Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 10, 2019
Last Updated :
June 10, 2019
The Challenges of Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Battle Is Waged In Our Minds, Don't Faint In Your Mind, Beware Of The Devil's Devices, Regenerated And Empowered By God's Holy Ghost, Stay Grounded In The Word, The Importance Of Christian Fellowship, Take Up Your Cross Daily, Run The Race Of Faith With Patience, Win Your Crown, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading Resources
Continuing our discussion from part three, just as the growth of one's biological body can be difficult at times, the same holds true of our spiritual growth as well. There are so many fleshly distractions in our modern world, that it can be very difficult for us Christians to remain focused on the Lord, and our service to Him. And that does not even include those personal sins we all have, such as self-righteousness, pride, arrogance, lust, jealousy, etc. Sadly, it seems that all it takes is one unguarded moment of weakness -- as occurred with Peter -- and our walls come tumbling down, and we are back to living the old life of sin again.
The fact of the matter is that keeping our faith and serving the Lord is a real battle; and that battle begins the moment that we repent -- or change our minds -- and accept the Lord. If one thing should be clear to you by now, it is that this entire discussion and series has revolved around the state of our mind. As I explain in a number of other articles, it is in our minds where the spiritual battle, and the fight for control of our lives, is waged. The Scriptures make it very clear that our mind is Satan's battleground. If he can gain control of our thoughts, then he has won. The writers of the New Testament -- particularly the Apostle Paul -- were very much aware of this fact. As a result, they were constantly warning the Disciples to be on guard against the wiles of the Devil, and to not faint in their minds. This becomes so evident in verses such as the following:
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV
"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not . . . For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
2 Corinthians 4:1, 16, KJV
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
Hebrews 12:3, KJV
"Wherefore GIRD UP THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"
1 Peter 1:13, KJV
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9, KJV
"But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing."
2 Thessalonians 3:13, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV
Notice what the Apostle Paul writes in that very first verse above. He says "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ". You see, that is exactly what you did when you changed your mind -- or repented -- and decided to accept Christ as your Savior. You took control of your mind by the Grace of God. You decided that you were not going to continue to remain in a state of rebellion against Him. But as we have already discussed, now what you need to do is to continue in that same mode of thought. You need to keep resisting the Devil every single day of your life. You need to "gird up the loins of your mind", exactly as the Apostle Peter writes, lest you fall back into the old life of sin. You need to persevere in the faith, and endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Here again are some good verses which emphasize the spiritual nature of our warfare:
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
1 Timothy 6:12, KJV
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:3-4, KJV
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"
2 Timothy 4:7, KJV
"Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
Hebrews 12:4, KJV
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"
"2 Corinthians 10:3-4, KJV
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
Ephesians 6:10-18, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
Thankfully, this is not a battle which any of us are required to fight alone. We do have a helper. You may recall that in Titus 3:5, the Apostle Paul used the phrase "renewing of the Holy Ghost". In short, God's Holy Spirit is there to help us, to inspire us, to strengthen us, to instruct us, to empower us, to correct us, and to prod us along in our daily battle of faith as we share the Gospel with the world. Consider the following group of verses:
"Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Zechariah 4:6, KJV
"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."
Mark 13:11, KJV
"And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about."
Luke 4:14, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."
Luke 21:12-15, KJV
"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
Luke 24:49, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
Acts 10:38, KJV
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost . . . Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."
Romans 15:13, 19, KJV
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
1 Corinthians 2:4-5, KJV
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:7, KJV
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."
1 Thessalonians 1:5, KJV
In addition to the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit in our lives, most Christians also have access to the recorded Word in the form of printed matter, audio recordings, online Bible resources, computer apps, videos, live sermons, etc. We can no more do without spiritually ingesting God's Word, than we can do without eating physical food. After just a few days, we would grow tired and weak. So please make sure that you are dedicating some time each week to reading and studying God's Word. Following are a few verses for your personal encouragement:
"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
Deuteronomy 8:3, KJV
"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."
Job 23:12, KJV
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
Psalm 34:8, KJV
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4, KJV
"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:10, KJV
"I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."
Psalm 81:10, KJV
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
Romans 14:17, KJV
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
1 Peter 2:2, KJV
Last of all, but equally important, in our daily struggles of faith, we also have our fellow Christian brethren who can encourage us, comfort us, pray for us, exhort us, and lift us up whenever there may be a need. In this modern age of computer technology, even people who happen to be homebound due to certain health issues, or due to other reasons, can still engage in online fellowship with their brethren across the Internet. Consider the following verses:
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Proverbs 27:17, KJV
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, KJV
"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more . . . Wherefore comfort [exhort] one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:1, 18, KJV
"Wherefore comfort [exhort] yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."
1 Thessalonians 5:11-14, KJV
"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
Hebrews 3:13, KJV
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much . . . Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
James 5:16, 19-20, KJV
So while our trials and battles as Christians may be many, as you can see, God has provided us with the means to overcome them, if we are willing. We don't have to fight alone. If you feel that you are growing faint in your mind, then reach out. God will provide your needs, and will raise up someone to assist you.
Considering everything that we have discussed in this series, it is my hope that you can now see that true repentance is much more than just being sorry for our sins. It is also much more than just changing our minds and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is in reality a lifelong journey where we must continually discipline our minds every single day, and make the choice to believe in and serve the Lord. It is by no means a one-time battle that we win, and that is it. It is a daily fight, and a daily sacrifice, as we can determine by the following group of verses:
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
Luke 9:23-24, KJV
"I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I DIE DAILY."
1 Corinthians 15:31, KJV
The path of repentance is in fact a race of faith; and as in every race, not everyone is going to be a winner. Only those folks who complete the course will win the prize; as becomes evident by verses such as the following:
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, KJV
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:13-14, KJV
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
Hebrews 12:1-3, KJV
"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
Philippians 2:16, KJV
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV
". . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Revelation 2:10b, KJV
"And, behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Revelation 22:12, KJV
"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
Proverbs 4:25-27, KJV
"Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
Galatians 5:7, KJV
So what about you? Have you cast off the deceptions of the world, disciplined your mind, and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Having done so, have you continued on in your walk of faith, fighting whatever battles come your way, and being a blessing to others? The choice is yours. I hope that you choose well.
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click or tap on the appropriate link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server.
A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: God's Promise of the Spirit
Are You Just a Baby Huey?
Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?
Free Will and Personal Choice
Going Down the Highway of Life
Message to the World
The Battle is Not Yours Alone
The Faith of a Little Child
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Lord Will Lift You Up
The Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service
They Gay and Lesbian Agenda: To the Point!
When Sin is No Longer a Sin