiritual battles. If we carefully consider Jesus, we see specific characteristics that were foundational to His statement, “(he) hath nothing in me.” And in taking note, we learn the essentials to “giving no spiritual ground to the devil.”
I. FIRST, MAKE A FULL SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT.
John 8:29 …for I do always those things that please him.
Without a full commitment to believe, follow, and obey, you will be destroyed. If Jesus is not your Lord, your lack of commitment will eventually be exploited and you will be exposed for what you are: a pretender. Hence, we must resolve to be governed by God’s Word. There must be a specific beginning and then a diligent maintaining of our personal covenant of faith. Meaning at some point we must, as it were, make an altar, seek God, commit to believe, follow, obey and, God forbid, should we fall, repent, and continue. If we are to love Jesus, we must be committed to Him.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me…
Sadly, many come to Jesus selfishly, only wanting what He has, rather than serving Him for who He is…
“The language of love and the language of seduction are basically the same; The one who wants a woman for a wife and the one who wants her just for the night both say, ‘I love you’….but they mean totally different things. One speaks of commitment the other of gratification.”
In the natural, there can be no marriage covenant if infidelity is not utterly discarded. Likewise, without commitment there can be no spiritual covenant between God and man. Love, faith, and obedience go hand in hand…
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Now, it is true, true faith originates with God…
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
And yet, we must exercise the faith generated by hearing His Word. It can’t be said better than this…
“Faith is an action based on a belief supported by a confidence of continued action that if God said it, God Almighty will do it. Or, in other words, faith is a man that lives what he believes.”
Now, make no mistake, Biblical Christianity is both supernatural and experiential. Meaning simply: we absolutely can do nothing without Him, but there is nothing we can’t do in, through, and by Him. Nevertheless, we will never be partakers of divine grace without first making a calculated act of faith by the will. One of the basic keys to spiritual victory is to embrace God’s will with our own will, rather than relying on what we see/feel.
“…the decisions of our will are often so directly opposed to the decisions of our emotions, that, if we are in the habit of considering our emotions as the test, we shall be very apt to feel like hypocrites in declaring those things to be real which our will alone has decided. But the moment we see that the will is king, we shall utterly disregard anything that clamors against it, and shall claim as real its decisions, let the emotions rebel as they may.”
-Hannah Whithall Smith
If we set our will with God’s Word, this is faith. In other words, we truly take a stand on God’s Word, choosing to believe: committing ourselves to Him and what He says. Then eventually, our state will rise up and agree with our standing. You cannot simply sit back and test the waters, you must commit to Jesus or He will never commit to you.
John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
“I tried Christianity,” yes, but God never said “try my will,” but rather He commanded, “do it!”
II. SECONDLY, BURN EVERY SPIRITUAL BRIDGE.
Luke 22:42 …not my will, but thine, be done.
He never looked back, only up. Likewise, we must refuse to entertain going back or turning aside. If we entertain thoughts of giving up, turning back, or returning to the world, we are leaving ourselves a way out. In fact, this should already be a settled fact with us, as Jesus cautioned us…
Luke 14:28, 33 …counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it…whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
The devil is not just going to lay down and let you fulfill the will of God without an intense and bloody battle. Nothing will be too sacred for the devil to use against us. We’re naive’ to believe the enemy will be “hands-off” with those closest to us, especially those who are lost. He will attempt to find ground in our relationships, manipulating family, friends, and co-workers.
2 Tim. 2:26 …the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Again, Jesus did not leave us unprepared or uninformed…
Luke 14:26-27 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Every relationship must be redefined through the cross and subjected to the Lordship of Christ. But many cannot bear this and their divided heart is exposed. So often, like the children of Israel in the wilderness, when the winds of spiritual opposition began to blow, shallow followers fall out.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
No doubt, there is a cost in following Jesus, but we must burn every spiritual bridge of escape and hem ourselves up with divine truth.
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
III. SHUT EVERY POTENTIAL DOOR OF COMPROMISE.
2 Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…
The Greek word translated into the English word, “church”, literally means the “called out ones”. If we will practice Biblical separation and consecration, this will, in effect, shut every door of compromise. If we are utterly true to Christ and shun the world this will limit precious spiritual ground for the enemy. One of the fruits of full consecration, is a radical willingness to abandon anything that threatens our relationship with God. We must be willing to shut the door on anything that the enemy uses to tempt us with. This is not limited to those things that are obviously unscriptural, but anything that encroaches on our relationship with Him. Furthermore, we must, through the teaching of God’s Spirit, learn our own unique weakness and order ourselves accordingly.
IV. BRASHLY VIOLATE THE OPPOSING WINDS.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
A passive faith will be overrun: if you allow the enemy he will steal everything from you. Likewise, go on the offensive. Violate the darkness. When Jesus was crucified, He got up out of the grave. When the disciples were locked up in prison for evangelizing, God freed them and they went right back into the temple to preach.
V. AND, FINALLY, CAST YOURSELF UPON THE ROCK.
Dear reader, isn’t it time to fully commit to God?