Physical pressures are handled by strengthening the physique. Similarly, spiritual strength is gained by adopting a strong Word diet. Pastor Paul Dawson in this sermon suggests a diet change to counter the onslaught of life’s numerous pressures. He focusses on building super strong faith and not becoming a casualty of war. It is time for a diet change.
We must have super strong faith. The apostles were also interested in building the faith of people. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:24 says, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” The first thing that happens to you when you become a believer is that your heart is filled with the joy of salvation. The apostles are helpers of your joy; they want you to be filled with joy. In 1 John 4:4, John also says the same thing, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” They are concerned about the joy of those who stand in faith.
Not everyone can stand in times of adversity and not be knocked down. Only those who have strong faith will not become a casualty. Satan attempts to knock down people in order to destroy the joy from their hearts. Often we see that as life progresses, suddenly somethings happen. Suddenly we are under attack. In Matthew 7:25 we see, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” We notice that when the rains descended, the house managed to stand but then the floods came. The attacks didn’t stop, for soon after the stormy winds blew and beat upon the house. Yet the house did not fall. What made the house stand? The Word of God says that it was founded upon a rock. What we learn is that we should have super strong faith. When the winds keep blowing and beating against you, if you fall or are shaken then your joy will disappear.
The apostles are the helpers of your joy. Their focus is to build super strong faith in you. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”, according to Romans 10:17. That is how faith is built. Faith is made strong by listening to the deep teachings of God; by being fed with the solid meat of the Word of God. In 1 Corinthians 3:2 we read about those who are being regularly fed with milk - “ I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” These are those who can not eat meat. The apostles were feeding the people of God and fulfilling their role as helpers of their joy. Yet there were unable to eat solid meat. There are others of whom it is said in Hebrews 5:14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” These were people who had strong discerning abilities and exercised them.
Paul knew the danger of continuous feeding on milk. He knew that the milk drinkers wouldn’t be able to stand when the evil day approaches. He chides the people in Hebrews 5:12, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Those who were to be teachers, were still struggling with the basic principles.
What do we understand from this? The onslaught of the enemy can not be withstood by those who don’t know even the basics and continue to regularly drink only milk. Some basics in which many still falter are – don’t sin, come to church regularly, be holy, repent, don’t look at your cell phones while in church, don’t yield to the lusts of the flesh and so forth. Imagine a 8th month baby still on a diet of milk, that will be a matter of concern for the parents. If this child grows to 2 years and then 5 years and continues to drink only milk, there is a problem. The same child at 15 and then 18 years of age, has not changed his diet. He is on only milk. Milk by itself is not bad or poisonous but how can this person’s body develop completely or be strong with only milk? Similarly, in order to withstand the onslaught of life’s pressures, we need to have a diet change. We must build super strong faith by eating solid meat.
Remember the house mentioned in Mathew 7:27, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” God does not stop the rain, the floods or even the wind because He wants you to grow. He sends His helpers to feed you so that you will grow strong. It is only by faith that you can stand.
Jesus Himself told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32). He expected Peter to have strong faith. We must shift from milk drinking to meat eating. We must change our faith to super strong faith.
To start us on the process, I have a faith booster for you. It is found in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
There are three important points mentioned here.
Firstly, we are established in Christ. To be established means to not be shaken. God Himself makes us to stand firm.
Secondly, we are anointed by God.
Thirdly, we are sealed by Him. To understand the meaning of being sealed by Him, we look at how kings in the olden days sealed things. The king’s horses were sealed which meant they were for special service and were owned by the king. Everyone could see they belonged to the king. The decree of King Darius was sealed which displayed his authority. Thus being sealed, shows ownership. Being sealed also protects us against tampering and attacks.
The seal of the Holy Spirit upon us shows a glimpse of the so great salvation that we have received. Even the enemy is afraid to touch a sealed person. This is not the seal of a Government, it is the seal of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The enemy know you are established with the anointing of God and are sealed by the Holy Spirit. The question is do you know this truth?
If you know this deep truth that you are sealed, then you will adhere to 1 John 5:18 - “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” Ephesians 4:30 also says, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” So we must be careful not to sin and grieve the Spirit of God.
God knows everything. He has planned for everything. Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” He will ensure that no evil shall touch you. Eat the strong meat of the Word of God. Act in super strong faith.
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