[ An Advanced Study ]
Someone once said to me in regards to one of God’s principles of abundant living: “It’s so simple, I missed it for years”. It is amazing and still is today how these words, reflecting great wisdom, stay burned in my heart – the most innermost part of my being.
What I am about to teach you is one of THE most important principles you may ever learn regarding your dealings with your own personal adversary.
However, I must lay one ground rule first. This teaching revolves around personal and often random attacks or influences by the adversary on your life. It does not involve attacks where you can demonstrate SELF-DEFENSE. You will be able to see the difference as we move on.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26: 3
Let’s work this verse. You should know that God’s markings of what is most important in His Word is done using figures of speech. The word ‘peace’ here, in the closest to the original text, is used TWICE. It is stated as follows ‘Shalom, Shalom’. This is the Figure of Speech called ‘Duplication’. When anything in the Word is said twice like it is here, it means that the revelation is established. It will not change. This we should know from Genesis 41: 32 from our previous studies. Just keep in mind that if you don’t use it (The Word), you will lose it. I will again repeat that Scripture.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. – Genesis 41: 32
So now we see that ‘peace’, actually ‘perfect’ peace, is a promise of the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to believers who do what? It is for believers who stay their mind on God. God is His Word, so we must stay our minds on God which means staying our minds on His Word via the renewed mind. We must study [II Timothy 2: 15] therefore renewing our mind [Romans 12: 1, 2]. There are many ways to study. One of my favorites is to memorize (i.e. retemorize) Scriptures. I possibly know about 100 Scriptures by heart or memory. So I do not need to carry around my Bible everywhere I go to stay my mind on God. His Word is in the fleshly tables of my heart.
Still working Isaiah 26: 3 above, there is another interesting phrase that we need to work and that is ‘stayed on thee’. The literal translation of this is to ‘rest upon’ which even more literally means ‘STAY PUT’.
If we stay put on God’s Word, it is available for us to STAY IN PERFECT PEACE. That promise is so precious, it’s almost beyond our comprehension. Although like a dream, it is available to us today and everyday. It’s been said that if you could put ‘peace’ in a pill, you could not manufacture enough for the demand. It would not be possible. Everyone is searching for peace and God tells us how we can have it.
With one basic simple Scripture in Isaiah, we have now laid the groundwork for this teaching. There is a great key in this teaching – almost like an ultimate secret only for those who stand strong on the rightly divided Word of God. The title of the teaching (not pertaining to self-defense) was taught to me once again by two different dynamic women of God. The first time I heard it taught, it stuck inside my head for many, many, years. I worked it and worked it until I was able to somewhat easily apply it when I needed to. It is absolutely necessary to master this principle if you are ever going to live the more than abundant life to it’s fullest. It is so simple, it will blow your mind. So let’s crush Satan under our feet quickly.
And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly [quickly]. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. – Romans 16: 20
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. – John 8: 6
Notice how the verse is worded at the end. ‘As though he heard them not’. You see, we can’t help but hear and often, see the adversary at work, BUT WE CAN IGNORE HIM AND NOT REACT to him. The Scribes and the Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus Christ just like your personal adversary wants to accuse you. IF we give the adversary the time of day, this can become a real problem – a very serious one. We have to discipline our minds and our actions to do what Jesus Christ did. He acted as if he did not hear them. Did the Scribes and the Pharisees know if he heard them? They could not be sure but Jesus Christ sure made it appear as if he didn’t hear a word they said.
You must understand that if the adversary gets a reaction from you concerning his methods and devices, he wins. If you can master the art of ignoring him, it will not only defeat him, but it will agitate him to no end. If his persistent efforts are in vain, he will eventually go elsewhere where his efforts are not in vain. Hence, we get some peace. We win and God gave us His Word so that we could be winners.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that [who] loved us. – Romans 8: 37
The text reads that we are ‘super’ conquerors and this pertains to every situation in life. That’s some promise, isn’t it? Well, it’s available. Remember, the renewed mind is your key to power. The more you renew your mind to God’s Word, the more power you have in your walk with God.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12: 1, 2
Again, there is no author like God Almighty. God tells us that if we renew our mind, we will prove God’s Will to ourselves. We will see results and those results will prove to us that the Word of God truly is the Will of God. I have seen the following verse come to pass many times in my life and each time it had a renewed excitement for me. God will prove himself to you IF, that’s the condition, you stand on His Word. If not, the world will just manipulate and control you until the adversary gets you in a position where he can either steal from you, kill you, or little by little, destroy your life. Now here is what the true God will do for you.
Now unto him [God] that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, – Ephesians 3: 20
God will not only prove to you that NOT REACTING to the enemy is absolutely required to live the more than abundant life, but He will surely bless you for listening to Him and carrying out His Will. Too often, we have our foot on the hose and we limit God by a lack of our renewed mind.
When we DON’T REACT to what the enemy throws at us, we keep our peace and we can concentrate on what we are doing. Otherwise we are in a constant state of distraction which also leads to anxiety. Let’s go to the Word and see what God says about this.
Be careful [literal is anxious or distracted] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. – Philippians 4: 6
It is God’s Will that we never be distracted by staying our mind on Him which is His Word. The word ‘ careful’ above is Old English and does not mean what it means to us today in modern terms. We are not to be anxious – we are not to be distracted. So what does God say we are to do? We need to go way back to the beginning of this teaching.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. – Isaiah 26: 3
How simple the true God makes things, yet so often, we won’t listen. I have sat here for the greater part of my life teaching and teaching and teaching these principles. If they did not work, do you think I would continue? I would have quit by now. The world has nothing to offer but false promises of fame and fortune. I recently read an article about a very successful person married to a very beautiful and outstanding actress. He killed himself. He seemed to have everything – a very successful professional career, two children and the perfect wife. What happened? You cannot find the love of God out there in the devil’s world. You will never find peace out there either. Others may act like they are happy and confident, but inside they are suffering and they are very lonely. The world has nothing to offer – nothing! The true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has it all – and He even wrote it down for us. The Bible is our blueprint for living. IT IS HOW WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE LIVING. Take a look at this dynamic Scripture.
Let us here the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [respect] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. – Ecclesiastes 12: 13
Can you imagine that?!! Doing the Word is what we are designed to do.
God created the adversary and gave us free will so that we would have a choice as to serve Him or to serve the present god of this world. People say God uses people. The true God does not ever use anybody. Everyone has free will. I could work for God or I can quit whenever I feel like it. If a person allows it, then God can work within him to will and to do of His good pleasure. But God never possesses or controls anybody. That’s what the god of this world does. That’s why you must learn to just ignore him. His whole purpose is to cause harm to people. He is the true God’s archenemy and he surely should be yours. Don’t react to his garbage. That’s how you defeat him.
Now, I do not call this an advanced study because it is very easy to understand for someone new in the Word. It is basically geared to someone who is rooted and grounded in the Scriptures. Because of that, now I am really going to throw a wrench in the works because the enemy will try his best to make you misunderstand this teaching. Remember, I told you that this teaching does not apply to ‘self defense’. Well, as I was preparing this same teaching, something most unusual happened to me out of the clear blue. I ran across a situation where I had to apply the principle of ‘Don’t React’ AND self-defense at the same time. I sometimes think that these things happen so I can teach you God’s Word rightly divided.
Several nights a go, I was coming home from a walk on a country trail. All had gone well until I was about one mile from my home. As I was going up a hill, I saw a car straight across the road as if it were a roadblock. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. The driver saw me, took his time, and backed back and forth in the middle of a two-lane busy road. I had to stop my car – no one was behind me. As this person was taking his good old time, another car came in the opposite direction. The roadblock driver saw him and yet still pulled halfway in his lane and then backed up. The driver approaching me just went close by him. The dangerous driver was apparently turning around at a dangerous part of this road – but could care less. From a spiritual point of view, WHAT DO I DO?
So as not to react, I just stopped far from him and sat in my car. I didn’t get angry because I knew where this was coming from. The enemy wanted to get to me, but I just sat there. So you see, that is how you drive Satan into a state of being paralyzed.
Now there was self-defense there also because I surely wanted to get away from this person and DEFINITELY NOT GIVE HIM ANY ATTENTION as far as what was absolutely necessary. When he finally pulled away, I just sat there in my car until he was long gone and completely out of sight and then some. There was still no one behind me. Self defense requires action of some type. My action was to completely keep away from him as I saw his taillights disappear. I know that got to him because he was starving for attention and GOT NONE! Can you understand this?
What could I have done? I could have started screaming at this guy. That’s just what he wanted. I could have followed him trying to intimidate him in some way. So many times we do things like this for only one reason and one reason alone. Pride.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16: 18
Pride, in its least common denominator is fear. Pride comes before destruction and a fall. If I reacted in the ways described, at first, it would have seemed right, but in the long run, it would have led to some type of destruction. I’m sure you can imagine some of the implications of an incident like this. I want to take the opportunity here to cover another emotion that almost always results in negative consequences and that is anger.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. – Proverbs 16: 32
There is a great deal of wisdom in that Proverb. Especially in my old man days and being of half Italian descent, I made a fool out of myself thousands of times with my temper. After I got involved in God’s Word, this area was a weak point and the adversary played that card whenever possible. Your personal adversary will play on your weaknesses.
Temperance, or self-control, develops within a believer the more Word he or she knows and applies. It is referred to as fruit of the spirit. There are nine of them. They are mentioned in Galatians 5: 22 and 23. We will focus on verse 23.
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5: 23
These are two of the fruit of the spirit. The other seven are in verse 22. You should study these two verses. Fruit of the spirit are the result of the operation of the nine manifestations of Holy Spirit mentioned in I Corinthians 12: 8-10.
I have done my best to get the point across that we are not to react to what the adversary throws at us. If we do, we will constantly be distracted and will almost never experience the peace of God. If the adversary is standing right in your way, then you are allowed to use self-defense. Self-defense is a Biblical concept. It is most often the little things that sometimes get to us. But instead of yelling at someone or just getting angry and anxious, find a way not to react. Go to a quieter room of the house if it’s noisy outside. Listen to music. Oftentimes, at night, I wear ear plugs when I go to sleep. Reacting is a relative term and this subject can be very tricky. I would say, to be safe, ask God to help you and to tell you what to do. He will do so willingly without a second thought. That’s what the word ‘liberally’ means in the following verse. May God help you to work this principle into your life until it become a regular and habitual way of thinking so that you can manifest the more than abundant life promised to you in John 10: 10b.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. – James 1: 5